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UK – Hiring forecast remains strong in London, says Robert Half

10 July 2012

Despite the financial crisis, around a quarter of senior executives in the UK are planning to recruit new permanent, professional-level staff in the second half of 2012, with almost half intending to maintain current staffing levels, recruitment firm Robert Half found. Most firms want to boost headcount because of ‘business growth’ and ‘rising workloads’ while London is taking the lead in hiring forecasts for the coming months.

But according to their Professional Hiring Index, 23% still plan to decrease levels although confidence levels are high with almost three quarters (71%) expecting good growth rates in their companies.  

“Private and publicly listed companies continue to predict net growth in new hires for the next six months, and despite capital market uncertainty, UK confidence levels remain little changed since the beginning of the year,” said Phil Sheridan, Managing Director of Robert Half UK.

“Executives are citing only a 5% decrease in their confidence since the beginning of 2012 in both their company and country’s economic performance. Interestingly, confidence in the UK’s growth prospects amongst public sector executives has countered the trend, with a 10 point increase over the past six months,” he said.

The survey also identified specific industry trends. Accounting and finance hiring will remain relatively buoyant in the second half of 2012, with three in 10 (30%) CFOs expecting hiring increases and 17% forecasting declines. In the technology sectors, three in 10 HR Directors plan to increase the number of permanent IT personnel in the next six months and 22% expect declines. In HR and marketing hiring prospects are less optimistic. 17% of HR directors expect to increase the headcount of their HR teams in the first half of 2012 and 27% plan a decrease.  

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