Employment confidence ‘highest since 2008 recession’

3241042975_d3f65c857d_oEmployers expect jobs growth but will need to be flexible to attract top talent, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

The summer 2013 CIPD/Success Factors Labour Market Outlook, published today, said that employers expect jobs growth for the sixth quarter in a row. This means there will be more openings for job seekers and more competition among employers for the right candidates, said the CIPD.

Mark Beatson, CIPD chief economist, said the challenge for employers will be in finding the right talent to hire, especially as turnover of employees remains low, perhaps reflecting fear of further economic dips.

“Employers could find fewer ideal candidates around than they might have expected. To counteract this possibility, employers will need to be flexible and innovative in their approach to recruiting and retaining employees, and make sure their job offers are attractive to the more confident and active job seekers entering the market,” he added.

The report shows that the net employment balance – which measures the difference between the proportion of employers who expect to increase staffing levels and the proportion who intend to reduce staffing levels – stands at +14. This is an increase from +9 in the previous quarter and the highest figure since the recession in 2008.

Private sector employers remain positive about employment intentions with an increase in the net employment balance from +21 in spring 2013 to +26 in the summer 2013 survey. In contrast, public sector employers are still more likely to expect overall job cuts but here there was also an improvement in the net employment balance (-25 in summer compared to -31 in spring).

However, employers do not expect wage growth to accelerate significantly. Among those employers planning a pay review in the twelve months to February 2014, the average anticipated settlement for basic pay (excluding bonuses) was 1.7%, unchanged from the previous quarter.

Beatson said: “Clearly employers feel they do not need to raise pay to meet recruitment goals and, with turnover low, retention is unlikely to be a pressing issue for most organisations. However, both these factors could turn as the job market improves and employers need to be prepared to adjust their workforce planning, development and reward practices in response.”

Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mindfieldz/

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