More than two thirds of West Midlands businesses planning to recruit

More than two thirds of West Midlands businesses planning to recruit

An employment report has found that more than two thirds of West Midlands companies are planning to increase their headcounts in the next 12 months.

The market-leading employment survey – led by recruitment firm Katie Bard and its parent company the Angela Mortimer group – is now in its 12th year and received contributions from 552 organisations and 1,405 candidates.

The report also revealed that employers rank skills shortages as the most significant recruitment challenge – 61% - with only 38% identifying salary expectations a major challenge – down from 42% last year.

Verity Stokes, divisional leader at Birmingham-based Katie Bard, said: “The employment market in the West Midlands is growing and there are more jobs available.

“We have seen a 40% increase in vacancies in the Midlands and employment has returned to pre-recession rates.

“There has also been a consolidation of salaries, after rises in 2014 and 2015, with average salaries stabilising and the low end of salary rates rising.”

Only 9% of employers in the region offered guaranteed bonuses to staff in 2016, with 56% offering performance bonuses.

More than two thirds of candidates claimed the working environment is the thing that most attracts them to a position.

Verity said: “We saw a slow start to the year in companies making recruitment decisions but we expect the market to remain buoyant, if more cautious than predicted last year, with the Brexit question providing uncertainty for the exporters and multinationals in the region.

“To combat the skills shortage the Midlands is investing significant resources in seeking long-lasting solutions. However, the best solution is coming from the industry itself.

“Those companies who have turned the skills shortage into an opportunity have done so through investment in underqualified individuals who have the attitude and aptitude to learn.

“Remaining competitive this year will focus much more on companies growing and developing their staff. To do this organisations must seek candidates who can add value beyond the job specification and create a more autonomous working environment where talented people can succeed.”


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