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Becky Davage
29th May, 2014

Near-Term Employment Prospects Look Good For Agency Workers

Portsmouth Harbour, Spinnaker Tower
The near future appears to hold strong promise for agency workers employment-wise, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) says in its latest JobsOutlook report. Many companies are looking to hire more temporary workers, driven by the need to plug skill gaps and capitalise on the accelerating economic recovery.

a significant proportion of employers still plan to use more agency workers

Among the 600 employers participating in the survey, 50% told the REC they planned to bring in more agency workers in the next three months. This represents an increase of two points on the preceding month. Hiring intentions for the longer term have cooled somewhat but a significant proportion of employers still plan to use more agency workers: 43% declared such intentions for the next four to 12 months. This amounts to a five-point slide between months.

80% of respondents said they would ramp up hiring in the next three months

Overall, the employment outlook has never been so good in the history of the survey, REC chief executive Kevin Green noted. An impressive 80% of respondents said they would ramp up hiring in the next three months. At present, more than one-third of employers are finding it necessary to expand staff numbers so as to handle increased demand. In comparison, 25% stated so at the start of the year.

For all their willingness to hire, businesses continue to be worried about skill shortages, most notably in technical and engineering disciplines. According to 20% of respondents it will be hard to fill such vacant positions in the three months ahead, while 25% expect serious shortages of such specialists in the next 12 months.

Given this dearth of suitable candidates, it is critical for employers to closely examine their recruitment processes, Green commented. Companies need to ensure that their hiring practices will allow them to attract the necessary talent, he added.

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