Flexible working becoming central to employers hiring strageties

Carl Wright
by Carl Wright

Employers need a ‘flexible approach’ to hiring as labour market tightens

Some of the key findings from the recently JobsOutlook survey published by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) found:

More than eight in ten employers (83 per cent) plan to hire more permanent staff in the next three months. According to the latest survey:

Employers are showing a high level of confidence, with eight in ten (80 per cent) saying that economic conditions are improving. Ninety-four per cent of organisations are operating with limited capacity to take on more work, so hiring is a priority for those seeking to capitalise on sustained UK economic growth. The survey also found that:

  • Eighty-two per cent employ temporary workers in order to ‘access key strategic skills’.
  • Employers expect a shortage of workers for permanent and temporary roles in technical/engineering, for permanent roles in construction and for temporary professional/management positions.



Stronger growth of demand for staff

January data signalled a further increase in vacancies, with the pace of expansion picking up to a five-month high. Demand for permanent staff continued to rise at a faster pace than that signalled for short-term workers.  


 REC director of policy Tom Hadley says:

“Businesses want to hire so that they can take on more work. But with fewer candidates available, employers need to take a thoughtful approach to bring in the skills they need.

“Hirers should be looking at how they can reach out to people who might find it more difficult to take on full-time work, such as parents or older workers. Often this is about structuring work differently to fit a candidate’s needs and lifestyle.

“More generally, a recent report from Timewise has suggested that 46 per cent of the working population want flexibility in their job, so by offering the opportunity to fit work around other commitments businesses could give themselves an edge over the competition.”

Candidate availability falls, albeit at slower rate

The availability of staff for both permanent and temporary/contract roles continued to decline in January. Rates of contraction remained marked, despite easing to the slowest for 12 and three months respectively. 


The full report including a comprehensive monthly picture of permanent and temporary recruitment, jobs and earnings in all regions is available here: 



"The lack of spare work force capacity in the marketplace combined with the growing shortage of quality staff continues to put the skills shortage in the built environment in focus. It is clear that employers that can offer flexibility in working conditions and a thoughtful strategy in terms of transferable skills are the employers most likely to be able to grow. We continue to advise our clients in all sectors that a flexible approach to skills is how to make the most of assessing the available talent. We find that employers who are prepared to work with us as consultants, on campaign led recruitment are the ones that get results." 

"Our salary guide for 2016 is due to be published in early 2016, which will give employers more information on current salary levels in this region based on our experience. Do get in contact if you would like to receive details of our salary guide or if you are currently looking for staff across any of our key sectors, Property, Building Services, Architecture, Civil & Structural Engineering and Surveying.

We would love to hear from you and we promise a friendly approach, honest information and a quality local service."