The lifting of Covid restrictions triggered a resurgence in recruitment activity among companies over the last three months, new research released today reveals.
Totaljobs’ latest Hiring Trends Index shows 41 per cent of businesses increased recruitment activity in second quarter of this year, as firms rushed to rapidly scale staffing levels to cope with soaring demand.
Finance and technology firms were the most active in headhunting candidates over the last three months, followed by medical & health companies.
48 per cent of leisure and hospitality companies stepped up recruitment processes, reflecting rampant consumer spending in pubs and restaurant driven by the resumption of indoor dining in May.
The strong recruitment figures suggests that the delay to the ending of all Covid restrictions to mid-July from late-June did not significantly impact businesses’ hiring plans.
Outdoor dining at pubs and restaurants also resumed at the beginning of April.
Meanwhile, 48 per cent of media, marketing and PR companies expanded recruitment activity, indicating that businesses are seeking to capitalise on consumers deploying savings built up over the course of the pandemic by stepping up marketing spend.
Jon Wilson, Totaljobs CEO, said: “As Covid-19 restrictions come to an end, we expect to see a flurry of activity in the months ahead in terms of recruitment and business planning, as highlighted by the actions employers plan to take in the second half of the year.”
Wilson highlighted that in the first quarter of this year, just one in four companies increased recruitment activity. This has risen to more than two in five.
The positive outlook for the UK economy is improving employers’ confidence levels, with over half of businesses expecting to recruit necessary personnel in the third quarter.
The fresh data comes as the UK labour market is rebounding sharply from the damage inflicted on it by the pandemic and measures to contain it.
Data published by the ONS last week shows employers added 356,000 employees on to payrolls between May and June of this year.
Employers still face strong headwinds
Totaljobs’ research suggests the scale of companies stepping up recruitment activity is likely to shrink in the coming quarter.
29 per cent of businesses expect to increase hiring activity in the next three months, reflecting concerns that the rapid spread of the Delta variant of Covid could prompt policymakers to reintroduce restrictions on economic activity.