There have been a number of interesting surveys which demonstrate business expansion and highlight issues faced by organisations in relation to recruitment.
One study by the CBI found that when looking at the manufacturing sector, more staff had been recruited than at any other point in the last 25 years.
The business organisation revealed employment numbers surged in the three months to July and increased by the fastest rate since records began in 1988.
More than a third of respondents reported an upturn in employment, while fewer than one in 10 said it had decreased.
Although this is good news, we should remember increases in productivity and higher demand for workers can spark other issues for decision-makers. Indeed, according to a report by the Prince’s Trust and HSBC, three-quarters of businesses think the UK will hit a skills crisis within the next three years.
They found that after speaking to 600 business leaders about the state of the recruitment industry, more than 40 per cent said they are already experiencing difficulties in filling vacancies.
The survey found 71 per cent of businesses experienced an increased demand for their services in the previous 12 months, with 63 per cent stating they grew faster than at the same time in 2013.
Ageing workers were one of the main concerns, with 45 per cent of executives blaming their workers getting older as a primary reason for their recruitment shortfall.
Dealing with future skill shortages is crucial and it is vital the Government and others continue to work to encourage and develop the skills of younger people.
A shortage of skills isn’t the only issue associated with increased productivity and growth. Recruitment brings many other challenges, including the requirement to fully consider the legal implications of dealing with a larger workforce.
Whether it be pension rules, flexible working rights, or the latest unfair dismissal rule for new starters, I would urge those within any business that is currently putting in place a recruitment programme to familiarise themselves and ensure they don’t get caught out by the latest employment laws.
Companies are still having to deal with significant amounts of red tape and the dangers of being unprepared can be significant.
* Fergal Dowling is head of employment at Irwin Mitchell