A recent article on the BBC website http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-18400556 got me
thinking. The article was about Employers being cautious with regards to hiring in 2012. This article
was based on work carried out by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG,
they asked 2100 employers and 400 recruitment companies what their employment outlook was.
To cut a long story short, the article was saying that employers were being cautious about hiring and
that data suggested there was a slowdown in the UK. Manpower, the general barometer of the
recruitment industry in the UK said only 1% of employers were thinking of hiring. Cripes!
I’m not sure I completely agree with these figures, well certainly not within our sector which is IT,
Engineering and Sales. A good number of employers we speak to are hiring, they have open
positions with a real desire to fill them. The problem is finding qualified candidates, especially those
top tier candidates. At face value you’d think in the middle of a recession like this it’d be easy to find
good people, think again! This was the same as the recession of 2001 – 2003 which hit the IT sector
very hard. We had the awful events of the 9/11 terror attacks and the bust of the Dot Com bubble,
both at the same time. But good candidates were hard to find and employers were struggling to fill
What I'm saying is that general economic conditions are important to the wider business world, but
good people are always going to be hard to find, recession or not. In almost all recessions top
performers remain employed; it’s the less business critical people that are made redundant. That’s
not to say they aren’t good at their jobs, it just that companies can make do without them while the
storm rages. If you think about it, it makes complete sense, in hard times are you going to lay off
your best people?
My feelings on the BBC article are that employers are nervy about the wider economic outlook, euro
zone problems, Greece needing a bailout, Spain now needing a bail out. So naturally people are
bracing themselves for a 2nd round of woe. When employers are asked if they’re thinking about
hiring the knee jerk reaction is ‘no’ or ‘wait and see’, but if the right candidates comes along I think
that would rapidly turn into ‘yes’.