In the context of high inflation and an economic downturn, UK employers have signalled they are determined to keep hiring in the New Year with the Net Employment Outlook remaining positive at +19% for Q1 2023.
The ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey is based on responses from 2,030 UK employers and asks if they intend to hire additional workers, maintain current headcount, or reduce the size of their workforce in the coming quarter (January to March 2023). It is the most comprehensive, forward-looking employment survey of its kind and is used as a key economic indicator by both the Bank of England and UK Government.
Although UK employers intend to keep hiring at pace to maintain productivity and business as usual, the latest Outlook does mark a decline of five percentage-points on Q4 2022. With a stretched and tightened labour market to contend with, retaining skilled talent will be a key priority for many organisations.
"Talent retention is going to be a battle for most employers this year" says Chris Gray, Director at ManpowerGroup UK. “We’re seeing hiring cool for the third quarter running, but the demand for skilled talent is still outstripping supply – meaning employee choice over their working conditions and workplace remains high, resulting in job-hopping for better skills training and benefits.
“This situation can be likened to a leaky bucket – employers have to keep hiring at pace just to maintain position and not lose out amidst an ongoing skills shortage.”