Posted on Friday 23 November 2018 by John Mulgrew
More Northern Ireland firms say they will take on new staff next year than compared to the UK as a whole, according to a new survey.
Recruitment firm Hays says among NI-based employers, 80% said they expect to hire additional staff in the next year, compared to a UK average of 76%. That’s the highest percentage in the last five years.
Meanwhile, 95% of firms polled said they had experienced some form of skills shortage within the past year, against a UK average of 92%.
The survey also showed that some Northern Ireland employers are finding it harder to recruit staff, due to lower levels of unemployment leading to a rise in wages.
John Moore, managing director of Hays in Northern Ireland, said: “Employers in Northern Ireland told us they are pressing ahead with business plans and are generally optimistic about the wider economic climate for the next two to five years. Recruitment expectations are at their highest levels for five years, for both temporary and permanent roles.
“Increased competition for talent coupled with skills shortages has helped support above UK-average salary growth in Northern Ireland. While that is positive for those seeking new employment it also has downsides, including negative impacts on productivity, staff morale and the ability to deliver projects.
“Given the intense competition and, at times, unrealistic salary requirements from candidates, it’s never been more important for employers to understand the complex factors that influence employee movement.
“Salary is still a top consideration, but candidates are now influenced by other benefits, such as life balance and career progression opportunities. However, only 17% of employers surveyed saw work life balance as a priority, compared with 30% of employees.”
The survey is based on responses from almost 23,000 employers and professionals working in a range of industries, including almost 650 in Northern Ireland.