Economic data is always interesting, and it helps businesses understand the ebbs and flows of the markets they operate in. The recent figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that through a mixture of weak consumer spending, doctor strikes and intriguingly a fall in school attendance, the economy fell into recession in the 2nd half of 2023. The bellwether recruitment sector saw demand for permanent jobs weaken during the same period which is therefore no surprise. 

So, what does this information from the ONS signify? It basically says that our economy stagnated in 2023 and this was reflected by uncertainty from employers when it came to hiring. Yet this is historical data, and everyone should be looking forward so we can all take confidence from recent data from the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development.

They found that 60% of employers surveyed said they continued to have hard-to-fill vacancies. This highlights the need to work with specialists to help them find that elusive talent. It’s worth noting that when times are uncertain, candidates are less confident about moving roles and need a genuine reason for making a move so hiring managers need to consider the fact it remains a candidate’s market even if there are fewer jobs. 

20% of those surveyed expect significant problems filling vacancies in the next 6 months and 33% were planning to increase headcount in the next three months. 

Often after a period of uncertainty, Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Brexit, energy prices, inflation and conflict in the Middle East employers identify that the worst seems over and push the growth button again. The indications are that growth is back on the agenda but is likely to be restrained by the inability to hire the talent employers need when they need them.

At WeAreAspire we find that those employers committed to filling their roles with a structured and consistent process and realistic expectations regarding candidate experience, skills and competencies are succeeding to hire the talent they need.

For more guidance on the UK hiring market as well as steps to grow your team speak to an Aspire consultant today.