New research confirms that the boom in hiring is set to continue into 2022 as businesses continue to remain optimistic about hiring prospects.

According to new data published by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), business confidence in their ability to hire new staff and make investment decisions remains high at +25.

As such, this confidence has increased the number of employers looking to hire new permanent staff, both in the short and longer term.

Hiring intentions where the firm is looking to recruit over the next three months rose to +25, while demand for the next 4-12 months also rose to net: +30.

A similar pattern was also seen for temporary roles, climbing to +17 in the short term and +10 in the medium term.

This optimism remains despite the ongoing shortages in staff which look set to continue for some time.

In August alone, the majority of recruiters who hire for temporary workers (58 per cent) experienced a shortage of suitable candidates to fill roles.

Despite the problems this is causing for businesses over the UK, business confidence in the UK economy also increased by one percentage point, to +19, suggesting that the economy will be able to pull through this crisis period.

Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the REC, stated:

Businesses’ confidence levels remain robust and that has led to sky-high demand for workers. Demand is still growing for both temporary and permanent staff, but permanent hiring now leads the way after starting its recovery much later than for temps. This pattern follows the model of previous recoveries.

This survey suggests that firms remained confident in late August that capacity constraints would not slow the recovery down. Given the events of the past week, we will be watching next month’s numbers to see whether that starts to change.

It was good to see the government listening to business and introducing some measures to help ease HGV driver shortages over the weekend – though driving is not the only sector being severely affected by labour shortages. We’d like to see a collaborative approach going forward, with government departments and industry experts coming together in a joint forum to try and resolve this crisis.

*JobsOutlook is produced by the REC in partnership with Savanta ComRes. Savanta ComRes interviewed 600 UK employers involved in hiring by telephone between 1 June and 31 August 2021.