Three in four firms are set to hire more staff as the economic conditions for businesses improve, according to a new survey by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC).

The latest REC JobsOutlook survey found that 74 percent of employers intend to take on permanent staff in the next three months. This indicates a recovery from a dip in hiring intentions in the last two months (62% in May and 63% in June), signalling that employers are feeling more confident following a period of uncertainty during the run up to the general election.

Eight out of ten (80%) of respondents said that economic conditions in the UK as a whole are getting better, and almost half (46%) expect hiring and investment to improve.

Other findings from the survey show that four in ten (41%) of employers even increased pay for staff in the last year, with none reducing pay levels. However, many are anticipating shortages in candidates for professional and managerial roles (14%), construction roles (11%) and technical and engineering roles (11%) in the next year.

REC chief executive Kevin Green says:

“Our data shows that almost all businesses are operating at capacity and want to take on more staff to meet demand, but the reality is that chronic skills shortages are making this difficult.

“For workers the outlook is good. Starting salaries continue to rise as employers compete for talent, and permanent and temporary opportunities are available to those with the required skills and capability.

“With candidates in short supply employers need to think hard about how they attract jobseekers. Longer term, business, government and educators must work together to help alleviate the skills shortages so that candidates are equipped with the skills that employers need. It’s concerning that instead of meeting this challenge the government is making it harder for employers to bring in the people they need from overseas with the proposed changes to Tier 2 visas.”