With the Autumn Budget promising a gamut of goodies including an increase in new and affordable homes, a smooth Brexit, a further £3bn to establish the UK as a world leader in new technologies, up-skilling the workforce, investing £6bn+ in the NHS, reducing the cost of living and boosting salaries through the National Living Wage, it seems as though there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow after all! However, as we know that governments and politicians make promises that they struggle to deliver on, realistically what does 2018 hold for the UK economy?
A recent report issued by the Confederation of British Industry – CBI, confirms that economic growth this year has been “timid” and will stay “steady but sluggish” in 2018. Looking ahead to the new year, the business group says growth will be “tepid” amid Brexit uncertainty, while household spending will remain under pressure from squeezed wages, which when coupled with an expected subdued quarterly GDP growth of 0.3% until the end of 2019, means that things are not looking quite as rosy as Mr Hammond would have us believe.
This outlook has been backed by a recent report from the CBI-The Adecco Group, which despite the optimism of Q4, states that the strong employment growth of 2017 will ease during the course of 2018, due to the impact of continued slow economic growth, uncertainties associated with Brexit and the prospect of further interest rate rises. The latest statistics from Adzuna indicate that although unemployment at its lowest since Harold Wilson was prime minister – 1.44 million if you’re interested – advertised vacancies have dropped by 3.9% and advertised salaries are down by 2.3% since last year.
With this in mind, it seems likely that those employers planning to expand headcount in the foreseeable future are set to face some key recruitment challenges, including increased competition with other organisations for sought-after candidates, reduced availability of high calibre job seekers in the market and a lack of appetite from employers to offer vastly improved salaries and remuneration to new hires. Recruiters will need to put their thinking caps on and pull some bright ideas out of the bag to ensure that growth, expansion and profitability aren’t adversely affected as the result of a tightening job market.
Are you a business seeking to expand your team in 2018? How will the economy affect your hiring plans? What steps are you taking to maximise the success of your recruitment programme?