From education to employment

Most businesses will develop talent rather than making redundancies for the rest of 2012, new survey reveals

The majority of UK businesses are not planning to make redundancies for the remainder of 2012 despite the current economic gloom, according to a new survey.

The research, by careers specialist Manpower Group, shows most companies are instead aiming to retain staff and develop their skills as the UK enters its third consecutive period of negative growth.

Of the 900 businesses polled, 81 per cent claimed there would be “no redundancies at all” in the next six months, with just four per cent stating there would be significant employee cut backs.

“Companies appear to be staying resilient in the face of tough economic conditions and retaining staff, which is reassuring,” said David Miller, managing director of Right Management (UK & Ireland), the talent and career management expert within Manpower.

“However, this may be due to many companies having already made cuts and now operating in a stretched capacity.”

The survey also revealed that 41 per cent of companies do not conduct “workforce planning and have no workforce strategy”, and 23 per cent said human resource plays little or no role in business strategy.

Miller said it was concerning to see the majority of those surveyed stating they lacked a workforce strategy, but added that, in his experience, although many companies are being more agile about how they use their people’s skills and knowledge, they do not recognise this as workforce planning.

“We know that despite unemployment being high, the availability of people with the right skills is causing a problem – utility firms need engineers, manufacturers need technicians and across all sectors there is a digital skills gap,” he said.

“Businesses will only succeed and grow in a very tough global environment if they align business and workforce strategies. Organisations need to know more than just the number of people they require, but also plan the capabilities they need to deliver. Investment in people by retaining and developing talent will mean businesses keep their competitive edge.”

Natalie Thornhill

Related Articles