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Hiring on the up as Covid-19 restrictions end: Totaljobs Q2 Hiring Trends Index

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The Totaljobs Hiring Trends Index (@TotaljobsUK) gives an up-to-date view of recruitment and employment trends in the UK. The latest edition provides a look back at the second quarter of 2021 (from April-June 2021) and offers insights into what the labour market could look like over the coming months:

The last three months (Apr-Jun)

  • 41% of businesses increased recruitment in the last quarter – outstripping Q2 expectations set in April by 17%. Roles in operations, IT/tech, sales, customer services and finance were the most in-demand in Q2.
  • In addition, sectors such as medical & health (50%), hospitality & leisure (48%), media, marketing, advertising/PR & sales (48%) and transport & distribution (45%) increased their hiring above the average seen across the wider market.
  • This said, a quarter (26%) of businesses didn’t make any hires in the last three months. However, blanket pauses on recruitment appear to be decreasing, with just 14% of businesses having paused recruitment at some point during Q2, down from 23% in Q1. In addition, almost one in four businesses (23%) restructured a department, team or the wider business, suggesting companies are continuing to look at ways to reshuffle resource internally, alongside making new hires.
  • The number of jobs posted on the Totaljobs platform in June is returning to pre-Covid levels, with 14% more jobs published in June than in May. ‘Warehouse Operative’ was the most searched keyword on Totaljobs in June, while the logistics sector received the highest volume of visitors, administration roles attracted the most applications and driving jobs were the most advertised.

Looking ahead to Q3

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  • Looking ahead to Q3, 29% of businesses plan to increase recruitment across the next three months, with employers anticipating more focus on increasing recruitment spend for specialist roles (27%).
  • Thinking about the second half of the year, as restrictions continue to ease, 39% of businesses expect to reintroduce in-person meetings/events or working practices, while 31% expect to implement or review a long-term flexible working policy and 25% plan to review employee benefits/perks. In terms of the return to the office, 23% of businesses intend to redesign the layout of the workspace or downsize their office space due to Covid-19.
  • The easing of lockdown restrictions is enabling employers to build confidence in the state of the economy and recruitment market, with 56% of businesses confident they will recruit the people they need in Q3 2021. Hiring confidence is particularly high among employers in finance & accounting (69%), media, marketing, advertising, PR & sales (63%), IT & telecoms (62%), while medical & health services, retail and construction report 54%.

Jon Wilson, Totaljobs CEO:

“The Totaljobs Hiring Trends Index shows that recruitment has grown significantly in Q2, with four in ten businesses increasing their hiring compared to just 26% in Q1. With this, 29% of businesses plan to increase their recruitment in the coming quarter.”

“As Covid-19 restrictions come to an end, we expect to see a flurry of activity in the months ahead in terms of recruitment and business planning, as highlighted by the actions employers plan to take in the second half of the year. As we transition out of Covid restrictions and realise the opportunities this offers, it’s also crucial for businesses to consider the needs of candidates and employees during this period. Listening to, taking care of, and ensuring staff feel comfortable has never been more important.  Employers should reflect on how they can meet changing work preferences to keep hold of their staff and cement themselves as a competitive player in the market.”

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