By Daniel Hunter

A major global survey of employment trends has found that the United Kingdom’s professional job market has shown signs of improvement over the past quarter.

In its latest Global Snapshot survey, multi-national recruitment firm, Antal International, asked almost 10,000 organisations in major markets such as western and eastern Europe, Africa, India, China and the USA whether they were currently hiring or firing at professional and managerial level. The survey then went on to identify if businesses planned to do so in the coming quarter.

The report found that hiring levels in the UK have remained fairly positive with 50% of employers hiring at managerial and professional level, up by 5% on earlier predictions. This growth is set to continue with 53% of businesses planning on recruiting for senior roles in the next three months.

Interestingly, creative design and board or “C” level talent are the most sought after disciplines in the UK, with 86% currently recruiting for these roles and almost all respondents expecting to hire in this positions over the next three months. In comparison, Western European averages for these disciplines are relatively low, with engineering and production in highest demand.

However, in a country fuelled by talent management strategies, UK retention levels have faltered, with the proportion of British companies currently firing currently at 41%, 11% up on figures reported earlier this year.

“With the global economy showing sporadic signs of improvement, it’s encouraging that levels of managerial and professional recruitment have begun to creep up on those registered in the last editions of the Snapshot,” says Antal’s CEO, Tony Goodwin.

“Many figures in this latest survey suggest that there are green shoots of employment positivity. It’s perhaps difficult to create a complete picture, but reports from our network suggest that, having gone through an elongated period of doing more for less, many businesses are keen to refresh their senior level talent pipelines and gain further competitive advantages with new skills. It will be interesting to see how these figures compare in the next quarter, but for now it seems a positive future could be on the cards.”

Lee Narraway, Managing Partner at Antal Warrington (UK) added: “Interestingly, while talent management and retention are hot topics in the UK business environment, the country hasn’t fared as well when we look at the figures. Despite a vast number of business decision makers talking about keeping top talent in the company in order to maintain a competitive advantage, levels of firing are higher that other economies which have struggled over the last quarter, including Greece. It is encouraging, though, that these levels are predicted to drop as employers look to at developing retention strategies in the UK.”

“Manufacturing in the UK has been severely affected by the uncertainty around the economy and rather than take risks the sector has played extra safe, this has resulted in head count reduction and cost saving rather than going for increased sales and capacity demand. The longer term effects will be increased candidate driven vacancies as the candidates move into other sectors more willing to invest and push for revenue.”

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