Not yet registered?
More than three-quarters (82 per cent) of supply chain and logistics firms are currently recruiting at similar levels to those before the economic downturn in 2007, according to the latest quarterly ‘Tracking UK Recruitment' report by professional staffing consultancy Barclay Meade.
Almost a quarter (23 per cent) of businesses in the sector indicate they are more confident about recruiting compared to the last quarter, while only 14 per cent are less optimistic. Furthermore, just one in ten is implementing a recruitment freeze, down from 18 per cent in the final three months of 2011.
The report by Barclay Meade - part of the AIM-listed recruitment business Matchtech Group PLC - found 62 per cent of the sector's owners and managers' recruitment activity is linked directly to their company's business growth plans, with more than three-quarters (77 per cent) expecting to take on new staff in the next quarter.
Interestingly, social media was found to be an increasingly prevalent method for attracting new talent, with more than four in 10 (42 per cent) bosses - the second highest figure of any industry sector - indicating they have already benefitted from it.
However, the costs associated with taking on a new member of staff is the biggest barrier to recruitment for more than three out of five medium and large-sized supply chain and logistics companies in the UK.
With the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) estimating the average cost to a business of filling a senior managerial vacancy to be £7,500 and £2,500 for other employees, Barclay Meade's report reveals (61 per cent) of managers from the sector feel the expense of hiring new staff is prohibitively high, signalling a significant quarter-on-quarter rise of 37 per cent.
Barclay Meade's report also reveals more than one in four (41 per cent) distribution company bosses are increasingly frustrated by the lack of appropriately skilled staff, while almost a fifth (17 per cent) cite time constraints as their main recruitment headache.
But despite 82 per cent of managers saying they are recruiting at similar or below pre-recession levels and one in 10 implementing a recruitment freeze, almost a quarter (23 per cent) say they currently feel more confident about taking on new staff than they did in the previous quarter. Just 14 per cent indicate they are less confident.
Among these, more than half (57 per cent) plan to take on administrative staff and 27 per cent aim to recruit graduates. However, the report revealed a fall in the number of companies which anticipate making board and senior manager-level appointments.
Barclay Meade's ‘Tracking UK Recruitment' 2012 Q1 report also revealed:
Nigel Lynn, managing director of Barclay Meade, says: "It is disappointing that managers of supply chain companies are concerned about the cost of taking on new staff. The findings from the CIPD report highlights just how important it is to make the right appointment during the current economic climate, and it's interesting to see more companies are benefitting from the less expensive social media route as a means of attracting new talent.
"An apparent dearth of adequately skilled staff across the sector is also a huge concern. Investing in talent can improve the commercial value of any organisation, but this is obviously dependent on that talent being available in the first place.
"The Office for National Statistics' announcement that GDP fell by 0.3 per cent in the first three months of 2012 highlights how the economy is still struggling to gain momentum. This is obviously impacting on the hiring activity of distribution, who, like all of us, remain hopeful that a significant upturn in the economy is just round the corner. Whether this happens is dependent on the Government's ability to stimulate business growth long-term."