UK directors predict job creation and slowdown in redundancies for first half of 2013

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UK directors predict an increase in the creation of permanent roles in the first half of the year, according to the professional hiring index, which is published today by financial recruitment firm, Robert Half.

The index found nearly one in four (24%) directors say they plan to expand their workforce and half plan to recruit staff to fill vacated positions when they arise.

The bi-annual Professional Hiring Index is based on more than 600 interviews with senior executives from UK employers.

The index also revealed welcome news with the slowdown in redundancies when compared to the same time 12 months ago. Just 9% of directors said that they forsee a reduction in roles over the next six months: a significant drop on the 21% of directors predicting redundancies at the beginning of 2012.

However, the directors interviewed in the index revealed that both salaries and bonuses will remain static for the next six months.

Almost two thirds (65%) of directors said that salaries will be frozen until at least July 2013, with less than a third (31%) saying that they will increase salaries and just 3% stating that they would decrease salaries.

Phil Sheridan, managing director, Robert Half UK said: "Our research shows some notable trends in the UK employment marketplace. There are genuine signs of increased optimism, with lower predictions on redundancies and higher predictions on new roles.

"Yet while company executives are even more concerned about finding and retaining the best people than they were a year ago, the majority of companies are as yet unable to adjust remuneration on a widespread scale, including salaries and bonuses."

Sheridan added: "We believe that companies need to find new incentives to attract and keep the best people while the economy continues to recover, and these may include more flexible working arrangements, extra holiday and greater responsibilities and challenges within roles.

"2013 may also be the year when directors are forced to look at awarding payrises and bonuses to selected people in order to retain them."

The survey was conducted in December 2012.

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