The survey also showed an increase in employers who said headcounts will "stay the same", especially in relation to agency staff.
It found 39% of employers are predicting no change in their staff numbers, and only 5% expect to reduce headcounts.
One in three (34%) plan to increase the use of agency workers in the next four to 12 months, with the majority (60%) predicting no change in their use of temps and only 6% reporting they plan to make a reduction.
REC director of policy, Tom Hadley, said: "Businesses are more optimistic about the future than they were 12 months ago."
He called the trend for agency workers "encouraging".
"It's reassuring to see that the Agency Worker Regulations legislation didn't have the negative impact on the temporary labour market that many expected."
The JobsOutlook reports the responses of 600 employers from across the public, private and non-profit sectors and a range in industries and sizes of organisation.