Small businesses are planning to hire more staff

LAUNCHPAD: The proportion of small companies expecting to take on more workers is a lot higher than that of large companies.

by Rachel Savage
Last Updated: 22 May 2014

Politicians and small business lobby groups like to repeat ad infinitum how Britain’s more petite companies are the lifeblood of our economy (MT thinks all businesses - big and small - have a role in keeping the machine ticking over). Some good news, then, that small companies are super positive about their hiring intentions in the next quarter.

The difference between the percentage of small firms planning to hire, rather than the percentage planning to fire, was +52, compared with +11 for bigger businesses. Hiring intentions are rising across the board, though - the total balance of +26 is the highest since autumn 2007.

The difference between large and small companies might be partly to do with having more trouble filling vacancies: 48% of larger companies said they had difficulty doing so, compared to 31% of smaller businesses. The issue is biggest in information and communication, with 56% of companies struggling to hire the right people, presumably down, at least in part, to the oft-reported shortage of software developers in the UK.

The survey, which questioned 1,026 HR workers and organisations, also found small companies were a lot less likely to employ people on temporary contracts: 51% had no temporary workers, compared to 31% of all the business surveyed.

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