by Laura Varley on May 21, 2014

posted on Sector news, Miscellaneous,

Quarter of UK firms plan to increase headcount by up to five per cent

A quarter of businesses are planning to increase the number of employees they have by as much as five per cent over the next 12 months, a survey by PricewaterhouseCooper (PwC) reveals.

According to recruiter.co.uk, 20 per cent of firms will boost their employee headcount by up to eight per cent and one in five will increase it by more than that. However, despite their intentions, many firms are worried about the skills gap.

Some 64 per cent of businesses worry that they won’t be able to find enough people with the right skills for the roles available. Technology and data analytics are just two of the most needed skills which are also in the shortest supply and UK employers are starting to look abroad for people to employ, reports onrec.com.

The vast majority of firms (93 per cent) say their methods for attracting and retaining staff need to change, but over two-thirds haven’t done anything yet to achieve this.

Jon Andrews, HR consulting leader at PwC, says many CEOs believe the skills gap is widening.

“Business leaders are looking for people with a far wider range of skills than ever before,” he explains. “Gone are the days of life-time careers; chameleon-like employees who apply their skills whenever and wherever they’re needed are now in high demand. Businesses need to get out of the mindset that new skills always equals new people.”