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UK employers still hiring despite the economic downturn

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The battle to retain talent continues 

Despite the high inflation and an economic downturn, UK employers appear determined to keep hiring in 2023 with the Net Employment Outlook remaining positive at +19% for Q1 2023. This, according to the latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey.

Even though UK employers plan to keep hiring to maintain productivity the survey revealed a decline of 5% compared to Q4 2022. Indications are that skilled talent retention is a top priority for many organisations.

The Net Employment Outlook remains positive in the UK as a whole. Hiring plans are above the national average in London with an Outlook of +24%. However, this is 4% less than the last quarter and 18 % less year-on-year.

Hiring confidence in the North East is strongest at +27% and weakest in Yorkshire & Humberside at +4%.

Chris Gray, Director at ManpowerGroup UK, commented: “Talent retention is going to be a battle for most employers this year. We’re seeing hiring cool for the third quarter running, but the demand for skilled talent is still outstripping supply – meaning employee choice over their working conditions and workplace remains high, resulting in job-hopping for better skills training and benefits.

“This situation can be likened to a leaky bucket – employers have to keep hiring at pace just to maintain position and not lose out amidst an ongoing skills shortage.”

 “Where skills are in short supply, productivity is the first thing to fall. We’re seeing upskilling become increasingly important to employees, so investment is critical if employers want to retain talent and also boost their employees’ productivity.

“Despite prominent news coverage of tech firms laying off staff, the IT industry is still struggling to find skilled talent more than any other sector. Demand for tech skills is outstripping supply, even though the data tells us there is great enthusiasm for working in tech if the skills training is available. Employers need to provide upskilling and reskilling opportunities to attract and retain the best talent.

“The Finance sector is struggling more than most to retain skilled talent. There is a longstanding challenge with reskilling in the sector. Firms are having to hire at higher-than-average rates to bring in new talent because there aren’t sufficient reskilling and upskilling opportunities to provide high-value employees with high-demand skills, resulting in attrition. We’re especially seeing younger employees leaving the sector because they lack mentor figures and upskilling opportunities.”



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