Matt Weston, Managing Director, Robert Half UK comments on the ONS Labour Market Statistics:
“With today’s unemployment picture worsening and the end of the Government furlough scheme soon to be upon us, we might ordinarily expect business confidence to be down. Our own research, however, has instead found reason for optimism – with half of c-suite executives believing the pandemic has had a neutral to positive impact on business confidence.
“In fact, almost three quarters of businesses we’ve spoken to recently said they had hired or onboarded new staff remotely during the lockdown period, while a similar proportion expect to employ further full-time staff between now and December.
“Clearly, this is a complex picture – but it is definitely not all doom and gloom. While the pandemic has inevitably put pressures on employment, opportunities certainly remain. As businesses seek to get back on their feet and take advantage of growth opportunities in this ‘new normal’, many are looking for skilled workers to support them.
“Business management-focused skills, particularly in the areas of IT security and financial management, will be core to maintaining resilience in the face of a second wave, as well as supporting business change strategies. Employers are also looking to those with specific ‘soft’ skills, including creative thinking, effective communications and agility, to help navigate continued uncertainty.
“Candidates that offer both technical and ‘soft’ skills required to support business recovery will be in high demand going forward, giving the employment market reason to be positive.”