Businesses expect tech development to drive significant jobs growth in 2020

Business leaders expect technological development to drive a significant increase in the number of jobs created in 2020, according to the latest research1 from recruitment specialist Robert Half UK. 

  • Two thirds of businesses (65%) expect tech development to lead an increase in the number of permanent roles created this year, while 39% believe temporary positions will grow
  • Business leaders are keen to support the adoption of new technologies by fostering a ‘culture of curiosity’ and encouraging employees to innovate at work

London, 25 February 2020 – Business leaders expect technological development to drive a significant increase in the number of jobs created in 2020, according to the latest research1 from recruitment specialist Robert Half UK.

In an increasingly tech-driven world, employers believe new developments will continue to shape the future of work and are keen to leverage the opportunity this presents. Two thirds (65%) of businesses believe new technologies will lead to the creation of more permanent roles next year, while 39% believe the number of temporary positions will grow.

The South West and Wales region is the most confident about the impact of new technology, with 74% of businesses anticipating an increase in permanent positions and 43% prepared for more temporary roles.

While the North of England expressed the lowest expectations, over half (56%) remain confident that they will see an increase in permanent jobs and 35% expect to see more temporary roles created.

Table 1: Businesses expecting the number of jobs to increase in the coming year

How will new technologies affect the net number of jobs across your team in 2020?
  Permanent Temporary
London 64% 38%
South West & Wales 74% 43%
Midlands 64% 36%
North 56% 35%
Scotland 66% 41%

Source: Robert Half UK, 2020

According to our 2020 Salary Guide, 49% of business leaders believe digital transformation will have the biggest impact on their company over the next 12 months. As such, innovation, deployment of new technology and talent management feature amongst the most prominent strategic priorities for the year.

Businesses are looking to encourage the adoption of such developments within their teams in several ways, including clearly articulating the benefits of new technologies (23%), empowering employees to be more innovative and experimental at work (22%) and fostering a ‘culture of curiosity’ in the workplace (13%).

Matt Weston, Managing Director of Robert Half UK, commented: “There is no question that new technologies will have a significant impact on the future of work over the coming year, driving opportunities for growth in the longer term.

“As businesses look to attract the best digital specialists to leverage these developments, the war for talent will only continue to heat up. However, the real sweet spot lies with those who have the necessary technological expertise combined with ‘soft skills’ such as communication and strategic thinking.

“With the pace of digital transformation showing no signs of slowing down in 2020, employers would be well-minded to evaluate their remuneration packages and wider incentives, such as flexible working and regular training, if they are to attract and retain the top tech talent to take advantage of growth opportunities coming their way this year.”

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Notes to Editors

1. The study was developed by Robert Half and conducted in October 2019 by an independent research firm among 600 C-suite and business leaders in the UK. This survey is part of an international study on hiring trends and career ambitions in the modern workplace.

About Robert Half

Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialised recruitment consultancy and member of the S&P 500. Founded in 1948, the company has over 300 offices worldwide providing temporary, interim and permanent recruitment solutions for accounting and finance, financial services, technology, marketing and business support professionals. For more than 20 years, Robert Half has been named to FORTUNE® magazine’s list of “Most Admired Companies” and offers workplace and job seeker resources at: roberthalf.co.uk and twitter.com/roberthalfuk.