Latest Professional Hiring Index shows 28% projected increase in Midlands jobs

The Professional Hiring Index for the second half of 2014 looks at hiring trends and business confidence for the Midlands. 

  • A net 93% of HR directors say it is either very or somewhat challenging to find skilled professionals today

Birmingham, 7 August 2014 – Senior executives across Midlands-based businesses plan to increase staff levels significantly over the next six months, according to the latest professional hiring index (‘the index’) from Robert Half UK. HR professionals throughout the Midlands’ industries will experience strong job prospects - an increase of 28% according to C-suite professionals in human resources - as the UK economy breaks clear of the recession.

Showing increasing signs of post-recession confidence, over six in 10 (63%) executives say that they plan to maintain employee levels, with many who had previously only filled vacated positions now expanding their teams and adding new roles.

HR directors from the Midlands were asked, ‘What are your company's hiring plans for permanent professional-level employees? Would you say you are.’


H2 2014

Expanding – Adding new positions


Maintaining – Only filling vacated positions


Freezing – Not filling vacated positions and not creating new ones


Reducing – Eliminating positions



According to HR directors surveyed in the Midlands, talent shortages are abundant, with a net 93% indicating that it is very challenging (33%) or somewhat challenging (60%) to find skilled professional-level employees today. The primary reason for this challenge, according to 48% of HRDs, is a lack of niche technical experts available, followed by general demand outweighing supply (33%).

HR directors from the Midlands were asked, ‘Which of the following is the primary reason why it’s challenging to find skilled professionals today?’

  H2 2014
Lack of niche, technical experts 48%
General demand outweighs supply 33%
Slowed hiring during recession resulting in lack of candidates with the right skills 10%
Lack of commercial, business skills 10%


Estelle James, Director (Birmingham & Midlands), Robert Half UK said: “Hiring levels are returning to pre-recessionary levels, as many Midlands-based C-suite executives look to add more weight and support to their departments in order to grow their operations.  Businesses are no longer just replacing leavers but are now looking to substantially expand their teams. Resourcing is fundamental to an organisation’s success, with strong individuals driving business critical growth initiatives.

“Skills shortages across the Midlands are becoming a major issue, with this deficit putting businesses at increasing risk.  Our figures show that financial services and finance & accounting, in particular, are current and future growth areas, with professionals being highly sought after and commanding premium remuneration.”                                                                                    

- ENDS -

Notes to editors 

  1. The bi-annual study was developed by Robert Half UK and is conducted by an independent research firm.  The study is based on more than 40 interviews with senior executives from companies across the Midlands, and 500 in HR, finance and accounting and financial services across the UK,, with the results segmented by size, sector and geographic location.

About Robert Half

Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialised recruitment consultancy and member of the S&P 500. We have once again been named to FORTUNE’s “World’s Most Admired Companies®” list and remains the top-ranked staffing firm (February 2020). Founded in 1948, the company has over 300 offices worldwide providing temporary, interim and permanent recruitment solutions for accounting and finance, financial services, technology, legal and administrative professionals. Robert Half offers workplace and jobseeker resources at and