Latest Professional Hiring Index shows 56% projected increase in Yorkshire jobs

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

  • A net 97% of HR directors say it is either very or somewhat challenging to find skilled professionals today

Leeds, 7 August 2014 – Senior executives across the North of England plan to increase staff levels significantly over the next six months, according to the latest professional hiring index (‘the index’) from Robert Half UK.  Professionals throughout the North’s industries will experience strong job prospects - an increase of 56% according to c-suite professionals in human resources.

The increased hiring forecast represents a 22% increase from one year ago when over three in 10 (34%) executives indicated that they planned to create additional jobs within their companies. Showing increasing signs of post-recession confidence, over a third (35%) of 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.

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


H2 2014

H2 2013

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 North of England, talent shortages are abundant, with a net 97% indicating that it is very challenging (26%) or somewhat challenging (71%) to find skilled professional-level employees today. The primary reason for this challenge, according to 44% of HRDs, is slowed hiring during the recession resulting in a lack of candidates with the right skills, followed by general demand outweighing supply (24%).

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

  H2 2014*
Slowed hiring during recession resulting in lack of candidates with the right skills 44%
General demand outweighs supply 24%
Lack of niche, technical experts 21%
Lack of commercial, business skills 12%

*Survey does not equal 100 per cent due to rounding

Ed O’Connell, Executive Services Director (Leeds), Robert Half UK said: “Hiring levels in the North of England are returning to pre-recessionary levels, as many 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 Northern economy 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

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 HR directors from companies across the North of England, , 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