SMEs Positive About Creating New Jobs

Majority Of SMEs Are Intending To Increase Their Workforce This Year, According To The BCC

04.11.2014

Steven Beahan, Partner | +44 (0)114 294 7868

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the IT, mining, construction and energy industries are the most positive about job creation in the future, according to a new report.

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has released the results of a new business survey - which involved the questioning of nearly 3,000 firms in the country - that have formed the basis of a report entitled 'Workforce Survey, Contracts, Pay and Working Conditions'.

It was found that 61 per cent of small businesses and 60 per cent of medium-sized companies intended to increase their workforce over the coming 12 months. Some 74 per cent of IT-related firms, 71 per cent of those in the mining and energy sectors and 63 per cent of construction businesses plan to take on more staff this year.

In contrast to this, just 27 per cent of arts, sports and recreation firms were looking to add to their workforce over the next year.

What's more, 33 per cent of micro businesses increased their pay above inflation during the past 12 months, along with 38 per cent of SMEs.

The BCC also asked firms about their views of new employment regulations, finding that the majority believe these will have a negative impact on their company.

Despite this, 62 per cent already offer flexible working options to their staff, although 48 per cent of respondents stated they thought the new rules meaning all employees can request this would have an adverse effect on their firm.

In addition, responses showed 38 per cent offered remote working, but just 13 per cent had childcare provision available for their staff.

Director general of the BCC John Longworth commented: "These results show that businesses remain optimistic about both growth and pay prospects for their staff, despite the slowdown in the economic recovery that has been seen over recent months.

"Smaller businesses, particularly within the IT, energy and construction sectors are most confident about job growth, so it is crucial that those businesses are able to find talented workers with the right skills to meet that demand."

Expert Opinion
It is interesting to see how many small businesses in sectors as diverse as construction, energy and IT are looking to increase their workforce across the coming months, with such findings undoubtedly highlighting how confidence in the future remains high in those industries.

"Recruitment is a major part of business and getting the process right will ensure that those joining the firm not only have the skills and talent to drive an organisation forward, but will also be motivated and fully understand what is expected of them.

"Unlike larger businesses, SMEs often do not have the resource to fund in-house HR expertise and support, which is why it is vital for them to seek external advice to get their processes and systems off the ground. Legal advice is an absolute must, as employment lawyers can provide key points on regulation, working policies and staff engagement in general – as well as what can be done if relationships breakdown between an employer and a member of staff."
Steven Beahan, Partner