Welcome to December,
Well here we are, December. This year has certainly raced past. From a business point of view a lot has happened in 2016 that will shape our economic landscape.
At the end of November, the Government delivered their Autumn Statement. There were quite a few changes that will impact businesses. A snapshot of these are:
The state of the economy
- Forecast growth of 1.7% in 2018, 2.1% in 2019 and 2020 and 2% in 2021
- Income tax threshold to be raised to £11,500 in April, from £11,000 now
- Higher rate income tax threshold to rise to £50,000 by the end of the Parliament
- Tax savings on salary sacrifice and benefits in kind to be stopped, with exceptions for ultra-low emission cars, pensions, childcare and cycling
- National Living Wage to rise from £7.20 an hour to £7.50 from April next year
- Employee and employer National Insurance thresholds to be equalised at £157 per week from April 2017
- Insurance premium tax to rise from 10% to 12% next June
- Doubling UK Export Finance capacity
- £400m into venture capital funds through the British Business Bank to unlock £1bn in finance for growing firms
So, the outlook is good for 2017/18 for most of us and we will wait to hear more about the decisions and plans for Brexit, as they unfold.
UK jobs market
Also in November, someone who I follow closely, Chief Executive of the REC, Kevin Green, made a formal comment on the UK jobs market:
“Despite ongoing uncertainty, the UK jobs market is thriving again in most areas of the UK. Job vacancies are back to levels not seen since April, and for the third consecutive month recruiters have reported an increase in the amount of people finding permanent jobs.”
“… Candidate availability has been falling for three and a half years. There are more vacancies than there are people to fill them in many sectors. We need immigration policies that reflect immediate labour market needs. Imposing new restrictions on people coming from abroad to fill vacancies will impact businesses’ ability to meet demand.”
“We need Britain to remain open for business. We can’t afford to see businesses relocate overseas, taking jobs with them and leaving us poorer as a nation.”
It’s a mixed bag on the general jobs market front. The fact that businesses are looking to recruit is a sign that businesses are thriving, which is great news for everyone. However, the number of available candidates is not meeting demand.
It is more important than ever to have a great recruitment strategy and agency partners to support your efforts and hunt out the best talent.
Gearing up for 2017
As we all start gearing up for 2017, it is easy to put your recruitment plans on the back burner until we get into January. But bearing in mind the words of Kevin Green, talking about the lack of candidates. The best way to boost your candidate attraction will be to hit the ground running in 2017 and capitalise on the New Year boost in job seekers.
My advice would be to get your job descriptions and budgets signed off now, so that you can get your jobs promoted as early as possible in January.
Whilst people have more ‘down time’ over the festive period, this is when they start to revaluate where they think they are in life against where they’d like to be. There is always a boost of CV’s being sent in to us, houses being put on the market and gym membership being taken out as people get into ‘New Year, new me’ mode. Your business can make the most of this opportunity.
Here are some of our recent blog posts that help you get ready for January:
And if you’re making job offers at the moment:
Happy Christmas and thank you
So, that’s it, 2016 is nearly in the bag. Thank you all so much for your support over the last 12 months and for reading my blog posts. When I first started writing these posts it was a real effort for me as this isn’t my natural skill set. However, I really enjoy writing them now and I appreciate every single one of you who takes the time to read them.
All I have to say now is that I hope you have a relaxing, refreshing and fabulous festive period, may it be full of fun, good fortune and family.
See you in 2017