East of England professionals ‘less confident than their employers’, says recruitment group Hays

Hays has published its annual UK UK Salary and Recruiting Trends Guide for 2017.
Photo: VisMedia

Hays has published its annual UK UK Salary and Recruiting Trends Guide for 2017. Photo: VisMedia - Credit: VisMedia

Businesses in the East of England have maintained a bullish outlook following the UK's vote to leave the European Union but their employees are feeling less confident, research by recuitment group Hays shows.

Geoff Sims, director of Hays in the East of England.

Geoff Sims, director of Hays in the East of England. - Credit: Archant

More than one in nine firms in the region (93%) expect their level of business activity to remain the same or increase in the coming year, the 2017 Hays UK Salary & Recruiting Trends guide says.

But the report, involving research carried out before and after the vote for Brexit, found that the mood among employees is less positive.

More than half of the region's professionals (58%) plan to leave their job within the year, with more than two thirds (69%) seeing no scope for career progression within their current organisation – a figure which has risen from 52% before the EU referendum.

Although secondary to career prospects, pay is another concern for professionals in the region with more than half (55%) being unhappy with their current salary level.

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And this seems unlikely to improve, with the average increase in professional salaries the East of England running at 1.3% (below the national average of 1.8%), only 17% of employers planning to raise pay by more than 2.5% and 23% of firms not planning an increase at all.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, half of firms in the region (50%) are braced for 'unrealistic' salary expectations, above the national average of 42%, and nearly a quarter (22%) report a shortage of the talent necessary to achieve their business objectives.

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Geoff Sims, director at Hays in the East of England, said: 'We are pleased to see that, despite the overall market uncertainty, the majority of businesses in the East of England actually expect their activity to increase this year and the majority are also planning to recruit. However, employees are yet to feel the same confidence.'

He added: 'Our research this year shows that salary increases were below the UK average for professional roles in the East of England and employees are feeling uncertain about their current roles and opportunities.

'In the year ahead employers will need to provide clearer career paths in order to balance higher salary expectations and retain and attract employees as they navigate through prolonged Brexit negotiations and meet the demands of post-referendum business challenges.'

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