The news here in the UK typically focuses on big firms that have lots of employees, huge sales, and ambitious expansion plans. That’s if they have any expansion plans at all. Often, however, lost in the noise (okay, let’s call it the news) are the activities, aspirations, and goals of small firms across the UK. Many of these SMEs (small and medium businesses) are, in fact, the lifeblood of the UK economy. Some of the latest surveys and reports indicate that it is, in fact, the smaller, nimbler, and more aggressive firms that will help us reduce unemployment far more effectively than the big firms.
Leading the Way
According to one survey, over 50% of the SMEs interviewed indicated that they planned on recruiting more workers, either full-time or part-time, in 2014. Overall, this compares quite favourably with the 37% of bigger companies which indicated that they planned on hiring more workers. The results are even more dramatic if one considers the main economic hubs in the UK, such as London and the rest of the South East. In these areas, over 40% of the SMEs indicated that they would increase their personnel, which compares quite well with the 20% indicated by larger companies. I stopped for a moment to think about that statistic and what it implies. My takeaway is that smaller firms can outmanoeuvre the competition, be it at the local or international level, and find opportunities faster and more efficiently than larger firms, which are typically burdened with layers of bureaucracy.
Give a Little, Take a Little
One of the reasons why companies are hiring at all is the fact that the Bank of England is still charging record-low interest rates, allowing companies to expand without taking on too much debt. That’s the good news. What is also somewhat of a moot point is if all of these new hires that SMEs and bigger firms are planning on making are going to be full-time or part-time workers. Apart from that, what kind of wages are they planning on offering? The potential dark cloud over all of this good news is the fact that the Bank of England has stated that it might very well start raising interest rates once unemployment reaches 7%. The last indications are that it is at 7.4%, dangerously close to this tipping point. If the Bank of England were to actually raise interest rates at that point, it could, in fact, slow down the recovery. Currently, they are sending out mixed signals, so we’re really not sure what they are going to do. However, it’s one important benchmark that is worth keeping your eye on.
Getting Your Piece of the Pie
If you own or run a recruitment agency, all of this good news about improved employment prospects probably sounds like music to your ears. However, you know better than anyone that running a recruitment agency can be challenging. Sometimes, you need a recruitment finance service just to keep your doors open. The good news is that there is a company called Cashsimply that can provide you with the funds necessary to keep going and take full advantage of all of the opportunities which the improved UK economy presents.
Image attributed to: Freedigitalphotos.net stockimages