Productivity vs. Recruitment: Where do priorities lie in 2014?

A recent survey from a UK-based HR association has raised an interesting discussion point for the year ahead.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development's (CIPD) latest Labour Market Outlook revealed that employers are likely to boost their recruitment efforts, at least in the short term, in light of a recovering economy.

While this may translate into positive news for recruitment agencies and job seekers alike, the CIPD does not expect this trend to hold out for too long – it predicts a shift in priorities in the longer-term future will lead to a downturn in recruitment.

Specifically, just under a quarter (23 per cent) of employers who responded to the survey believed that as the economy continues to brighten, their current employees will become more productive – thus eliminating the need to take on additional staff.

The CIPD's Labour Market Adviser Gerwyn Davies offered some insight into this trend.

"With many employers retaining knowledge and skills during the last few tough years while also restructuring and recruiting for the future, they seem confident that they will be able to deliver their business objectives without needing to dramatically increase staffing over the medium term," he said in a November 11 statement.

"Instead, many employers tell us they are focused on the need to raise productivity.  The prospect of better economic conditions might therefore persuade them to invest more in the business and make more intensive use of existing staff, for example, by increasing working hours."

As the economy looks likely to pick up, does the answer to tapping into new opportunities lie in taking on new staff to meet demand or focusing on increasing the productivity of your current ones?

Whatever the answer is, make sure your recruitment agency makes use of the latest productivity solutions to enhance its results as well as those of its candidates and clients. Investing in recruitment software can be a good way to make sure you can match the right talent to the right employers.

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