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Business confidence and Legal Recruitment

A recent article in Recruitment Grapevine highlighted a recent survey undertaken by Everline, a digital lender for small businesses.

According to the survey, which featured responses from 500 business owners, almost half (46%) of all small businesses are not hiring any new employees at present.

The survey showed that marketing professionals were the most sought after amongst small business owners (16%), web developers closely followed with 12% of votes and social media experts came in third with 7 per cent. Traditional roles such as secretary, sales director and accountant made it onto the wish-list of just one in five respondents (18%).

Russell Gould, Managing Director at Everline, commented: “The fact that so many small business owners aren’t making hires could suggest some nervousness over adding to their permanent headcount so it’s worth considering temporary or freelance support.”

Comment from BCL Legal:

In the world of in-house legal, the story doesn’t appear to be so bleak. Many of BCL Legal’s commerce and industry clients have been actively recruiting additional lawyers this year and generally sentiment is positive. However, it should be noted that since the summer holidays the type of lawyer being recruited has changed.

Before summer every UK region was buoyant and many clients were seeking permanent hires to grow existing legal teams, recruiting both commercial lawyers and specialist lawyers – property, compliance, litigation, employment etc.

Since September the markets in the North-West and South-East appear to have slowed slightly. There are less permanent roles available and many more clients are looking at short-term interim support for two, three or six months. The Midlands and North-East have proved more resilient, with clients continuing to add permanent hires to their teams, however we can only assume these will begin to echo the other regions.

Recent world events – the economy and stock-market falls, terrorism, Russia/Ukraine, the price of oil, and Ebola – have clearly created some uncertainty amongst business leaders. Combined with negative business news, such as Tesco’s falling revenue and accounting black hole; Monarch Group’s redundancies and pay cuts; and Lloyds Banking Groups proposed 9,000 redundancies, it is perhaps unsurprising that some confidence has been lost.

Loss of confidence is quite clearly in evidence when we consider the number of IPOs that are being cancelled. Following a wave of high profile IPOs by The AA, TSB, Royal Mail and Saga, we now see that British Car Auctions (BCA), Virgin Money, Miller Homes and Aldermore Bank have all postponed floatation plans. The reason given by BCA Group is “volatility in global equity markets.”

Although it is not doom and gloom out there, the recent world events have definitely had an impact and we are already seeing an increase in the number of temporary and contract roles. That being said, not all companies are created equal and there are still plenty of permanent in-house legal opportunities to be had.

If you are an employer looking to recruit permanent or interim legal support, or if you are a lawyer looking for in-house legal work, BCL Legal can help.

For more information please contact Craig Wilson or visit our website BCL Legal.

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