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Becky Nicholls, Peter Jones and Emma Briers of The HR Dept

Small businesses in Swindon looking to recruit as confidence returns – survey

More small businesses in Swindon are looking to recruit as confidence returns to UK, but employers need to embrace new flexible working rules, according to a survey by The HR Dept.

The found that 48 percent of SMEs are looking to recruit in the next six months, signalling further confidence from the UK’s small businesses that economic growth is being maintained.

Fifty six percent of the respondents expected to grow their workforce in the next six months – up from 49 percent in 2013.

Just 4.3 percent of firms anticipated making cuts to their workforce, according to the survey, while one key finding was the impact of demand for flexible working, following recent legislation entitling every employee that has been with a company for six months or more to request flexible working arrangements.

“We found that 43.5 percent of employers who have staff on flexible working arrangements were concerned about extending the option to more workers,” said Peter Jones of The HR Dept Swindon. 

“Only 8.7 percent of those with no staff on flexible working were concerned by the changes in the law.  More positively, 17.4 percent of employers felt it was fairer if all staff could apply for flexible working. 

“It is inevitable that these changes – which aren’t binding on employers to provide flexible working as long as there is a sound reason- will cause concern, but we are working hard with the companies that we advise to show how the changes can actually be beneficial if handled correctly.

“They allow companies to retain skilled, experienced staff who may simply want a change in their working hours- and with skills the main concern of all employers at the moment, this has to be a beneficial shift in emphasis.”

The survey also asked respondents how satisfied they were with the service received from The HR Dept Swindon, and the franchise scored well with a 9.22 out of 10 approval rating.

“We are delighted with the results from the client survey and will continue to work closely with our clients to improve satisfaction further over the coming year,” said Peter.