UK Hiring Confidence Hits Two-Year High as Applications Rise and Hiring Times Decrease

More businesses leverage AI to speed up and streamline recruitment processes, with many planning to hire for AI-intensive roles.

1 min read

Key Takeaways:

  • UK hiring confidence reaches highest level since 2021, with 57% of businesses optimistic about recruitment.
  • Average time to hire drops to 5.8 weeks in Q2 2023, down from 6.4 weeks in Q1 2023.
  • Over one in ten businesses use AI to streamline recruitment, and a third plan to hire for AI-centric roles in the next quarter.

Growing Optimism and Reduced Time to Hire Boost UK’s Recruitment Landscape

New research indicates that hiring confidence among UK employers has reached a two-year high, spurred by a surge in applications and reduced hiring times.

The latest Totaljobs Hiring Trends Index, surveying 1,005 HR Decision Makers, reveals an 8% increase in hiring confidence leading into Q3. Confidence now stands at 57%, the highest level since 2021. Industries exhibiting the most optimism about recruiting the right people for Q3 2023 include IT and telecoms, media/marketing/advertising/PR and sales, construction, and finance and accounting.

Notably, the average hiring time dropped to 5.8 weeks in Q2 2023, down from 6.4 weeks in the preceding quarter.

Inflation Fuels Candidate Movement

The rise in candidate activity and subsequent employer confidence is attributed to several factors, including a modest cooling in the labour market and candidates’ increasing demands for higher salaries due to the rising cost of living.

While unemployment rates remain near a record low, Totaljobs’ research earlier this year showed that 37% of UK workers were considering job changes due to cost of living increases.

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AI: A Key Player in Recruitment

A notable trend identified in the Hiring Trends Index is the growing integration of AI in recruitment processes. Two in five businesses are leveraging AI to streamline operations and speed up hiring.

Over one in ten businesses use AI to refine job descriptions, remove biased language, and efficiently screen CVs and job applications. Furthermore, a fifth of businesses plan to educate staff on AI usage to improve productivity, and 33% of businesses are considering creating and hiring roles heavily reliant on AI in the next three months.

Julius Probst, European labour market Economist at Totaljobs, emphasized the importance of businesses embracing AI and other innovative solutions to stay competitive, streamline processes, and secure needed talent amid a changing job market and the increasing battle for talent.

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