Tuesday, September 18, 2001

With many folk taking their annual breaks at this time of year, the August survey, BB39 looked at the impact on businesses of the holiday season and also enquired into two areas of recruitment - the ease of recruiting graduates and the significance of the age of recruits. Results are summarised here but for the complete analysis please visit results.

  • Amongst our respondents, over a fifth felt that the holiday season was highly disruptive to business. Just over a quarter found their businesses somewhat disrupted, but about one eighth experienced no disruption at all from the holiday season.

  • We last looked at difficulty in recruitment of graduates in August 2000. Since then the problems seem to have increased slightly - last year only 2% of respondents found their business highly constrained by problems of recruitment of graduates, whilst by August 2001 this has risen to over 5%. Also those finding their businesses somewhat constrained has risen as a percentage from 9% to 13%.

  • For older workers, finding a new job is said to be more difficult because of age. We asked if age was an important factor in recruitment and although 14% said it was (4% said highly important), 60% said it was not important or was not very important. 95% would consider applications from mature returners to the workforce and 68% would offer as much training to mature returners as to younger recruits. 40% would prefer or much prefer to recruit a skilled worker rather than to train up a cheaper new recruit from basics.

  • On the actual age profile of employees, a total of 82.5% of respondents said that less than a quarter of their employees were younger than 25.

  • The Core Questions responses showed the following results this month:

  • Constraint on businesses due to shortages of skills was little different from July, and the percentage of respondents not at all constrained decreased from 18% to 15%.

  • There was an easing back by 3% on businesses highly constrained by lack of finance in August, but the overall average was not much changed from July. Average constraint due to low market demand increased.

  • The growth profile in August did not differ from that in July by much more than 2% in any category and although a considerable percentage of businesses (40%) still expect to expand by up to or over 10% in the next quarter, the same as in July, a lower percentage (11%) than in July (18%) expect to decline by up to or more than 10%.

rick.eagles@nottingham.ac.uk / Tel: 0115 84 66860.