Marketers’ optimism for new hires hits lows not seen since direct aftermath of Brexit

Only 28.5% of marketers expect to hire new staff over the next three months, according to the latest IPA Bellwether report.

Marketers’ hunger for making new hires has decreased, according to the IPA’s quarterly Bellwether report.

Back in July, 33% of marketers said they expected growth, while 15% anticipated a fall, when asked if they expected to make new hires over the next three months. That meant a net balance of 18.2% of companies expecting to see employment rise, up from 14.4% in the preceding quarter and the highest figure since the data started being collected for Marketing Week 15 months ago.

However, this month this hunger for new hires has fallen, suggesting this former rise wasn’t representative of any long-term trend. A lesser 28.5% of marketers said they expected growth, while 13% said they expected a fall when asked about the plans for new hires over the next three months. This created a net balance of 15.5% of companies expecting to see employment rise in the final quarter of 2017.

Although the proportion of marketers looking to make new hires outweighs those that aren’t, these third quarter 2017 employment figures are disappointing given they are lower than Q3 2016, a period where the Brexit outcome was confirmed.

Speaking to Marketing Week, IHS Markit’s senior economist and the report’s author Paul Smith believes pessimism around financial prospects has “seeped into employment prospects”.

He explains: “Companies remained pessimistic about the financial prospects for their industries for a seventh successive quarter, whilst confidence about their own company finances was historically low.

Source: IPA Bellwether

“This has seeped into employment prospects. Whilst panellists expect to increase staffing levels on average, our exclusive research for Marketing Week monitoring company recruitment plans over the coming three months shows a reduction in confidence compared to Q2 2017 and, interestingly, below that recorded during the quarter immediately following the surprising EU referendum result in June 2016.”

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