Contractors working through umbrella companies could be the beneficiaries of an international growth in hiring activity, a new study suggests.

The latest snapshot of employment markets around the world from the global executive recruitment outfit Antal International shows a slight but detectable rise in hiring activity on figures recorded in February, when the last survey was conducted.  Although 17 per cent of respondents reported reduced headcounts, 52 per cent of those polled in June said that they had recruited additional staff at professional and managerial levels (in February, the figure was 50 per cent).  Moreover, the same proportion (52 per cent) plans to recruit further during the next quarter, which will bring a little cheer to PAYE umbrella contractors on the hunt for new placements.

Commenting on the survey, Antal’s Chief Executive Tony Goodwin said that the figures suggest the return of some degree of stabilisation to the global market.  The trend fits almost exactly with predictions made in February, Goodwin noted, although businesses from the Asia-Pacific region looked for more staff in the latest poll than the Americas, which had recruited more actively in February.

The figures are in line with a new UK-based survey.  The majority of sectors saw increased demand over the last quarter, according to the Reed Jobs Index for June.  Contractors working in engineering, professional services, general insurance and industrial areas are likely to have been especially busy, as demand for these skills reached their highest point since the Reed Index began.  Salaries, however, are not keeping pace with the availability of new jobs – the Reed Salary Index marked a two per cent drop over the last two months.

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