Positive signs for 2010

Laura HartleyWith statistics showing that unemployment continues to rise, it would lead you to believe that companies are still holding back, especially where recruitment is concerned.

However, in October we took an amazing 22 vacancies, which was our best month since April.

We are witnessing confidence in Lancashire beginning to grow. When we talk to our own clients and potential companies we hear positive changes.

We are seeing businesses relocating to the area, companies expanding, changing their strategy to survive and new businesses starting out.

Here are a few success stories that caught my attention in 2009:
• Concordia recently moved in to the area to work more closely with its sister Commtech Communications, creating employment when it did so.
• Sleepmasters, based in Huncoat, has recently expanded its operations into Ireland, both securing current employment and creating huge opportunities for job creation in the future.
• Daisy Communications continues to expand its team in Nelson. The company has grown by 100 employees in the last 12 months and a further 150 people will start new jobs there in January.
• Promethean has recently been successful in securing new distribution markets in Europe.

Locally we are seeing some positives to the employment market and it is great to hear companies relocating into the area creating more local jobs.

I find this all very encouraging, but at the same time it is important that employers recognise that there are opportunities out there that may be attractive to their workforce.

As employers, we need to ensure our staff are happy at work. This is the time of year that they start to get ‘itchy feet’. It’s not uncommon for New Year’s resolutions to include finding a new, better job.

We have interviewed 26 candidates over the last seven weeks and three quarters of them wanted to move jobs because they felt undervalued, saw no pay increase when taking on new responsibilities or had too much work as people that had left had not been replaced.

So whilst as business owners we should all allow ourselves time to reflect on how, as a region, we are continuing to generate positive headlines, it is important that at the same time we don’t lose sight of what saw us through the trickier times.

If your staff stuck by you during the lean periods make sure they know you appreciate it, otherwise I may soon be helping you find their replacement.

Laura Hartley, dierctor, Laura Hartley Recruitment.