Recruitment in 2011 will see early caution from many employers, which will give way to steady growth as the economic recovery strengthens, according the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC).

Following the publication of their latest JobsOutlook report, the industry body said their research showed that the recruitment process is likely to prove particularly healthy for both employers and candidates seeking temporary work.

The REC’s director of research, Roger Tweedy, said that 21 per cent of the 600 companies they surveyed for the report would be increasing their staff numbers during the year. Just five per cent of the companies predicted that they would be cutting staff numbers, while 74 per cent said their numbers would be remaining the same.

Regarding companies’ agency workforces, nearly one in five companies said they would increase their temporary staff within the next three months – doubling the proportion that reported the same action last year.

Mr Tweedy said temporary work would evidently be a crucial route back into employment for many people.

“Though the labour market does show signs of stabilising, the first three months of this year could see a few jitters which is why the majority of employers are planning to keep their permanent workforce static,” he explained. Mr Tweedy added that reports from recruitment agencies confirmed the REC’s belief that the jobs market was regaining a valuable fluidity.

Industry expert, Geoff Newman who is chief executive of online recruiter Recruitment Genius believes however the temporary labour market is going to be in for turbulent times.

“From November 2011 the Agency Worker Directive (AWD) will give temporary workers the same benefits and salary entitlement as their permanent counterparts after a short qualification period. Combined with uncertainty about who the ‘legal’ employer of the temporary worker is, I predicted that recruiting temporary workers will become less attractive. This is once again a piece of legislation that harms the very people it is designed to protect” said Mr Newman.

Become a Recruitment Genius

As featured in