• A net 93% of HR directors in Scotland say it is either very or somewhat challenging to find skilled professionals today

Edinburgh, 7 August 2014 – Senior executives across Scottish businesses plan to increase staff levels significantly over the next six months, according to the latest professional hiring index (‘the index’) from Robert Half UK.  Professionals throughout Scotland’s industries will experience strong job prospects - an increase of 48% according to c-suite professionals in HR - as the UK economy breaks clear of the recession.

The increased hiring forecast represents a 14% increase from one year ago when over one third (34%) of executives indicated that they planned to create additional jobs within their companies. Showing increasing signs of post-recession confidence, 45% of executives say that they plan to maintain employee levels, with many who had previously only filled vacated positions now expanding their teams and adding new roles.

Scottish HR directors were asked, ‘What are your company's hiring plans for permanent professional-level employees? Would you say you are.’


H2 2014*

H2 2013

Expanding – Adding new positions



Maintaining – Only filling vacated positions



Freezing – Not filling vacated positions and not creating new ones



*Survey doesn’t equal 100 per cent due to rounding

According to HR directors surveyed in Scotland, talent shortages are abundant, with a net 93% indicating that it is very challenging (35%) or somewhat challenging (58%) to find skilled professional-level employees today. The primary reason for this challenge, according to 43% of HR directors in Scotland, is a lack of niche technical expert’s available, followed by a general demand outweighing supply (28%) and slowed hiring during the recession resulting in a lack of candidates with the right skills (18%).

Scottish HR directors were also asked, ‘Which of the following is the primary reason why it’s challenging to find skilled finance professionals today?’


H2 2014*

Lack of niche, technical experts


General demand outweighs supply


Slowed hiring during the recession resulting in a lack of candidates with the right skills


Lack of commercial, business skills


*Survey doesn’t equal 100 per cent due to rounding

Kris Flanagan, Associate Director (Scotland), Robert Half UK said: “Hiring levels in Scotland are returning to pre-recessionary levels, as many c-suite executives look to add more weight and support to their departments in order to grow their operations.  Businesses are no longer just replacing leavers but are now looking to substantially expand their teams. Resourcing is fundamental to an organisation’s success, with strong individuals driving business critical growth initiatives.

“Skills shortages across the Scottish economy are becoming a major issue, with this deficit putting businesses at increasing risk.  Our figures show that financial services and finance & accounting, in particular, are current and future growth areas, with professionals being highly sought after and commanding premium remuneration.”

- ENDS -

Notes to editors

  • The bi-annual study was developed by Robert Half UK and is conducted by an independent research firm.  The study is based on more than 40 interviews with senior executives from companies across Scotland, and 500 in HR, finance and accounting and financial services across the UK, with the results segmented by size, sector and geographic location.

    About Robert Half

    Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialised recruitment consultancy and member of the S&P 500. We have once again been named to FORTUNE’s “World’s Most Admired Companies®” list and remains the top-ranked staffing firm (2022). Founded in 1948, the company has over 300 offices worldwide providing temporary, interim and permanent recruitment solutions for accounting and finance, financial services, technology, legal and administrative professionals. Robert Half offers workplace and jobseeker resources at roberthalf.co.uk and twitter.com/roberthalfuk.