More than half of UK SME’s expect to take on staff in the next year


Just over half of the SMEs surveyed by IPSOS expect to hire staff in the coming year, with the same proportion believing that permanent, skilled staff will benefit the growth of their firm more than agency or casual staff.

Of the businesses surveyed, 57 per cent expect turnover growth in the next 12 months, with more than a third expecting at least six per cent growth. SMEs in manufacturing were most optimistic, with 63 per cent expecting turnover growth of some kind, followed by those in consumer and retail.

Finding customers is the most pressing concern for all SMEs, while one in six SMEs say they are concerned by competition. Maintaining staff pay rises is a pressing issue for smaller SMEs, while labour and production costs are greater concerns for medium-sized enterprises.

Ian Stuart, HSBC UK Head of Commercial Banking which commissioned the survey, said: “This survey shows that small and medium-sized businesses across Britain are not only positive about growth, they want to hire full-time staff to help them grow. Hiring and training skilled staff takes investment – which is why HSBC has committed £8 billion to lend to SMEs this year and why we are running more than 300 ‘Strategies for Growth’ workshops to help businesses realise their ambitions.”

Leicester-based Truck Doctor, which performs commercial vehicle and trailer safety checks, recently received a loan worth £135,000 from HSBC’s national SME fund. The loan allowed the small business, which started-up with HSBC in 2010, to start offering two new additional services to customers – brake testing and play detectors, which immediately impacted their business. Truck Doctor has now recruited two, new full-time staff members to keep up with their growing customer base.