Executive contracts boost recovery hopes

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The Independent Online
COMPANIES continued to hire senior executives through the summer, offering further evidence of economic recovery, according to figures published today by MSL International, the recruitment consultancy.

The quarterly MSL Index, which has predicted the ups and downs of the British economy for more than 30 years, shows a slight increase over the same period of last year and is level with the figure for the second three months of this year. The 12-month running total, which irons out seasonal differences, is at 79 - 12 points up on the third quarter of last year but still well below the 1959 base figure of 100.

Ian Lloyd, managing director of MSL, said the findings were encouraging, since companies were traditionally less likely to take on new people in the summer.

'The latest index figures confirm the steady upturn in the demand for executives,' he said. 'We have now seen the index either increase or hold steady for seven consecutive quarters, which is an indication that British business is investing in senior people.'

The next quarter would be 'a crunch one', he added. But he predicted that companies were confident enough to continue recruiting because they realised that, if they were to make a difference in a highly competitive environment, they needed good people. Further job cuts and 'delayering' exercises would not ensure survival through the next five years.

The biggest increase was in the personnel sector. The rise of 24 per cent on the quarter and 23 per cent over the year could be attributed to the severe cuts experienced in the area during the recession.

With increasing orders leading to rises in the number of employees, companies were finding they could not cope with dramatically slimmed down personnel departments, Mr Lloyd said.

The rises in research development and design and marketing and sales posts were further sighns of increasing confidence.

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