IT firms plan bigger staff cuts than other sectors

Antony Savvas

Technology and media firms plan to make more substantial staffing cuts than companies in other sectors.

Recruitment firm Randstad commissioned Ipsos MORI to interview 355 HR directors at companies employing more than 100 staff.

According to HR directors from technology and media firms, 64% plan to reduce headcounts in the next few months versus the UK average of 46%.

And 40% said they planned to make cuts in IT staff versus the UK average of 26%.

In addition, 79% of technology and media HR directors said they were likely to curtail expenses versus the UK average of 59%, and 54% said they were likely to increase employees' workload before recruiting new staff, versus the UK average of 47%.

On top of this, 62% said they were likely to cut bonuses versus the UK average of 43%, and 36% said they were likely to freeze pay versus the UK average of 21%.

They also expected to make more use of temporary staff and spend less on training.

Despite the cutbacks, 62% said their organisation had skills shortages.

Fred van der Tang, managing director at Randstad UK Professional Services, said, "Whilst our research shows that headcount reductions are likely to be significant in the coming months, it indicates that many organisations believe they will still be short of key skills to cope with the recession.

"Cutting back too heavily was a mistake made by many employers during previous downturns, leaving them poorly prepared for the upturn."

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