Despite uncertainty, 82% of companies in Portugal will recruit in 2023

  • ECO News
  • 6 December 2022

82% of employers intend to hire in the coming year, a figure in line with those seen in growth years. But already fewer professionals are interested in changing jobs.

With the current war scenario in Europe, the energy crisis and inflation, about half of the employers admit feeling little or no optimism about the global economic climate and the job opportunities it may generate in the next two to five years. However, 26% of Portuguese employers opt for a feeling, and 25% even show optimism. Concerning recruitment forecasts for 2023, despite the unstable economic outlook, there are still no powerful signs of slowing down: 82% of employers intend to hire next year. But, fewer and fewer professionals are willing to change jobs, reveals Hays’ annual report.

“Despite the challenges that the world is experiencing at the closing date of this edition – the war in Ukraine, a potential energy crisis, and the already much-discussed difficulties in the production and distribution chain – Portuguese companies want to continue strengthening their structures very similarly to 2022. A clear sign that, after a pandemic crisis, very little scares us or surprises us anymore,” Paula Baptista, managing director of Hays Portugal, comments, quoted in the report.

“We will, however, have to know how to navigate a labour market in full transformation, where fewer and fewer qualified professionals show interest in changing jobs,” she warns.

The “overwhelming majority” – of the 800 companies that took part in the consultancy study – expect to recruit next year: 82%. The figure is in line with those seen in growth years such as 2018, 2019 and 2020 but is a slight drop of two percentage points from the record figure seen in 2022, the year of recovery in recruitment after the initial uncertainty of the pandemic.

81% of employers who say they will hire in 2023 intend to take on permanent employees, while 17% are expected to hire temporary employees. Only 7% will opt for freelancers and contractors. However, these hiring plans may prove challenging for businesses in Portugal.

“In a market that has historically shown a global shortage of qualified talent, 2023 should present itself as another year of decline in the interest of professionals in changing jobs. Although 70% of professionals show a willingness to change, this figure represents a drop of four percentage points compared to the previous year and follows a downward curve that began in 2022. It is necessary to go back to 2019 to find a percentage as low as the one pointed out for 2023,” can be read in the report.

IT, engineering, sales and administrative profiles in demand

Regarding the profiles most sought after by employers in 2023, Hays highlights IT profiles (with 30% of employers), engineers (28%), sales (26%) and administrative/support (17%).

While the first three registered a slight drop in recruitment intentions compared to the previous year, the administrative and support profiles increased this year to the fourth position of the table, surpassing the marketing and communication profiles (these, with a drop of three percentage points). Also, the financial, logistics/supply chain and customer support profiles are slightly up on last year.

“The fact that companies with shared services centres in Portugal show much higher recruitment intentions than the others (89% vs 79%), may help explain this increase in interest for administrative, financial and customer support profiles,” considers the consultancy in the document.

The most sought-after engineering areas will include mechanical engineering, industrial engineering and management, electrical engineering, civil engineering and industrial and quality engineering. This year, environmental engineering has also entered the top 10 of the table of employers’ preferences, almost doubling the previous year’s figures.