Only two in five HR managers use job centres to recruit staff, according to a new survey.

The survey of 515 HR managers found that over 51 per cent of businesses were currently hiring but only a minority used the free advertising and recruitment services offered by Jobcentre Plus, the government-funded agency that matches unemployed people with job vacancies and training opportunities.

Yet employers who take on those who have been out of work for six months or more through the service are eligible for a £1,000 recruitment subsidy, which was introduced by the government earlier this year to address rising levels of unemployment. Under the same scheme employers can also access up to £1,500 worth of funding for in-house training.

Ruth Owen, chief operating officer at Jobcentre Plus, said UK businesses could save £800 million a month by using the free services. “Jobcentre Plus can help businesses where it matters most – the bottom line,” she added.
According to the CIPD it costs, on average, £6,125 to recruit a new member of staff.

David Garland, HR manager for furniture stores The Range, said they recently used Jobcentre Plus to hire 45 new staff. The recruits were initially given work trials in order to ensure a good match and all of them were then offered jobs. Garland estimated the company saved £90,000 in recruitment fees. It was also given £18,000 under the recruitment subsidy scheme.