What We Learned At The Recruitment Expo
We visited the Recruitment Expo at Olympia in February and noticed a few key indicators of how the year ahead will be for us. The recruitment industry is growing. We are experiencing that change, and whether you are a client with a role to fill or a candidate looking for the next job, that growth signals a change in practice.
Vacancies are at an all-time high, in both contract and permanent, UK recruitment revenues have risen to £26.5 billion, near to the pre-recession peak of £27 billion. Permanent salaries have risen continually for 6 years and this has been matched by a demand for temporary and contract staff. If clients want to stay ahead of the game then they need to follow these trends.
The contract market will see the most significant increase in 2014 due to the growing skills shortage in the UK and highly skilled candidates will be able to choose what capacity they work (contract, perm, fixed-term), where they want to work and how they want to work (work from home, flexible-time etc).
For clients, that flexibility will be one of the most important considerations when hiring. Being inflexible may lead to a struggle to meet the demands of your head count target, which will, in turn, affect overall business objectives.
Hiring is just the start. Retaining good staff will also be a challenge. The rise and growth of agency databases means that agencies will know who you have working for you, which employees are good and where else they can be placed.
The recruitment market has seen a shift in the last few years, becoming a more social industry. Being socially aware will become even more important, especially if clients prefer to let internal recruiters control filling roles. Unless you engage with an agency that ‘gets’ what it means to be social, you will not source the candidates, at least not the best candidates, to fill your jobs.
Finally, to serve as a warning to clients, there was, once, a day when you could be highly suspicious of someone who handed in their resignation without having another job to go to. This situation is definitely a thing of the past.
Good candidates are in demand, particularly .Net and Java Developers. We see it time and time again that if you put your CV on a job board and you fall into a highly skilled category you can expect to receive up to 30 agency calls within the first 24 hours, all of whom have more than one vacancy to fill. For candidates, offering their own flexibility in order to attend so many possible interviews (and getting ahead of the competition), a resignation letter is a small price to pay. Their next role will almost definitely be just around the corner.
It’s going to be a challenging, but exciting year ahead.