After a year in which the only thing we were sure of was uncertainty, it feels like there is a real sense of optimism in the air. Lockdown is easing and, despite the fears about an ongoing job crisis, the market is thriving. We are certainly seeing a real upturn in the number of positions available. The financial recruitment space isn’t alone in this surge, though, and it would seem that permanent positions are at record highs across most sectors. I cannot tell you how happy it makes me to be able to announce something like that at the beginning of this article. When you consider that just a few weeks ago, we were back in lockdown, the current jobs boom is a dramatic change of position. Long may it continue.
The high streets are back open, post-Covid working practices are now embedded, and the economy is expected to grow at the fastest rate in decades. That means a need for workers in all sectors, including finance. According to economic forecast gurus, the EY Item Club, the UK GDP is expected to now grow at 6.8% in 2021. That is a quite astonishing figure in any circumstances, and, as you would expect, that kind of growth is foreshadowed by a rise in permanent positions. As always, though, there are some secondary considerations to bear in mind. Finding the right people for these new jobs may not be as easy as it would initially seem. National trends do not necessarily reflect local conditions and are more a broad stroke overview than a compass for specific sectors. In short, this is the best news we could have hoped for, but we now need to consider the practicalities.
Does more candidates nationally mean easier placements?
As expected, the fallout from the last year is going to produce an increase in available candidates as redundancies and closures impact the recruitment market. If you are looking for new members of your workforce, this should mean, on the surface at least, that there will be a wider pool of candidates to choose from. Unfortunately, though, this may not always be the case. With so many people actively seeking work, it is easy to be lulled into a false sense of security about the number of appropriate applicants. It is a mistake, though, to think that expanding your team will be a simple matter of posting a job and waiting for the applicants to come along. This may be true in the wider sense, but in finance, it is not proving to be the case.
When you are looking for candidates in finance positions, there is one big factor that you must always account for. We are looking for people in a skills-driven area. Practically every position that has a finance element requires formal training, specialist skills, experience or all of these things. This need for skills immediately reduces that pool of potential candidates. However, this has always been the case, so in fairness, it can only be part of the reason a traditional job post is not likely to be effective right now.
The secondary issue is one that we are hearing from candidates and clients alike. Candidates are cautious of moving. It is a fully understandable result of a turbulent year of lockdowns, home working and changing employment circumstances that people are simply less positive about change. In short, people want the stability of staying where they are, so they are less likely to apply for a job speculatively.
How do you reach appropriate candidates?
The situation is that there may well be more new candidates appearing on the books overall, but in the finance sector, this is not having the same impact as it is in other areas that require a lower skill set. The candidates you want, the ones with the skills and experience, are actually less likely to move at the moment. This, coupled with the lower volume of skilled financial candidates released on to the market post-covid, means that we need to work hard to find the right people because the hesitation and caution over instability is effectively dissuading speculative applications.
So, does this mean you are unlikely to fill your vacant post? No, but you will likely need help. What we are seeing right now is that the boom in vacancies is certainly there, but the candidates are turning to the recruitment agents they trust to make the decision to apply.
With over 20 years of experience in recruitment and a deep pool of candidates that know us and trust our advice and guidance, we are in a unique position to ensure that wave of new vacancies is presented to the right people. The current feedback we are getting from clients and candidates is that filling skilled vacancies requires a good recruitment partner more than ever. To take advantage of the expected growth in the economy, you will need to right people, and we have the resources to find them for you.
The bottom line is that a job post and sitting waiting for applicants is simply not going to cut the mustard at the moment, but a direct approach to candidates from a trusted recruiter, on the other hand, certainly is getting results right now.
Call us to discuss your vacancies.