Boom Or Bust For Recruitment

Boom Or Bust For RecruitmentIs It A Time Of Boom Or Bust For UK Recruitment Sector?

Since lockdown was announced in March 2020, there has been an ever growing number of staff being placed on furlough.   This equates to almost a quarter of all UK staff were on furlough.

There has been a big re-shuffle in staffing throughout 2020-21 as recently retired police officers and NHS staff came to help support the pandemic.  Romanian workers were flown in to support the fruit picking season.

The retail sector has also seen a shift, as many shops have closed with Wilko being a significant one in 2023.

Is this a time of boom or bust for recruitment agencies in the UK?

UK Recruitment Sector

The UK recruitment sector has always been competitive, even more so now that Indeed have taken point.

Pre 2020 the recruitment industry has been booming, with all sectors growing and more people in employment than ever before.

Recruitment companies in the UK tend to focus on specific industry sectors, such as healthcare, engineering, finance etc.

There are nearly 40,000 recruitment companies in the UK, and this is growing year on year.

Boom For Healthcare

The healthcare sector has seen significant attention as you would expect during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Many have been working from home where possible as a lot of routine operations and consultations have been postponed or on Zoom where possible.

Permanent jobs have been slow, but temporary jobs have seen a significant rise.

Care home staff have been in demand, as existing staff (such as carers, chefs, housekeeping staff etc.) may have to self isolate should they become infected.

As the population continues to grow, the government funding for healthcare is only set to climb, meaning there will continue to be an ongoing need of recruitment in the healthcare sector.

Bust For Hospitality

The hospitality sector has possibly been one of the other main sectors to be effected, at the polar opposite to healthcare.

Since almost all hospitality was closed during the various lockdowns, temporary and permanent jobs were pretty much non existent.  However as the UK started to open up over the May bank holiday, hospitality went back into a boom phase, as pubs and restaurants were suffering staff shortages.

Boom For Property

The property sector is booming in the UK at the moment, with the housing crisis pushing rental and selling costs ever higher.

New estate agents are popping up all around the UK and larger online estate agents like Purple bricks are using clever marketing and advertising campaigns to steal industry focus.

Bust For Pubs

We have seen our pubs closing for years as pubs are being converted into houses as people opt for drinking at home, and going to cheaper pub chains like Weatherspoon’s.

Most of our villages still have one or two pubs, but our towns and cities sadly are seeing many if their pubs having to close due to changing social behaviour.

Social Distancing During COVID

Much of the recruitment process over the past year has been done via telephone or Zoom, to keep the risks of infection to a minimum.

Social distancing for recruitment companies has given a chance for innovation.  Using video conferencing and technology more has given a chance to adapt whenever the pandemic subsides.  This should leave a more effective and efficient recruitment process.

Standing Out In Recruitment

The recruitment sector as we have reflected, has had a turbulent time throughout the past year.  Companies that have seen their client bases shrink (hospitality, acting, retail) placed staff on the government furlough scheme, others adapted and thrived.

Now the lockdowns are easing, marketing for recruitment companies is essential to stand out and thrive now there is a demand from employers to find good staff quickly.

Marketing For Recruitment

Most recruitment companies have a strong online presence, advertising on the main search engines.

Since most job hunters use the internet when looking for a job, the internet is the obvious place to be.

Social media advertising is also very popular, since people that are looking for jobs will use social media (not looking for a job), using both sponsored options and organic posting.

Many recruitment companies also use traditional forms of marketing to ensure that all job hunters are reached.

The Future Of Recruitment Post COVID

Like many areas of society, predicting the future post COVID is difficult, for a few reasons:

  • COVID is not going away, we must learn to live with it
  • Other diseases will come along
  • Working from home brings many benefits
  • Shopping habits have changed
  • Technology like Zoom make business meetings cheaper and easier

One thing that remains constant is the need for businesses to find good staff, suitable staff that have the right experience and qualifications.

There are benefits that the pandemic has brought the recruitment industry, indirectly of course.  A chance to pause and reflect like many sectors gives a time for the mind to become creative.

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