What’s happening to recruitment as lockdown eases; what it means for you; and what you should do about it.

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May 2021

Written by Adam Richardson (adam.richardson@arresourcing.com), Managing Director and Owner of AR Resourcing. Adam has over 20 years’ experience recruiting procurement and commercial professionals across the built environment industries.

As confidence in the UK’s path out of lockdown increases both the number of candidates looking for a new role and the number of roles available are picking up. My blog last month “Five resourcing trends for 2021” highlighted that the economic uncertainty and broader challenges of the pandemic had a) caused employers to delay hiring for roles; and b) resulted in candidates choosing the security of their existing jobs rather than risk a leap into the unknown. Consequently in all our sectors there is a bottleneck of roles and candidates. 

How quickly bottlenecks in each sector will ease depends on the speed with which confidence returns but even as the market becomes busier there will remain an oversupply of candidates relative to the number of roles available for a period. 

This doesn’t mean employers can afford to be complacent though. Stronger candidates will continue to receive multiple offers so addressing retention issues and running efficient recruitment processes will remain important when looking to build strong teams. 

Here are the actions candidates and clients should address as a priority in the current market.

Advice to candidates

Whether you are actively looking for a role or simply considering your options:

1. Review your USPs – the job market is going to be competitive for the foreseeable future so think about how your skills, attributes and, above all, achievements help you to stand apart from others. There will likely be a lot of good candidates looking for roles so make sure you can explain clearly and concisely what you offer your next employer.

2. Update & tailor your CV – tailoring your CV for each and every role you apply for dramatically increases your chances of success. This needn’t be time consuming – maintain a master CV that details your complete career history together with all your skills and achievements and then it is a quick job to tailor it for each application. 

When writing your CV consider that once an employer or recruitment consultant opens your CV the first twenty seconds are critical to securing their interest. As such your CV needs to be well structured, easy to read and with plenty of white space. A “less is more” approach often helps the most important information stand out.

3. Update your LinkedIn profile – the most important reason to update your LinkedIn profile is that it is the first place many in-house and consultancy recruiters search in order to find prospective employees – sometimes even before they search their in-house database of candidates! The filters LinkedIn allows recruiters to search on are comprehensive and the more complete your profile, the more likely you are to rank high in searches. Complete all those auto-populating fields about your skills, sectors etc and work on the headline and summary (in the “About” section) of your profile as these will help you stand out from other candidates when recruiters are skimming dozens of profiles. 

The other thing to keep in mind is that prospective employers may use your LinkedIn profile as part of their vetting process – for example, they may cross reference your profile with your CV to identify discrepancies; or use it to find mutual acquaintances who they can then contact for unofficial references.

4. Reconnect with your trusted recruiters – the job market has changed significantly over the last 18 months with both the volume of roles and salaries being affected. Rather than plunging head long into applications speak with two or three recruiters who can advise you on salaries, let you know who is hiring, review your CV to maximise your chances of getting interviews and help you pick out your strengths relative to other candidates. 

Advice to Employers

Employee management has taken a back seat over the past 24 months as management teams have been firefighting challenges including COVID and Brexit. Many employees will have itchy feet after a tough 18 months so now is the time to review recruitment and retention strategies.

1. Conduct a team review – to minimise the risk of losing good people review your existing team and their needs now and find ways to keep them motivated and committed. Assess who would benefit from some professional development and who merits a promotion or salary realignment and hopefully you will both keep key team members and notice an improvement in energy levels and productivity.

2. Review your employer value proposition (EVP) – your EVP is the reason people choose to work for you not your competitors… a combination of salary and benefits, professional development, team culture, job satisfaction and much more. It is equally important to retention and to recruitment. While every company’s EVP is unique, existing and prospective employees will instinctively benchmark yours against your competitors. Ask interviewees what they like and dislike about different companies they are considering and, if any of your staff resign, get their feelings about your EVP compared with that of their new employer and any other firms they interviewed at.

3. Reconnect with your trusted recruiters – as well as movement in salary bands, the last 12 months have driven unprecedented changes in working patterns, employee expectations and EVPs. Reputable recruiters will be looking across the industry so should be in a position to help you benchmark your offering and salary bands as well as helping you find good people as efficiently as possible. 

If you would like further details about any of the trends or would like to speak with us about how we can support you then please email me: adam.richardson@arresourcing.com or call 0330 174 6801.

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