“The new normal” – a phrase that got me thinking about how the recruitment industry has evolved throughout 2020, and what predictions we can draw for the future.
The recruitment market has changed beyond recognition since the COVID19 pandemic, and there are still notable differences in how businesses are hiring. Whilst The Niche Partnership recruits purely within the Accountancy and Finance field, I do not believe the trends that we’ve noticed here are exclusive to the Finance community.
In fact, I would say the trends I outline here are now commonplace within recruitment as a whole –
Trend number 1 – “Expectations have increased and processes have become lengthy”
It’s evident that the numbers of candidates looking for work are significant, and this inevitably leaves hiring managers with a wealth of applicants to choose from. Employers are overwhelmed with applications, and whilst it might sometimes sound like a good thing to have your “pick of the bunch”, this can be to the detriment of a recruitment process.
The outcome of this appears to be a rise in employers refining their search criteria and working to a very specific brief. Similarly, the sheer volume of interest in a vacancy is leading to extensive interviewing and therefore a drawn out, lengthy processes.
Yet, unicorns still do not exist (i.e. it’s not always possible to tick EVERY box) and it’s recommended to remain realistic and pragmatic in your hiring approach. Not only this, talented candidates are still being snapped up! I recently spoke with a very high calibre individual, who told me about a recent recruitment process they had been through. I was told the process was overly and unnecessarily complex, and as such they declined the subsequent offer!
Trend number 2 – “Work life balance and workplace benefits take center stage”
For many, 2020 has been a year of reflection. Individuals have taken stock and assessed what they want from their professional and personal lives. Some have been forced into looking for a new role due to redundancy, others have made a conscious choice to make a change. Either way though, it’s clear to me that work-life-balance, and the wider benefits package that a company offers, have become more important.
I recently recruited a role whereby my candidate declined an alternative offer elsewhere, which was paying significantly more than my client, simply because they wanted to work for a business that aligned closer with their personal morals and beliefs. Emotional drivers are more important now, than ever before.
Trend number 3 – “Money is still tight but job seekers must hold their own”
Clearly budgets are tight at this time, and we are seeing this reflected in some offers made by employers. Whilst it’s not widely the case, there are certainly instances of businesses offering lower salaries to applicants than perhaps they would have done before.
I personally suggest that job seekers consider this carefully. A “low ball” offer could be out of genuine cost restraints at this time, and if expectations were managed up front this should not necessarily be dismissed.
However it is important to consider the other side of this too – i.e. some employers may be pushing for a “bargain” or trying to “save money where they can”. This, is where a candidate must stand their ground. The market has taken a hit, it’s important to uphold the value of great finance professionals – we must be careful not to de-value the market at this time.
I’m sure these trends will change and evolve over the weeks and months ahead – that’s the thing about the 2020 recruitment market – it changes week by week. All bets are off and I for one am eager to see what new trends emerge as we head towards the end of the year and into 2021.
I’d love to hear from my network on what trends they have observed, and what trends are being predicted for next year.