Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

Smart recruiters preparing to weather the storm

Recruiters are a resilient bunch.

Recruiters are swapping sectors in a heartbeat, automating the admin with recruitment CRM software, and cutting costs back to the bone – something they thought they’d already done, but with more uncertainty comes a new level of enthusiasm.

More honest conversations

They’re also doing more of what works, like maximising call volumes to those they do have relationships with. Thanks to Covid, recruiters also now know more about their customers. The calls have transformed from just regular chats about jobs/opportunities to also include chats about working from home and family concerns. Recruiters are now better at getting and staying close to candidates/clients.

Bridging the gap and allowing for more meaningful conversations helps to build sustainable relationships. And recruitment is all about people.

Truth be told, I know more about my customers now than I ever did – and smart recruiters are calling me far more than they ever did, if only to see how I am and how our business is performing.

This closer and more personal, dare I say honest, recruitment means they’re more willing to ask for understanding when it comes to conversations about rates and the smartest recruiters are asking for retainers – even for perm roles.

Why wouldn’t I pay £500 a month to a sales/account management recruiter that knows my super-niche sector inside out in return for a low perm fee on roles??

Current market challenges

It’s going to be tough in the years ahead for recruiters. We’re all aware of what’s going on out in the world and how that’s affecting us.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has been followed by international sanctions imposed to stop the war. The supply disruptions have been felt sharply, particularly with the crippling rise of energy costs. According to World Bank, the Europe and Central Asia region will receive the full force of the economic dishevel with the economy expected to decline by 4.1% this year.

Additionally, China’s Zero Covid policy also prompts concerns about the economy and global supply chains due to the sharp fall in exports from China in April.

But not all doom and gloom

UK employers are keen on recruiting new staff so the hiring outlook is positive. According to Monster’s annual Future of Work survey, the new jobs will be divided between new roles (43%) and replacing staff (47%).

Certain sectors such as healthcare, tech and retail have a high demand for staff.

And whilst labour shortages have been a huge concern, the government has understood the need to address the escalating talent gap. The number of Skilled Worker visas for EU workers increased in 2021 due to more relaxed visa requirements. By the end of 2021, the healthcare sector alone saw 29,128 Skilled Visas granted to EU workers.

With recent adjustments to UK immigration rules, we can expect these changes to facilitate easier routes for top international talent to come to the UK as well as for businesses to sponsor skilled candidates from abroad.

I’m also aware that staff in technical, finance, account management and salespeople roles are moving for huge pay increases as wage inflation outpaces the organisation’s ability to sustain it.

Looking ahead

The recruiters I talk to are taking this moment to make smarter business decisions – investing in the right people and the right recruitment tools. Many are already spotting opportunities and strategizing so that they are ready to execute the best business plan.

People are key to any business. Companies will hire experienced recruiters with deep knowledge of their sector to find the best talent for the role. And without a doubt, recruiters need the technology to help deliver their client’s expectations. Whether it is to reduce admin work or keep up with evolving compliance checks, smart recruiters use recruitment software to get more done with less effort.

Don’t sit back and wait for things to pick up.

Ready to book a demo with us today?


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Paul Thompson is Sales and Marketing Director at Ikiru People. Having worked in recruitment and technology for over 25 years, Paul and his team have helped deliver solutions to recruiters that allow them to work faster, smarter and with less pain. Paul prides himself in offering the best service and advice during the sales process and is the driving force that has taken Ikiru People to its current position as a leading industry supplier, offering an extended range of support and consultancy services that help recruiting teams stay ahead of the competition. Paul lives with his wife and two children in Berkshire.