Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

Recruiters preparing for 2010 lift-off

Whilst UK recruiters cannot wait to see the back of 2009 the outlook for next year looks altogether more favourable, according to industry thought-leaders

Whilst UK recruiters cannot wait to see the back of 2009 the outlook for next year looks altogether more favourable, according to industry thought-leaders.

A recent discussion in the UK Recruitment Professionals LinkedIn Group asked for recruiter’s thoughts on their feelings on what was in store in the New Year.  The post received an almost unanimous vote of confidence.

The past 18 months has seen almost unrivalled challenges for the staffing industry, battling not only a downturned economy but also the emergence of social media, heralded during its inception as the complete antipathy to the traditional recruitment model – the anti-Christ to decades of relatively unchallenged prosperity.

“When the sea is rough, sail better, pontificated Stephen Hart, owner of sales and recruitment training company, Edenchanges.  “I've worked with quite a few recruitment companies this year and continually I see that the solid basics of hard, professional and focused work and effort will ensure companies do well.”  And these are the key issues.

Undoubtedly, those recruitment agencies who chose the short-term aggressive approach above the long-tailed account management mantra will find that by mistreating their jobseekers and failing to properly consult with their clients, has probably nailed the lid on their coffin.  For the scurrilous vagabonds who have skulked our industry caverns for too long now, may be about to given short thrift.

Arrogance & complacency

“If there has been any silver lining to the last 18 months,” opined Stuart MacGregor, business manager at MacGregor Wilson Resourcing, “I think it might be fair to say that it's wiped out a fair amount of arrogance, complacency and shoddy work in the recruitment sector and re-focussed many of us.”

Very few industry sectors have managed to avoid the recession, with even less managing to flourish.  Perhaps the earliest sign of the gathering storm was the dramatic drop in the number of marketing jobs advertised.  Perceived by many bean-counters as an unquantifiable expense, the creative folk have struggled more than most this year.  But the signs in this sector are extremely positive, with the number of visible advertised vacancies on the rise.

More jobs for recruiters

Jeremy Snell, group sales trainer at Spring Group Plc, is upbeat about the future: “The looks healthier for 2010 certainly, with recent news revealing that permanent jobs are at a 28 month high for November 2009.  I think also that there will be a lot more movement [in our industry], with a strong war ensuing for talented recruiters. Many firms cut their headcount by up to 30% (some also crashed out all together) and all have made noises publicly that 2010 will see that change.

This means next year will see a lot of recruitment firms attacking the market with renewed energy.  With many recruiters looking to change jobs, 2010 could be the year that brings home the importance to many businesses of their human capital.” 

All aboard the staffing carousel

So, interesting times ahead: Jobseekers can return from a well-earned festive break to a veritable alpine snowfall of newly-budgeted vacancies; recruiters can look forward to once again working with a smile on their face and a regression to the merry-go-round that keeps it all interesting; and hiring managers will be enjoying the benefits of tip-top talent, brought to them by the remodelled and battle-hardened recruiter.

To end John Reynolds, managing director of tri-sector recruitment specialists, Storm Recruitment Services Limited, simply enthused: “Bring it on.  I predict a riot”.  And I’ll propose a toast to that!

Simon Lewis | Editor | Only Marketing Jobs

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