By Matt Newman, Managing Director
Whilst early projections suggest a 21% decrease in the value of the staffing sector for 2020, the general sentiment is we are looking at a short term economic slowdown rather than a full blown depression. What this means is as we slowly edge closer to getting the COVID-19 crisis under control, there will be a serious amount of work required to mitigate the long-term economic impact across the world.
There will be a recovery. Industries will reopen. And whilst the projected decline may seem scary, there is a serious bounceback on the horizon. In 2019, 16 million people were placed into direct roles and an average of 3 million contract workers were employed through staffing agencies everyday and the expectation will be to recover to these numbers as quickly as possible.
What this represents to those businesses adaptable and innovative enough, is a great opportunity to increase market share and pick up business from competitors too slow or resistant to change. And what will you need to take full advantage of this opportunity?
The best talent in the marketplace.
A good recruiter is a rare unicorn and they are traditionally very difficult to secure. They are looked after well, and when they do come on the market, there is no shortage of excellent businesses lining up at their doors to put generous offerings at their feet.
If you’re unsure of whether it’s the right time to offer, here’s why you should be hiring now.
More talent available
Employment services has been suggested as the second highest risk sector for job losses behind Leisure & Hospitality, and the reality is that many staffing businesses have been hit hard. There have been high numbers of redundancies, with entire offices and branches being closed. So naturally there is more active quality talent than ever on the market.
Competitors falling short
What we also start to see is the impact of poorly prepared businesses, those with poor communication and infrastructure, and those who are resistant to change. Now more than ever, employees will be looking to their employers for guidance, support and stability and those who fail to deliver are at risk of losing their top talent to businesses that are stepping up.
Stable markets become more attractive than ever
This period also gives those top tier recruiters the chance to consider the markets they are working in. The oil crisis might encourage those oil & gas recruiters to move their skills and contacts over to the sustainability and renewals market. Generalist technology and IT recruiters might notice the stability of more niche recruiters working in cyber security or emerging markets such as AI, VR/AR. Over the last month we’ve seen a trend of clients in healthcare and life sciences rapidly expanding teams by snapping up previously unobtainable talent, and reaping the benefits for it.
Talent more accessible
Those embracing the future of the employment market will find top talent more accessible and attainable than ever. The fact is people are just around more. They are sat at home next to their phones and are much more open to casual conversation than if they have their boss sat a few desks away. Working from home gives us the opportunity to make our processes smoother and quicker. Embracing video technology means we can conduct face-to-face interviews at the drop of a hat, and even send recordings directly to hiring managers.
A common barrier to moving exceptional sales talent is tearing them away from current/future booked revenue that will be resulting in a tasty commission check. It’s the ‘after this commission check’ trap that keeps many recruiters in roles they don’t enjoy and missing out on great opportunities elsewhere. With a rapid decline in the market, even the best recruiters will be producing less fees and will therefore have less incentive to put off securing that next position.
As some locations face a proportionately higher impact, we have seen a trend in recruiters looking to relocate to areas experiencing rapid recovery, meaning a new talent pool entering a market near you soon. As we see cities like Austin returning to work, with 25% of industries reopening in the near future and bars & restaurants planned to resume business within 4 weeks, these locations represent a highly attractive option for recruiters leaving harder hit areas and an opportunity for local staffing businesses to snap up exceptional talent.
As a business demonstrating innovation and adaptability, whilst pushing to maintain business-as-usual, you also set yourself as a highly attractive prospect and stand out against your competitors. This in line with the fact, many recruitment businesses simply won’t be in a position to make hires right now, means that you will have a better chance of securing your much sought-after talent.
Technology and adaptability make onboarding easy
The industry as a whole is looking for ways to reduce the risk of hiring during this time. By combining slick technology solutions and minor tweaks to your onboarding processes, you can also take the headache out of getting new starters on board and ready to go quicker than ever. This means you can get your new starters up and running quicker, as well as increasing engagement and motivation. (check out our article - Tips for onboarding remotely)
In short, not only will hiring during this period give you access to previously untapped talent pools and the chance to showcase your endurance during tough times, you will be supporting your sector by keeping processes moving and help to reduce the impact on the economy.
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