Recent years have seen significant change in the recruitment industry.
As the Baby Boomer generation retires and Millennial and Gen Z workers form more of the employment market, the dominant priorities for a new role are evolving. Salary is no longer the primary driving factor that it once was –flexibility by the company (in terms of working hours, working from home etc) are becoming more decisive in attracting employees. Work/life balance is often more important than a big pay cheque. In terms of industries, IT and hospitality are increasingly popular whereas manufacturing/construction are less desirable.
The so-called ‘Gig Economy’ is a reflection this new mindset. Across Europe and the UK, 15% of workers are self-employed, allowing them to choose their own hours and maintain the balance that they want without external pressures from employers.
In terms of working in the recruitment sector, the significant increase in competition has had an impact on generating new business. The UK recruitment industry is worth £35.7Bn with 40,0000 agencies operating. In 2018 alone 8,488 recruitment agencies registered with Companies House, a 46% growth on 2017.
Market saturation has driven down the average recruitment fee, as many agencies offer lower fees in order to gain business, prioritising cost over quality of service. This also means that both candidates and companies are being inundated with calls/emails from recruiters. Where recruiters were once seen as a valuable resource, their ubiquity means that we are often seen as a “necessary evil,” making it harder to build new relationships.
We have seen an increase in candidates only providing email addresses on CVs to combat the volume of regular calls from agencies. This also means that candidates are less likely to proactively reach out/respond to agencies as they are regularly being contacted. We need to find a way as an industry to create an inbound relationship with candidates so they want to call you back.