2017 Recruitment – What do you need to know?

2016 was a volatile year in every sense of the word. Despite the temptation to accuse recruitment consultants of proffering reasons for lack of activity I am not sure anyone can contest that both ‘BREXIT’ and ‘Trump’ were ‘big news’. Their impact, if purely because of the dramatic changes they represent, on the recruitment market has been clear.

The future is always hard to predict but where you have experience on your side you can at least put forward a few assumptions. Based on the reactions to certain types of economic and political circumstance we can start to put together a picture for 2017.

Here at Walker Dendle we are forward facing, prepared for and expect a new zeitgeist for 2017.

In the last quarter of 2016, we saw an increase in activity and the appetite to hire. Hires increased in volume within Commercial, FP and A and Analytical functions which is a spike that tends to occur when businesses are feeling positive and wish to increase revenue. The more technical or supervisory focused roles have, in the main, been due to new ventures or head count replacement with inevitable spikes in demand for specialist skill sets which will continue in response to the introduction of new reporting standards.

All of the above would suggest that most businesses are inclined to invest in the future, they are looking at their new market landscape and are coming up with budgets around increasing profits despite the changing global political scene. The appetite for acquisitions has also increased with some major players within the FMCG sector making themselves known, specifically, in the Surrey market.

All of this is very positive but we do need to make you aware that our market is one of two halves. The balance between businesses looking to hire and candidates active on the market has been concurrently out of sync for the last quarter as well.

We have secured a number of exclusive campaigns where hiring managers have not felt supported by their preferred suppliers or brand name agencies. The lack of talent in the market has seen some recruitment trends develop that are untenable.

Some of my peers will tell you that they are the best, brightest and shiniest solution out there but perhaps it is time for us to blow our trumpet a little louder. Lisa and I have an unrivalled amount of experience in the Surrey market. This isn’t a claim it is a fact and while our competitors struggle to hire experienced consultants, this experience can and will work in your favour.

Our network is immense and we know how to, genuinely, engage with people within it. We are multifaceted through experience and empathetic to a wide range of challenges. Consultative with candidates and clients alike and trusted at all times. Most of all, we are solution providers where the competition for true talent in the market is fierce.

According to CIPDs autumn report, employment confidence remains strong. This translates directly into the feedback that we have received from the most ‘engaged’ clients within our portfolio which includes clients we have an established recruitment tenure with, and, who consistently spend money on our services.  There is the appetite to hire, in the sectors we cover, across the region we service.

The biggest challenge, and one that is very much born out of an ‘unknown’ economic and political vista, has been the change in recruitment policies. 2016 has been a year of uncertainty and the recruitment cycle appears to have been turned on its head. It has become convoluted and unstable. Simply put; too many interviews, too many decision makers and unstable ‘sign off’ processes will not secure the best candidates in a timely manner in a candidate short market.

If the appetite to hire, as qualitative research suggests, increases in the New Year, companies will need to consider interim solutions where they cannot overcome set recruitment policies.  

Due to the lack of upper percentile finance professinonals in the market, companies are unlikely to be able to recruit ‘like for like’ interims and may need to return to the pre-recession interim recruitment model of resourcing professionals who are over qualified but can ‘hit the ground running’.

The flow of EU and candidates from further afield remains to be seen and there may well be companies that are not affected. Where the person profile is fixed, roles will take longer to place and we will be recommending a concurrent approach. This will be particularly poignant where departing incumbents are on one to three months’ notice periods and an interim solution is an immediate and positive way of supporting the rest of your finance team with a valuable resource.





This article was written by Estha Heiden in January 2017.