Today’s guest blogger is Liz Longman, the Managing Director of TEAM (The Employment Agents Movement), and has been involved in recruitment for 20 years. She previously headed up a region for a generalist agency before joining TEAM some nine years ago. TEAM is an NPA partner that extends NPA’s reach into the UK and in return offers TEAM members access to NPA affiliation. Each of these recruiting networks offers unique value to members.
It’s safe to say that over the last few years, businesses of all shapes and sizes – including recruiting networks – have had a tough time. With the economic downfall and several changes to UK legislation, the recruitment sector has been on a real roller coaster ride, which many couldn’t see the end of. The words ‘doom and gloom’ were prevalent across the media throughout last year and the outlook for the UK economy was pretty bleak.
However, as we enter 2013, I think it’s time to move onwards and upwards! We can all take our own lessons from the recession, but it’s time we left the past behind us and looked to a positive future. After all, how else will we move closer to success than with a motivated, optimistic attitude? Recruiting networks are poised to capitalize on some of the positive changes happening.
The situation in UK recruitment now is much better and reports from the end of last year are real proof of this. The Office of National Statistics reported in November that the UK economy was growing slowly but surely, finally pulling us out of recession. The Autumn Evenbase Quarterly Report also showed a few positive signs, with a 40% rise in contract and temporary recruitment roles being advertised and an 11% increase in proactive jobseekers sending CVs.
This positivity is reflected across many of the recruitment agencies we speak to at TEAM. As the recruiting network continues to grow and share activity, we are seeing more members reporting an improvement to their business. Fees are improving and in general the outlook is much better than it has been in the past few years.
There’s not just high growth in the UK market though. Positively, we are seeing an increase in interest in overseas markets from both our members and international partners within NPA, The Worldwide Recruiting Network. This focus on growth also extends to individual industries. Some of our member agencies are now moving their businesses into different specialist areas of recruitment, and are using TEAM members’ expertise to fill vacancies in new areas.
On the candidate side, we have noticed that, despite the new technology available to recruiters and the benefits which come with using social media, many recruiters are looking to be more personal. While using online opportunities to attract and manage candidates, recruitment is a people business and we need to maintain that personal touch that you can’t always get from an email or Tweet. It will be interesting to see how this pans out throughout the year, but I imagine we’ll see more agencies striving to be innovative in talent attraction, particularly as clients’ expectations are high.
Looking forward to this year, we’re expecting to see the focus on candidate attraction and expansion into new industries and markets continue. There are a lot of positive signs for 2013 and I personally would love to see a continuation of the optimistic attitudes we’re noticing. It won’t be easy though and I expect recruiters will be forced to work harder to come up with fresh ideas in order to compete in the market.