market bounce back

How UK recruiters can prepare for a market bounce-back

Sarah Linney
10 Jun
Reading time: 5 minutes
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In early 2021, we asked a range of experts what they predicted for this year, with many suggesting that we’d see a significant market bounce-back. 

In the ANZ market, we’ve already seen amazing results with numbers jumping quickly for new jobs created and permanent placements, creating a lot of opportunities and a tight talent pool. 

In the UK market, many people are back out on the job hunt after a year of inactivity, which has provided recruiters with a large talent pool to pick from.

However, UK recruiters may need to use a few strategies to deal with this influx. Recruiters will have to become a lot more responsive and open to how the job market has changed in the UK in the past year. It might even be time to make a few changes to your own recruitment agency.

Prepare for a huge talent pool

With over 62 million vaccines distributed in the UK, the nation has seen huge results in its vaccine rollout. While the rise and spread of variants will always be a concern, more and more people are exploring new opportunities as things open up. The talent pool has expanded (thanks in no small part to shifting attitudes on remote work), and so has the competition. 

Job vacancies in the UK fell from an average of 796,000 to an average of 343,000 in the first quarter of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. This has rebounded in recent months with April seeing an average of 657,000 job vacancies. This positive uptick, a successful vaccine rollout and the easing of lockdown restrictions have motivated many people to explore the UK job market. 

Of course, having a vast talent pool has advantages and disadvantages for UK recruiters. You’ll have more talent to sift through, sure, but you might have to find ways to streamline that process.

Identify the areas you can improve on

Before you go on a recruiting spree, see if there’s anything you’d like to change about your recruitment agency. Do you want to streamline the search process? Do you want to improve the candidate experience? You potentially have a lot of new talent coming into your talent pool, now’s your chance to ensure they have a good experience.

That’s not to say you need to overhaul your recruitment agency completely. Whatever steps you need to take to improve, take it easy and let new candidates and talent know about these changes.

Refine your search process

With the amount of talent rushing back into the market, you might need to refine how you find that talent.

Are all your job ads clear and up-to-date? Do they use the right keywords? Think about what you need for each role so you can find the right talent for your clients. With the average cost per hire in the UK approximately £3,000, UK recruiters need to ensure they’re providing the best talent to their clients and avoiding any headaches associated with rehiring and retraining.

Figure out how long it takes to make a new hire in the UK; from the day you start your search for your clients to the day they make an offer, how long does that take? 

What tools do you use to find quality candidates? Are you remembering to search your own talent pool for any potential prospects that you may have forgotten about?

With a wide talent pool, a refined and targeted search is more important than ever before, so assess how your recruitment agency is searching for candidates and whether any improvements can be made. 

Update your social media presence 

This year is a fresh start for everyone, and it can be the same for your recruitment agency and its social media efforts. 

If you haven’t done much with your social media presence, try posting more content. Write an article for LinkedIn, share some great recruitment articles you’ve liked and make sure you refresh your LinkedIn profile

Practice flexibility in how your team works

If COVID-19 has proved anything, it’s that remote work is more valuable than we ever imagined. Some people have even expressed interest in going completely remote and forgoing the office space altogether.

Now, there may be some members of your team who prefer the office to remote work. Weigh your options about whether keeping an office is prudent. Either way, it doesn’t look like remote work is going anywhere anytime soon.

Take new changes in stride

Facing a market bounce-back can bring a lot of change, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed with it all. It sounds corny, but it’s a good idea to take all that change in stride.

The best way to not get overwhelmed is to stay organised and take support from your wider agency team. They’re just as excited to see all of the opportunities coming to the UK job market and what to make the most of this bounce-back after a hard year. 
To get some ideas about how to manage this growing talent pool and market bounce-back, check out our recent webinar: How tech helps you handle volume and scale.

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