Now, as we all hope we are seeing a greater return to normal life following the rocky period that the coronavirus brought us over the last two years, are we seeing a growth in the job market?
From a recruitment agency perspective, it appears that there is certainly more activity, with more companies looking to recruit actively and more candidates looking for positions.
In the last quarter of 2021, the number of job vacancies was in the region of 1.25million, an increase approaching half a million from the pre-coronavirus 2020 January to March levels, indicating that we could well see strong numbers throughout 2022 as life looks to rebalance. We have just seen record highs of over four vacancies for every 100 employees. These numbers show across most industries, indicating a demand for new employees in all sectors and at all levels.
Unemployment rates over the last quarter of 2021 show a recovery in the labour market, an increased rise in employment rates and overall unemployment is once again declining. Recruitment agencies are benefitting from the fluidity returning to the employment market. They are turning to an increased use of artificial intelligence (AI) and technology to cope with demands. For many, the solution to reducing their workloads so they can focus on their core business of placing candidates has been to bring onboard companies such as New Millennia that provide back-office support for payroll and recruitment funding and finance for established and startup businesses.
It’s taking longer to recruit the right candidates
Whilst applicant tracking systems are great at matching keywords and recognising the hard skills required to fulfil a job role. It also still takes time for recruiters to assess and match soft skills and to be able to analyse a candidates suitability for roles in different sectors to those where their experience may lie and whether they have the personality and adaptability to fit, and the capability to learn the required new skills, all of which is making the job of the recruiter and the recruitment agency harder.
The job market is also adapting to the greater availability of work from home roles. This is expected to increase both this year and next, enabling a broader search area for recruiters when looking for suitable candidates as their physical location becomes less of a barrier. Many employees are now hired without meeting their new company in person, so the face of recruitment could never go back to pre-coronavirus status. Much of the interviewing that previously would have been done in person is likely to remain online with video calls at least for recruiters to identify suitable candidates to put forward.
For today’s job market, the greater reliance on technology is seeing recruiters updating systems. This can be an expensive business, which requires financing that benefits from specialist recruitment financiers who offer recruitment finance and back-office support for existing and start-up recruitment businesses.
A focus on finance
It must understand the unique way recruitment businesses pay contracted staff, manage often hefty payrolls each month for agency staff and workers, and offer financial support through payroll funding to ensure that everything runs smoothly each month. As well as back-office support to handle time-consuming elements such as timesheets and payslip management, exploring new financing and payrolls options can certainly assist recruitment firms. Automation or outsourcing could allow them to give time to their core business of placing individuals in new employment, whether temporary or permanent roles.
Again if similar statistics continue throughout 2022 as they finished 2021, there will be plenty of businesses looking for new employees. We know that the whole pandemic way of life has left many employees rethinking their working lives, so many candidates will be looking for new opportunities in the job market to keep recruiters busy.