Strong recruitment drive into 2016

Posted by Nigel Wilson on 21 December 2015 | Comments

One of the most popular questions I’m asked by clients and candidates is ‘what’s the market like’

2015 has generally been a year of consolidation for many companies. No-one notable has gone out of business; trading conditions remain competitive; many companies have seen incremental growth, whilst some report negative growth, and a few have experienced better than expected growth. In other words, a pretty average year

In terms of recruitment, the demand for candidates has grown substantially during the past few months. As the year has panned out, companies appear to be positively looking towards 2016. This is obviously based on projected demand, which has created more confidence

One of the key recruitment issues this year has centred on finding candidates who are keen to move. This is not unique to POS and retail display. I talk to other recruiters across a wide variety of market sectors, and the lack of available candidates is a common situation

It’s not a question of finding candidates. These days that’s easy. It’s actually about finding candidates who are prepared to move to a new job. There are reasons for this, largely a legacy of the recession

The employees who managed to hold on to their jobs during the recession have remained cautious about moving. There is still a fear of ‘last in first out’ should a company cut its workforce. The result has been to stick with the devil you know.

Salary increases over the past 4-5 years have been scarce. This has naturally led to disgruntlement amongst numerous employees, many of whom appear only 60-70% satisfied with their current employers. Yet given the nervousness about changing jobs during tough times, candidates are looking for a significant salary increase to offset and justify the risk of moving.

On the other hand, recruiting companies are generally not prepared to pay salaries above what they consider to be the market rate, or beyond their own internal pay-scales

The result is stalemate, with neither party seemingly willing to give ground

Looking ahead, let’s return to the forecast for 2016. As I mentioned, confidence in general is higher than at anytime this year. If companies are strategically recruiting, this has to be a strong indication of their anticipated growth. It flies in the face of reducing headcount; that would make no sense whatsoever

On that basis, candidates now should be able to consider a job move with real confidence. Changing a job for the right reasons is hugely motivating. Salary requirements need to be realistic, for the reasons outlined above. However, companies who are recruiting generally recognise that if someone is to move, an expectation of around a 10% salary increase is reasonable ( compare this with the current national average salary increase of just under 3%)

The underlying point here is that candidates need to prove themselves at interview to justify their worth. They need to provide solid evidence of their knowledge, experience and abilities. If they can do this, recruiting companies are likely to be more flexible

During the past 18 years, I’ve continued to work closely with longstanding, key clients. I operate as their trusted recruitment partner, mostly on an exclusive basis. The clients I’m recruiting for are profitable, successful, and growing. They are decent employers who look after and retain their people

There’s currently a real uplift in the demand for good people. The Christmas and New Year holiday break is always a good time for reflection. If you’re considering changing your job, why not get in touch with me. Let’s have a confidential conversation about your needs and ambitions, and then see how we can match them to the opportunities I have available