Here’s a bold statement: without a good recruitment partner, a business’s chances of successfully filling its vacancies are compromised.
In fact, we’d go further: without a good recruitment partner, the process of taking on new staff will be lengthier and, in all likelihood, more costly, as employee turnover rises.
It could be fair comment to counter these statements with, “you’re a recruitment company, you would undoubtedly say that”. But, as with most undertakings, it is better to use the services of a professional, who knows what they are doing, than take a DIY approach, or cut costs and engage ‘cowboys’.
After all, if you’re looking for trades people, isn’t it wiser to opt for those who are members of a professional trade body rather than someone who knocks on your door and offers to tarmac your drive?
But we’re digressing. We’re talking about recruitment and the importance of using the services of a reputable, preferably local recruitment company, one who really knows and understands the local employment market, than go it alone or use a company that doesn’t have its finger on the pulse.
Low employment and skills shortages challenge jobs market
It’s widely reported that there is low unemployment in the UK, but last summer a particularly headline grabbing fact was announced: UK unemployment fell by 65,000 to 1.36 million in three months to June, making it the lowest jobless figure for more than 40 years, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Without getting into the pros and cons of Brexit, the figures also showed the number of European Union nationals working in the UK fell by a record amount - the largest annual amount since records began in 1997, continuing a trend seen since the 2016 Brexit vote. By contrast, there was a rise in the number of non-EU nationals working in the UK to 1.27 million - 74,000 more than a year earlier.
Significantly, over the same period, job vacancies increased by 20,000 to a record high of 829,000.
That’s the UK picture, but what about here in Wiltshire? Figures from November last year show the number of people out of work and claiming job seekers allowance in the county had dropped by 18 per cent since 2010. So the local picture reflects the national one, of falling unemployment.
We also need to look at skills shortages. According to recent figures from the website smallbusinessprices.co.uk, in 2018 the skills shortage here in the South West was 2.32% above the national average, with the biggest shortages in the financial sector, secondary school teaching, and software.
It is clear that nationally, and locally here in the South West and Wiltshire, low unemployment coupled with a significant skills shortage, means that every successful business needs a dynamic local recruitment partner to ensure they thrive.
Why partner with a local recruiter?
We’ve mentioned the importance of ‘local’ and, as a local, independent recruitment company ourselves, we are certain that this gives us the edge. We really know and understand the local jobs market, and as a result are for more accomplished at filling local vacancies than the bigger players in the recruitment sector.
If you’re currently seeking to fill vacancies – and are facing the challenges mentioned of attracting skilled applicants – using a specialist recruiter is also advisable. Again, it comes down to breadth and depth of knowledge. Being a generalist recruiter simply doesn’t cut it in the face of the current jobs market. At 24-7 Staffing, we specialise in driving, commercial, healthcare and industrial.
When picking a recruitment partner, there are other criteria you should expect them to meet:
- Do they understand your business? A recruiter is an extension of your team, and you should expect them to really get to know how you work, your ethos and values, and select candidates who not only meet the job spec but who will fit in.
- Do then send only quality candidates? A recruitment company which is doing its job effectively will screen out unsuitable applicants and only shortlist people who really meet the brief and, again, who will be a good fit for business.
- Do you get regular updates? A good recruitment partner will keep in touch with you, updating you on progress and talking to you about your ongoing and future recruitment needs.
So that’s our message: when it comes to recruitment, it pays to shop local, shop independent, and shop specialist, in the face of one of the most challenging jobs markets we’ve seen in decades.
If you’re a Wiltshire employer, keen to partner with an independent, Wiltshire-based, specialist recruitment company, please get in touch with the team at 24-7 Staffing.