As the economy changes, businesses must pivot accordingly. The last 19 months however have seen an unprecedented amount of economic change in a relatively short timeframe. Focusing on recruitment in the architectural and design sector, everything stopped in March 2020 then somewhat recovered in the summer. The final Brexit negotiations put the brakes back on in the lead up to Christmas and then recruitment became turbo charged at the beginning of this year and has continued in this vein. Initially, recruitment was relatively easy. Many people were furloughed or felt insecure about their current jobs meaning there was an abundance of great talent who were receptive to discussing new opportunities. Working from home arrangements also meant that people were more happy to have a chat.
In around July and August, a strange thing happened. Candidates responding to adverts disappeared!!! This felt like it happened overnight. There are a number of factors that led to this. There was a lot of work again and people felt more secure. Many EU citizens living in the UK decided to go home permanently or went home whilst furloughed and then decided not to come back. New EU citizens entering the UK have dried up and graduate intake was low in 2020.
To analyse the abundance of work closer, my clients have told me many projects were put on hold during the Brexit negotiation period or because of the pandemic. A lot of these either came back to life at the same time or others that had been progressing nicely beforehand, went back to planning as clients reacted to changes in the market.
There are a number of methods you can employ to attract talent and certainly advertising is one of them. In the last three months however, advertising is failing to attract the right people. Initially I questioned myself but I’ve sanity checked this with other people in my sector, clients and even the advertising outlets themselves who have all corroborated the situation. Ironically the advertising outlets have seen an upturn in business as people throw more and more money at job adverts in the hope to find staff, frustratingly to no avail.
Looking closer at my business, I used to attract around 40% of candidates via targeted advertising and around 60% from proactively approaching people (headhunting), from my network I’ve spent 17 years building and from the company’s database. Now, the split is more like 10% / 90% despite advertising more. Employers are using recruiters more than ever once again and building.co.uk recently published an article stating a RIBA survey has found nearly one in five architects are struggling to find staff. You can read the article via this link. This rapid and unexpected shift has resulted in an influx of business coming my way from existing clients but also new clients making contact and asking for help. This includes employers with their own internal talent acquisition teams. I’m also getting approached more frequently to undertake retained searches for key positions.
The data and anecdotal conversations I’ve had within the industry is now suggesting that in order to attract the talent you need for your business, traditional methods aren’t working currently and once more, specialist recruiters in your market place are the people delivering the much needed results.
If you are in the architectural and design space, struggling to find the staff your business needs, please do not hesitate to get in touch and I would be more than happy to discuss your requirements.
020 7993 6980