Hennik Recruitment’s managing director, Halil Bedevi comments on the landscape of the UK recruitment industry and how it relates to manufacturing as a whole.
Recruitment in the UK is a £26bn industry and it’s growing, due in part to a bolstered British economy, as well as a revival in the UK manufacturing sector.
Recruitment employs more than 100,000 people at some 17,000 agencies and according to the Bullhorn 2015 UK Recruitment Trend Report, 93% of UK agencies expect a revenue increase this year, of which 31% expect 25% or more of growth.
While the recruitment industry booms and manufacturing gains momentum, the two are inexplicably linked in the well-documented skills shortage suspended above the industry, like the sword of Damocles threatening to stop this upward trajectory in its tracks.
In addition, advances in IT, social media and job boards have made applying for jobs just one click away.
What exists is a gap in the market for expert, experienced recruiters, who really understand their clients, candidates, industry and the roles within it.
What are the challenges for employer, employee and recruiter?
Demand naturally results in competition. Unfortunately, competition can mean reducing costs and dropping quality for some companies, which can be counterproductive.
In many cases, firms place precedence on the quantity of activity, using less skilled recruiters and more computing power, which increases web traffic results. However, that can create problems when matching candidates with vacancies or alternatively connecting opportunity with talent.
There seems to be far fewer of the right type of conversations in the recruitment search and selection game, and this is not a good thing.
Employers have several other concerns: how and where to advertise vacancies; how to select the right recruitment company; and how many to use.
The key is striking a balance, as partnering with too few or too many can result in unsuccessful outcomes.
Recruiters on the other hand, struggle with accessing vacancies; reaching the right candidates; and separating applicants within huge databases. This requires time and expertise to do effectively.
Automation may seem like the way forward, however, this method can eliminate suitable candidates, as well as unsuitable ones.
For jobs seekers, standing out from the crowd and being selected for consideration in the vast traffic and noise which exists is a formidable challenge.
Having a good CV or profile and good contacts are more important than ever.
Overcoming these challenges
Contrary to growing perceptions, computers, social media and automated word matching will not and can not take over the recruitment process, especially for senior roles.
Why? Because computers are not able to qualify CV content or match personalities to a particular company or team culture.
Instead, technology must act as a tool for the good, old-fashioned practice of using industry-savvy, people-orientated recruiters to place the best people in the best jobs.
Think before you act
As a result of an increased demand for skills, now is the perfect time for candidates to take calculated risks and climb the professional ladder.
It doesn’t hurt to keep a CV up-to-date, doing this alone, focuses the mind and allows you to examine your current role, its pros and cons and whether you need to leave the company to develop.
However at times, a simple conversation with an employer can kick-start an advancement programme as an alternative to changing company altogether.
Whether you are moving on or staying put, one thing is clear – it is certainly a good time to have a career in manufacturing.