When starting on the idea of writing a blog I had to decide where to start – bang straight into it? A little background as to the why, how, etc., or maybe a little bit of both? To be fair it’s a recruitment blog so I probably shouldn’t overthink it…
Let us start with a little perspective – I mean most of us have experienced changes and challenges in 2020 and although we all like to brush things off over the season of good tidings the hangover will be felt long into 2021. Let’s review my observations of 2020 and what does that mean for 2021?
Over the next few blogs, I will be looking more in-depth at some of the points below, including:
Candidate and Client engagement in a remote world
- The Zoom Effect
- Where’s the market going?
…and I’m very interested to hear of others’ experiences and thoughts.
First off the runway, if you were a developer or data SME and weren’t in employment, it is probably a good idea to consider a new line of work. If you worked in IT recruitment you were either asking to move into the Data or Development teams and yes you could tell the difference from a Talend Engineer to a Full Stack Developer.
Clients fell into the usual suspects – those that had to reduce headcount, those that used it as an excuse to reduce headcount, and those who used it as an opportunity to get ahead of the competition – you know who you are. A note on clients: at the beginning of Covid, it wasn’t cool or clever, to try and use the situation to knock down rates and get decent people at knock-down salaries. Glad that was a short-lived idea from people who should know better.
What of working from home? Emotional, social, and economical variants will all play a factor in how this defines future work practices. I’ve heard varying stories of how people are feeling about expectations of work/life mesh. Many employees see the benefit of more flexible work patterns. Employers, overall, have seen productivity remain strong. However, speaking with senior leadership, many question whether collaboration, key to creativity and solutions, has dropped off with the lack of 3D time with colleagues. Honest dialogue will be key to finding the right ratio (and it will probably be a hybrid as opposed to all back in 9-5), so that companies maintain culture and employees a sense of belonging. Emotional engagement with your employer is going to be one of the hardest to maintain and to cultivate when onboarding new employees – I don’t envy internal talent and HR teams.
This emotional contract is also a problem for us recruiters. Engagement with candidates has never been harder to build and this has resulted, in part, to the rise in counter-offers over the last quarter. This is of course disappointing – for both clients and recruiters alike and, if they are honest, current employers who are having to out bid the market to keep homegrown talent. It is likely to be an issue for at least the next year. Advice? It is time to meet people again in person, avoid video calls – it takes more effort but ultimately it will save you time down the track.
Never has building relationships with your candidates and your customers been so key. If you are candidate looking, word to the wise – it does have a negative impact if you go through an entire process and then decide to stay where you are. Again, honest conversations with your current leadership team about career progression, responsibility and salary should all be explored before you start looking. And if you don’t feel you can have that conversation then it really is time to leave and find an organisation who will value what you have to offer.
So, 2021 has started and the vital signs are good; more permanent work and new projects being initiated and won. With border restrictions lifting, there is now an opportunity to explore moves that weren’t available for most of 2020. Will things stay on track? Often it is said that markets and the economy are a human-built structure so if the confidence is there the market will act in the same way, and vice versa. Australia appears to be bouncing back well, so the signs are good but the jury is still being tested for Covid – so let’s give it a few months. So stay safe, don’t forget the sunscreen, and keep an eye out for the next tale from a Grey Haired Recruiter.
Miles works for Technology People based in their Sydney office. He is always open to new connections and suggestions for recruitment topics to muse over.
Client Solutions Director | Technology People
M: +61 498 737 374
P: +61 2 9037 3009