Despite the backdrop of political and economic turmoil job volume was consistently high in 2022. Hiring that had been placed on hold during the pandemic created a surge of activity in the first half of the year. Latterly, the pattern of recruitment has been driven by organic growth, scaling businesses that require new hires, and backfilling because professionals have moved on.
From our own business activities, we know the battle for talent is pushing up wages and this was confirmed by the Chamber network’s Quarterly Economic Survey which revealed 74% of firms in the North-east planned to increase the cost of their goods or services with 75% blaming rising labour costs and 60% pointing to soaring fuel costs.
We anticipate levels of recruitment will plateau in 2023 but it will remain challenging to find, attract and recruit skilled people, particularly at the mid-level due to a dearth of candidates which reflects the far-reaching hangover from the previous downturn and pandemic when organisations had to restrict entry-level hiring, reduce training and defer upskilling initiatives.
We have extended our client base supporting energy employers focussed on drilling, brownfield developments and low carbon technologies. We’ve also supported pure play renewables companies hire professionals for their sought-after skills developed in oil & gas. A positive difference we've witnessed is more discussion around a career in energy, rather than differentiating between oil & gas and renewables - in our experience it is the nature of the technology and challenging work that is most appealing to applicants. As momentum builds around the energy transition it has been encouraging to experience greater flexibility around cross-sector hiring and growing awareness of the importance of transferable skills and people skills.
Flourishing candidate confidence has led to a great deal of personnel movement. Employees are interested to explore what’s out there and are weighing up the total package on offer. Healthcare and employer pension contributions are topical given the current news agenda, as is hybrid working and the flexibility to connect from anywhere.
A longer-term strategy for tackling skills shortages is to develop in-house talent. Organisations are increasing efforts to meet their skills requirements through training and development. Commercially, it’s good sense to make the most of your existing employees’ talents but it’s also just the right thing to do and an effective way to demonstrate that you’re invested for the long term.
There’s also growing interest in an organisation’s ESG, and energy transition credentials and the wider employee value proposition is incredibly important too, with employees choosing places to work where they feel welcomed and appreciated, in a culture that is inclusive.
Because it's so competitive it's essential that businesses communicate their story and why they should be considered the employer of choice. How brand and reputation are conveyed is important which is why roles in marketing and communications have experienced a real boost.
The pandemic overturned conventional work patterns and transformed employees’ expectations. In this market of high job volume, limited candidate availability and rising rates of pay employers must continually evaluate how well their employee engagement activities nurture productivity and foster the opinion among employees that “this is a great place to work”.
Having the people your business needs, keeping them engaged and retaining them are critical for success. If you are resourcing in 2023:
- Start your search as early as possible so that quality candidates with longer notice periods are not excluded from your shortlist process.
- When you identify who you want to hire, act quickly as talent waits for no one.
- Consider your total reward package. Experienced candidates want to protect their overall package value. While inflation is impacting the real value of wages, benefits such as healthcare, greater pension contributions or negotiating a flexible work pattern may be more meaningful.
- Be mindful that your employees are individuals and a generic approach to reward and remuneration will restrict your capacity to attract and retain.
- Appreciate that candidates will be evaluating your business and the job role – you need to impress them just as much as they need to impress you.
- Offer greater work flexibility to address recruitment and retention difficulties.
- During the first few months in a new job, candidates are working out if they’ve made the right move. It’s critical that you support their integration by delivering an excellent onboarding experience.
We look forward to supporting both employers and candidates in 2023 and beyond. Since 2010, our annual guide has shared information and guidance for both employers and job seekers on the latest trends and salary expectations across our recruitment specialisms.
Taking our experiences and employment trends into account many clients cite the salary guide as a key benchmarking tool helping them set appropriate salary ranges for their positions. You can download a copy of the latest guide at: https://www.tmmrecruitment.com/actions/request-salary-guide
TMM Recruitment was established in 1997 and celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. The team of recruitment experts specialise in a personalised approach to finding the best people for vacancies in sectors including accountancy and finance, engineering, HR, IT, legal, office support, QHSE, supply chain and contracts, trades and executive search. For more information, visit www.tmmrecruitment.com/