In the ever-changing world of FinTech recruitment, where trends ebb and flow, adaptability is key. Looking back over the past two decades, the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG’s monthly “Report on Jobs” has revealed a remarkable trend – the recruitment industry has been in growth for 85% of the time. The 15% decline was primarily attributed to major economic disruptions such as the 2008 financial crisis and the Y2K millennium bug.
Sustained Growth and Tech’s Role
From 2008 to mid-2022, the recruitment industry experienced aggressive growth, with the tech sector emerging as a significant driver. The surge in demand for tech talent mirrored the overall industry growth. However, mid-2022 marked a turning point as growth rates began to taper off. By the close of 2022, the industry witnessed a short-lived decline, which gradually slowed down through the spring of 2023, culminating in stability. The reasons for this decline are multifaceted – geopolitical events like the conflict in Ukraine and fluctuations in interest rates rippled through the global economy, impacting hiring and recruitment.
Divergence and Tech Talent
Interestingly, amidst this overall industry decline, a divergence between contract and permanent recruitment within the technology sector became evident. The demand for tech talent remained palpable, and while the supply increased, the European and UK markets still grappled with a deficit of quality tech professionals. The loosening supply was, however, a welcome relief for employers and recruitment firms. In recent months, this divergence has intensified, with permanent recruitment experiencing a sharper decline compared to contract recruitment. Employers are opting for the flexibility that contract positions offer, especially amidst market uncertainties.
Examining historical trends, it’s evident that in periods of growth, both permanent and contract recruitment tend to mirror each other. While challenges persist, especially amid the aftermath of recent disruptions, taking a broader view reveals a robust and promising future, particularly in the technology sector. The global shortage of top-tier tech talent in developed economies underscores the market’s resilience, even as emerging markets boast a surplus of such talent.
Adapting Working Patterns
The infusion of technology into recruitment processes over the last two decades has revolutionised the industry’s efficiency. However, the most profound change has been the shift away from personal networks. The modern recruitment landscape depends less on individual connections and more on the ability to access and broker the best talent efficiently. The availability of online tools like LinkedIn and social media has propelled this transformation, leading to a clear separation between business development and delivery roles within the industry.
Thriving in the Present
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic brought an unprecedented demand for tech skills, triggering a digital transformation. Today, as the industry recalibrates to a more normal state, a shortage of talent still persists, albeit with a slightly loosened supply chain. Despite this, the focus remains on delivering top talent, aligning cultural fit, behavioural alignment, and career prospects. Consultants are challenged to return to traditional recruitment values, ensuring precision in candidate-client matches.
Embracing Best Practices
We must refocus on recruitment’s foundational values and behaviours as we navigate this dynamic landscape. Amidst the ebbs and flows, those who consistently add value continue to thrive. The key lies in returning to best practices and reapplying them with renewed vigour. As the market normalises, candidates retain choices, but the discernment exercised by both recruiters and clients becomes pivotal in achieving the perfect match.
The changing recruitment landscape demands adaptability, and the industry’s resilience shines through as we weather various storms. The cyclical nature of growth and decline is a testament to the broader economic context, but the technological and operational advancements have poised the industry to endure and excel. Looking forward, embracing time-tested values, and focusing on precision will ensure that opportunities continue to abound in the evolving recruitment landscape.