MB Group's Question of the Quarter: Q1, 2022
This will be our first Question of the Quarter, where we ask a leader from each company that makes up MB Group a question specific to the recruitment industry:
Comprised of cutting edge RPO; med-tech; aviation; engineering; technology; plant-based food manufacturing; life sciences etc…. it’s a quirky mixed bag admittedly, but the MB Group of businesses share a number of common threads of DNA.
We talk to each other; we share ideas; we share knowledge and insight and ultimately see ourselves as one team, united with a common purpose.
And we truly pride ourselves on having some of the sharpest minds within our leadership community.
So, we asked:
What do you predict will be the toughest challenge in recruitment for 2022?
"As if we didn't need more upheaval after the impact of the pandemic over the last two years, the unexpected is likely to be the new normal when it comes to managing the talent agenda in 2022. The job market is as volatile as I have experienced it in…., let’s go with, ‘a decade or two’ and the situation isn’t likely to calm down any time soon, based on our analysis of the current challenges and trends. If I had to choose one ingredient and there are plenty in the casserole dish, it would be the impact on a job seeker's perception of self-worth – ultimately it seems, finally, employees broadly are realising their value. There is no doubt that the balance of power, when it comes to the ratio of jobs to job seekers has shifted more to the latter and this trend was clearly developing in the 2nd half of 2021 but as we are seeing in Q1 2022, as companies expand and the pent-up demand bubble has well and truly burst, that this trend is now having a material impact on the psyche of the job-seeker. Expect to see decisions being made with more consideration of the working conditions, the culture of a prospective career destination and the experience of the recruitment process as well as onboarding and the reality behind the EVP. Putting it bluntly, job seekers will expect the job, the company and the experience to ‘shape up!’.
When you combine all this with the inflationary impact on living costs, notwithstanding the impact on global supply chains from the current conflict in Ukraine, we should expect to see candidates demanding higher pay – and not just a bit here and there, because in some areas we are seeing a transformational shift in expectations. And, whilst historically I have always said the answer doesn’t just rely on money, I am afraid the brutal reality is that… to attract the best staff, companies will have to ‘pay more cash’."
-Matt Burton, CEO & Founder at MB Group
“This is going to be the talent gap, there is a significant training and development problem in the UK meaning that employees in low-mid level positions are unable to step up, that in turn keeps their seats occupied for entry-level staff to take these roles. Meanwhile, companies are being forced to pay crazy amounts for people with experience, recycling talent that has already been nurtured. If very few people are being trained from the ground up, we are only going to see that gap get bigger.”
-Adam Bevan, Head of Client Solutions at MBA
I think growing our teams will be the biggest challenge for us in 2022. The market has shifted, and I think it might take a few years to normalise. The post covid world has compounded this but the market is as competitive as I’ve ever seen it. Great people are well looked after and those that are looking for a move can now command comp packages that a few years ago would never have been an option. The MedTech and BioTech market is booming and therefore recruiters can realise success very quickly. We are seeing recruiters being promoted 3 times in 6 months, people with less than 12 months of experience calling themselves VP with little to no emphasis placed on learning or developing skills for the long term. This makes the challenge of securing talent to grow our businesses a key challenge to overcome in 2022 and beyond.
- James Manby, Managing Director at VIDA
Irlam Associates recruit heavily within the Aviation space and our biggest challenge lies within this sector. Specifically referring to flights, what lies ahead is unknown and this uncertainly affects the customer and their buying behaviour. Therefore, there are a lot of questions, including: Does the customer feel comfortable flying after living with COVID for 2 years? Will there be a no-fly zone? However, as we move into 2023 we will have more clarity as to how this industry bounces back and what the years ahead look like for the Aviation sector.
- Aaron Bradley, Director at Irlam Associates
The toughest challenge in recruitment this year is that the demand for staff is so great that businesses need to adapt their attraction, retention and flexible working policies and strategies. The biggest question an employer should ask is “why would they join us vs our nearest competition”. Demand for talent is so high and competitive that hiring the right recruitment business that can sell you as well as advise you on what the market is doing in relation to those policies and strategies is key.
- Dan Chadwick, Managing Director at Massey ITP