In recent weeks I’ve been approached a lot more than usual to find out what’s going on with hiring for in-house recruitment professionals. Some of it is the usual early year natural inquisition about what’s on, what’s going to happen, how will it impact me, and what does it mean for my business. Some of it I suspect is a carry-over from 2012, recruitment/TA just do not know where it is as a function right now and sure isn’t certain where it will be at the end of the year.
So here’s a very quick bullet point overview of what I am seeing, it’s too long to go into the full detail or explanation but if you’d like any of it fleshed out feel free to contact me or post on the group and I’ll respond as best I can. With apologies to our international followers this is a UK centric look at things.
• Financial services is as quiet as I have ever known it to be and for the first time recruiters seem to be giving up on the sector
o There’s a notable rise in candidates wanting to move into other sectors for the first time conceding they do not see a change in fortunes personally or for the sector in the next two years. The challenge for this group who are often seeking better pay is they’re paid c.10-20% more than peers in other sectors already and other sectors want experience from their own markets
• More people are being hired than for some time
o While some of this post demonstrates obstacles to personal progression for many don’t be fooled, right now more in-house recruiters are being hired than have been for a couple of years but the vast majority of this movement is hiring from first job in-house or on-site into second job
o For other active candidates and out of work candidates with more experience it’s a tough market right now, patience is a real virtue as processes can take weeks/months which is not always the kind of time an active candidate wants
• There are a lot of people who feel stuck in operational recruitment
o Forget the job title whether you’re a recruiter, recruitment manager, TA special guru or Head of if you’re looking for strategy, to deliver less headcount personally, or to manage there’s very little out there at the moment. In broad terms there’s a massive pool of people earning minimum £50,000 base salaries currently who would like at least £10,000 more for a more strategic role and that’s not where the recruiting is happening
o At Aspen I’ve seen a major swing in applications. In 2012 over 51% of applicants were agency recruiters seeking to move in-house approaching us with little advertised encouragement. In 2013 that’s dropped to below 30% and 70% have in-house or RPO experience who are applying
• Hiring firms want operational delivery
o Continuing the pattern of the last 15 months or so hiring is squarely in the £35,000-45,000 (London market rate) delivery range. Organisations want recruiters to come in, personally source, cut costs and do it cheaply
o The difficulty now is that there is less interest in these roles amongst potential candidates who are often seeking to take the step mentioned above or they have moved too recently to consider doing so again soon
• The South West is thriving
o In 2012 there was already evidence that Swindon to Bristol geographically was an area seeing a take up of in-house recruiting and very quickly returning 80%+ direct sourcing rates which gave organisations the confidence to hire more recruiters
o The challenge in a competitive market is now for hiring companies. A couple of Bristol businesses are paying higher than the rest of the market particularly on day rates where others do not wish to follow and the existing pool of in-house recruiters is exhausted so new options are needed (time to look at the agency pool)
• And the rest of the UK is doing OK too
o We’re seeing demand increase in the North of England either due to relocation of recruiting jobs from the South East or setting up of functions for the first time and Scotland is thriving based on an energy boom in Aberdeen. Scottish demand though is to get people to Aberdeen and while there are lots of recruiters across Edinburgh and Glasgow looking for opportunities or to move in-house for the first time those options seem to involve relocating north
• The rise of the Fixed Term Contract
o I’ve never known so much fixed term hiring and while I’m not convinced it is all deliberate it’s changing the market frustrating day raters and those seeking permanent roles! AWR may not have had a massive effect as yet but the almost total lack of impact has made a lot of organisations less worried about engaging contractors directly and putting them on pay roll so 6-12 month £40,000-45,000 recruiter roles seem to be the norm.
o The impact of this is felt in a number of areas, organisations are often offering an FTC as they cannot get permanent sign off however treat the hiring process as that for a permanent role BUT they then only get to consider candidates willing to contract in a highly risk averse market place hence often struggling to fill the roles
o Day rate contractors are struggling to find work as quickly as they used to and are becoming increasingly flexible on their rates or willingness to consider other forms of engagement such as an FTC or permanent
o From a hiring perspective my sense is that Heads of Recruitment and TA are making these hires because they want these individuals to go permanent and will aim to force that through once on board, the sign off by finance and procurement is a little less sure of that!
• The outsiders
o This is where I’d usually talk about recruitment consultants in their droves trying to move in-house and there’s still a lot of interest but there’s a changing dynamic
o The single biggest group of people looking to move in-house now are the £50-75K Senior Associates and Delivery Consultants from the Executive Search world seeking a career and an organisation where they can deliver to one client. Their frustration (and more of this another time) despite some recent headlines take up of in-house search is still relatively small
o A new group completely! For the first time since I started recruiting in-house recruiters in 2004 there’s a clear trend of HR generalists and Business Partners who have been involved in recruitment wanting to specialise in the field full time
That will do for now. In the next week or so we’ll publish another blog about the current debate around delivery of in-house executive search and we’ll be publishing our survey results from over 70 agency recruiters who’ve looked at moving in-house in the last twelve months which may not make for pleasant reading for RPOs!
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