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Optimistic or Pessimistic? You decide…

Optimistic or Pessimistic? You decide…

Written by James Osborne

Last edited May 8, 2023

Optimistic or Pessimistic? You decide…

After what has been the most extraordinary period for our sector over these past 18 months, yet again the economic cycles are starting to spin in a slightly different direction.

A downturn is upon us and the headlines have already been written.  The post-covid honeymoon period recruitment businesses have been enjoying is now over and we’ll start to see our industry come crashing down once more like a house of cards.

Or will we?

Let’s get one fundamental thing straight, this is not a typical economic downturn ahead.  Things are very different to the normal cycles we are used to, irrespective of what you might read in the paper… especially when it comes to the talent agenda.

Markets are still in dire need of talent.

In the UK alone we have lost over 3.5 million workers to a cocktail of Brexit, early retirees and younger generations remaining longer in full time education..

There are still record numbers of workers changing or looking to change jobs for a host of reasons born out of the covid era.

Markets are desperately looking around for new types of emerging skills to attract in, and are simply struggling.

Even the newspapers themselves are starting to relent (in the very small print hidden well beneath their sensationalised headlines that say quite the opposite!) that “growth is creeping back up” and “any recession may be less severe than previously expected.”

Sure, some organisations are downsizing, but they are hiring at the same time.  They are using this time as a way to restructure their workforces, to settle the ship and reboot their talent agendas.

Sure, the markets in some areas are softening, but we are about to embark on one of the most fundamental transformations in the world of work as we know it, and the softening is just the forewarning of that.

And sure, there is a degree of uncertainty and nervousness everywhere, but having been through what we have been through, we all now know how to live with and get on with uncertainty, and we do just that.

Bring all this together and the reality is this… the demand for quality 3rd party recruitment support, from quality 3rd party agencies, is growing and will continue to increase.  This has been the case for just about everyone in these last couple of frenetic years, but will filter down to only the quality agencies in the next stage of the cycle.

Those agencies with robust customer relationships, with embedded products and services.

These agencies are needed to help with the transformation as the markets continue to reorganise and restructure themselves.  These agencies will be busy.

So, whilst the optimists and the pessimists are busy arguing whether the glass is half full or half empty right now, the opportunists will crack on and drink what is inside!

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