Britain’s recruitment industry could shrink by as much as a tenth in the next year, according to a new poll.
This was the stark warning given in the eBoss Recruitment Priorities survey 2021.
The annual poll, which seeks to learn business confidence and recruitment intentions for the next twelve months, found more than one in ten recruiters would be prioritising “survival” in 2021.
The results emphasise the tough trading conditions being faced by all sectors following a year of turmoil and uncertainty.
But there were also notes of optimism in the poll results. More than one quarter (28 per cent) of those surveyed said that they would be targeting growth. This is a strong indicator of the mixed fortunes which different businesses will be facing as Britain seeks to rebuild after lockdowns and brexit.
One in five pledged to reduce the time it takes them to place new candidates. This will be music to the ears of the army of out-of-work personnel across all sectors who are now seeking future employment.
Other top-ranking priorities included making improvements to the candidate experience, and modernising the workplace. After a year of remote working and constant video meetings, many organisations will enter 2021 viewing previous office arrangements as outmoded and unfit for the modern world of work.
A year of extremes
Amongst the upheaval of repeated lockdowns and increased safety concerns, the challenges of 2021 could end up a little more on the mundane side.
Redundancies in December hit an all-time high for the second quarter in succession. This displaces a huge portion of the UK workforce from its previous employment.
The challenge for recruiters will not only be to find placements for eager applicants, but to manage the basic paperwork and processing of high volumes of new candidates. Organisations that have not prepared to automate basic processes now risk being caught in a bottleneck of administrative duties. This would leave streamlined firms to close a greater share of the available deals. In this respect, 2021 may be a year of diverging fortunes within the UK recruitment industry.
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