Are you currently active in the job market?

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This month we wanted to share a few do’s and don’ts based on our experience of the current job market.

It is very difficult to accurately assess the current labour market for a number of reasons. 

In the press, it swings from overly optimistic to pessimism.

From a Barron Williams perspective, we’ve seen steady growth over the last 12 months, however, the market remains unpredictable, mainly due to the impact of COVID.

The most recent Labour Market Overview from the ONS stated that:

“The number of job vacancies in September to November 2021 continued to rise to a new record of 1,219,000, an increase of 434,500 from the pre-coronavirus January to March 2020 level, with 13 of the 18 industry sectors showing record highs.”

The numbers are clearly positive but the beast (by nature) is a little more complex.

The current UK job market

What does that really mean for those actively seeking a new role though? 

We have boots on the ground, so what are we seeing here at Barron Williams?

As stated, we’ve been busy, and that looks to continue, but it all feels a little like a feeding frenzy. 

Record vacancies are great for those looking, but it’s often a tricky scenario for employers, and in the current climate it is very much a case of still business as unusual.

There is no “slack”, Barron Williams is in high demand as clients are finding it difficult to navigate the current job market without our support.

Our Current Opportunities are typically consistently seeing higher numbers of qualified CV’s.

The workplace is evolving too, with recruitment heavily disrupted by the pandemic and a shift to remote/hybrid working, there’s a need to focus on skills and cultural fit as well as previous experience and achievement. 

It is vital that our candidate pipelines reflect all these changes so that we’re best placed to offer the best people for consideration.

The psychology of many of the senior execs we speak to has also changed as a result of the pandemic. 

While some are feeling the pressure of their search, others are empowered by their pandemic experience, and ready to step out into the market.

From our perspective, there is still a large pool of very good candidates available amongst those that have entered the market since the start of the pandemic.

Too many, you could say. And most of those still looking for the right position would ordinarily be in-post after a much shorter timeframe.

Combining all these factors and the need for recruiters to be adaptable and work in close partnership with candidates and clients is more critical than ever before.

Are you active in the job market?

Our advice to those candidates who feel they may have been in the ‘pool’ for too long?

1. Focus on your networks
Talk to the good people. Ex-colleagues, suppliers, competitors and clients. These are the people who know your markets and can tell you exactly what is happening and where.

2. Market intelligence leads to opportunity
Directly and indirectly. And don’t forget the Non-Execs in your industry/markets. They tend to be well networked at the right levels, which is incredibly useful.

3. Always ask for referrals
Good people know other good people. Keep that network up to date and constantly refreshed. It will pay dividends in the long run.

It’s OK to include your house-trained recruiter contacts in that network, of course, but equally important to keep in touch directly with the people you know in the sectors you’re known.

Your CV is still your best friend

Your CV is proof of your value, so make sure you get it in front of the people who value what you do and where you’ve done it.

1. Be careful with your CV
Be positive but accurate. Don’t leave unexplained career gaps. It is OK to be “between roles”. Gaps may be filled in negatively by the reader, so take control of the situation.

2. Always tailor your CV
For every role! Your CV is actually your “response” to the role brief. Does it best match you to the key deliverables and candidate profile requirements featured in the job ad and/or role brief? It really does make a difference when you see a clearly specifically tailored CV, especially when you’ve received many!

3. Always send a cover note
Just two paragraphs. Short para #1 detailing why you are applying. Slightly longer para #2 clarify (in essence) why you are a good fit to the role brief. A brief, tailored and personally addressed note looks professional and demonstrates that you’re serious.

Have you seen a role brief or job ad and are not sure whether to apply?

Pick up the phone!

We place a named contact and mobile phone number on all our briefs. And we want to talk to potential candidates who aren’t sure if the role is right for them.

We often find that the doubts are about location or a sanity check on the package, so please just call and discuss.

Find out what you need to know to rule yourself in or out.

If there are no contact details, just call the agency or hiring company. 

Establish who’s handling the role, ask for more information and pick up the phone!

The current job market is changing and we all need to embrace it!

As well as the quantity, the quality of candidate applications is also incredibly high.

Therefore, if you’re thinking of applying for a role, make sure you’re a good fit for that role.

Can you match yourself 8/10+ to the requirements in the role brief? Genuinely?

If not, don’t apply, you won’t be appointed. Always focus on quality over quantity. If. In doubt, call (see the previous paragraph).

After a long period where the search was challenging, people are definitely more receptive to approaches and more open to new opportunities.

Yes, there is more competition amongst candidates, but this is only ever a good thing for clients. 

Candidates need to be prepared to roll their sleeves up. Be receptive to opportunities. Take the headhunters call… You never know!

Our final point…

Reflecting on recent appointments, our longlist and shortlist candidates are clearly benefiting from our partnership-led approach.

When working with a recruiter, it is essential you build that partnership as you progress as a candidate thru a recruitment process.

It helps the recruiter best understand you and reflect that in their comms with the client.

It helps you clearly understand the process, the client and how the recruiter is trying to fulfil the brief.

Work together to gain insight into the (often evolving) client needs, so that you go into every discussion with as clear an understanding as possible of what to expect at each stage.

We do that. Other recruiters should too!

Hopefully, these observations from our recent experience “on the other side” give you some insight that may prove helpful if you’re in “candidate mode” just now?!

And, of course, when you return to “candidate mode”, please let us know.

If you’re looking to find or apply for a new role, then please feel free to Upload Your CV or Call Us for an exploratory conversation.

If you’re looking for a senior executive for your organisation, please use our Client Upload Form or Call Us now.

Barron Williams

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