What does the future of recruitment look like?

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With a record number of vacancies recorded this summer, recruiters are scrambling to identify and hire scarce talent. The industry is evolving in ways that will hopefully make their processes more efficient and agile, writes Mark Kingston.

Activity in the recruitment sector has been nothing short of a rollercoaster over the last 18 months. In the UK, hiring activity fell sharply as Covid-19 lockdowns were implemented, but the downturn was short and sharp. Since summer 2020, the sector has enjoyed a remarkable recovery.

Recruiters across nearly all verticals have been experiencing significant increases in demand, and in many cases over and above 2019 levels. This strong recovery has been accelerated by several factors including the unprecedented level of government-backed financial support, the speed at which employers and employees adjusted to work-from-home and hybrid working models, and an acute skills shortage.

These factors have led many employers to rely on recruiters to identify and recruit scarce talent. Corporates are under pressure to deliver efficiencies so are turning to outsourced recruitment solutions including recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) and managed services. This change is one of the key trends which we believe will dominate development in the recruitment sector in the coming years, alongside the introduction of new recruitment technologies and the recognition of the vital need for companies to create strong corporate cultures to attract and retain the best people.

Even before the pandemic there was a decline in client demand for generalist recruiters that lack sector specialist expertise. We believe that the recruitment market is going to continue to polarise between sector specialist recruiters and those which provide embedded RPO services and in-house recruitment team augmentation.

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