People First Personnel

Practising Recruiter Resilience


The last few years have certainly been interesting for everyone in the recruitment sector, with challenge after challenge arriving to test even the biggest and the best of us.

There remains significant economic volatility and market uncertainty, with 2023 bringing both familiar and new challenges. Recruiters are going to need plenty of resilience to work through these challenges, especially with the Bank of England warning that Britain’s workforce will be permanently smaller in the aftermath of the pandemic.

Bank officials also believe the country’s economy will now stagnate, with doubts cast over the government’s ability to ‘drive hundreds of thousands of people back to work’, as reported by the Telegraph.

Recruiter Resilience in Shrinking Workforce

The number of British people in the workforce was already on a downward trend prior to the pandemic, with a significant number of the Baby Boomer generation reaching retirement age. This obviously creates an issue in terms of numbers, but the numbers do not tell the whole story.

Younger generations – especially Generation Z which covers the age range from teenagers up to around the mid-20s – have a very different outlook on life and their potential careers. Even younger Millenials have experienced a major culture shift since the pandemic turned life upside-down for a couple of years.

The need for remote working during the pandemic has shown many workers that there is a alternative work-life balance that can be achieved with flexible working arrangements, and the desire and demand hasn’t diminished much since the Covid-related restrictions were lifted.

A shrinking workforce along with evolving candidate expectations means even the biggest recruitment agencies will need resilience to endure a period of reduced revenue.

So what exactly is recruiter resilience?

Recruiter Resiliency Explained

Being resilient as a recruitment business means focusing on the things you can control, and recognising that even setbacks can be opportunities. Strategic thinking along with creative engagement of the market and the cultivation of strong relationships will help recruiters get through tough times.

For example, a spell of being rejected by good candidates can be disheartening, but developing a strategy of evaluation and re-evaluation to identify weaknesses in your approach could reap dividends. Reviewing all communications with candidates is a good place to start, as there could be a pattern which is contributing to the rejections. Ask questions like: is the tone too personal? Is it too robotic and impersonal? What could be causing the lack of connection with candidates?

As another key to recruiter resiliency, creatively engaging with the market can also help you pull through a dry spell. Look back on successful candidates and placements and compare the communications to the current unsuccessful run. You can also use your connections to these former candidates to gain insight into how they felt about your approach that made them choose you.

Practising Recruiter Resiliency

Recruiter resilience will also be influenced by a factors such as self-belief and the ability to adapt to change.

Self-belief won’t be at its strongest if you just know enough about your job and how it works. You must know more than enough in order to defeat all self-doubt, so seek out training and education that will help your self-belief transcend uncertainty. There could be apprenticeships, training programs and educational courses that take your understanding of the recruitment business and the market to even greater heights.

Similarly, the ability to adapt to change can have a transformative effect on your level of resilience. The market is always in flux and recruiters must be able to pivot and switch-up their game plan on a regular basis. New challenges are always on the horizon and the most successful recruiters are the ones who embrace them.

A situation where adaptability could be the difference between resilient survival and going under would be when the qualifications of candidates seem to have taken a dip across the board. If the current crop of candidates’ qualifications aren’t impressing you, then they aren’t impressing your clients either. Something has to change, and so finding new sources of talent will be key. The tried and trusted source may have been good in the past, but there will be new sources out there that you need to gain access to in order to identify the best talent now.

Everybody across multiple sectors will be struggling at some point, and recruiters are no different. If we want to be still standing at the end of the slog, then we will need tenacity and creativity, and no small amount of resilience.

Other news