As Zenzo celebrates the completion of its first month in business, we wanted to thank our new clients for their support in working with us to find key hires for them. We have been delighted to place both contractors and permanent resources into important roles and we are excited to know that more recruitment needs are coming through in the next 2 months. 

This positive start has made us reflect on what is happening in the current market.

After deciding to take 6 months completely away from the digital and technology recruitment sector, we did not know what to expect when we returned. We knew that The Pandemic had had a catastrophic effect on unemployment and had frozen many projects that would have otherwise required resource, but was Lockdown 3.0 going to be the same as Lockdown 1.0? So far, and thankfully, apparently not. 

The first Lockdown was of course new to us all and it was a complete shutdown. Aside from fearing for our livelihoods, we feared for our health and the health of our colleagues, friends, and family. This was something new and we did not know what to expect.  Everything just stopped. Even during The Dotcom Bust and the financial crash of 2008, the recruitment market carried on. It was impacted for sure, but companies still recruited skills and people moved jobs and secured contracts.  

But during this first lockdown, and for most recruiters it would seem, for a period of several weeks there was nothing to do and very little prospect of it changing. And on top of that, contracts were being cancelled and people were being furloughed or sadly let go. We only had the summer to look forward to as we were told that we might be able to tackle the virus better by then, but so much uncertainty existed. 

June came along and the market very slowly started to turn but it was at that point that we decided to step back, re-assess, and take a complete break from it. So, what happened from June onwards and what is Lockdown 3.0 like from a recruitment perspective?

The effect of the pandemic throughout 2020 has clearly left its mark. It appears the market kept picking up but was still slow to the end of the year and it was not a great time to be a candidate looking for work. Lots of competition and still not enough roles. But it is apparent that this lockdown is different to the first. 

We do not cover the whole market of course, but from our experience so far, companies have adapted to the way things are. Processes for recruiting, onboarding and then working remotely are in place. Leaders in Companies understand, that despite the joyous news of vaccinations to help defeat this pandemic, this could sadly happen again in the future, so they are learning to survive and grow again in these times. And amongst the obvious gloom and despair there is this light at the end of the tunnel. At time of writing, 12m people have been vaccinated. We are all looking forward to breaking the UK winter and looking forward to Spring and Summer and are hopeful that we will regain some or nearly all our freedoms again. And with that, we also hope we will prosper again. 

It seems to us that there is a huge pent-up demand to get things moving again. Some companies are doing stuff now, many or most are planning for projects soon and therefore recruitment in the next few months. This is a much more optimistic lockdown than the first. 

It is going to take time to absorb the amount of people looking for work. Of course, it is. But the market is changing, and it will be busy again. I know that so many of us could do with something sooner rather than later for both our self-esteem and to repair our finances, but it is coming. 

So, we need to manage this time effectively and be ready. If you have been looking for a role for a while now, try not to despair. Easy for us to say I know. Try, as tempting as it may be, to not chase down every role out there where you know you do not have much chance of success. When the market is like this, Companies can tick off more of the wish list on their requirements and not just the essentials. Therefore, try and focus on less roles, but those that you think you can win and then do everything you ethically can to get some traction. It is not easy for us agencies to manage the current volume of interested candidates, but we should be letting you know where you stand. 

Also, are your skills up to date and ready for the upturn or is it worth investing in yourself with qualifications while you can. We know it is more money and investment, but it is doing everything you can to be marketable for the next wave of opportunities. 

So, in our opinion, the market is better now than it was, and it is going to get busy again. Let us make sure that we are all ready. 

Please do get in touch with us to sense check your CV and have a chat about your prospects. There is a little way to go yet, but more and more opportunities are coming so something for us all to look froward to. 

Ashley recorded and filmed a podcast recently and we are uploading 2 clips from that with tips for candidates and tips for clients during this current market. Hopefully, you will find something useful in there.