You may be needed more than you know… Market Update Oct 23

Simon RoderickMarket updates

Mental Health - Market update

You may be needed more than you know… Market Update Oct 23

October 13, 2023
Redundancies and mental health both come into focus for this month’s market update.
Mental Health - Market update

Tuesday 10th October was mental health day, and it couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time.

The world of work is a very different place for job seekers than it was a couple of years ago. Knowing that Notes from the Park was due for publication, some listed recruitment firms have kindly published their results just in time to help reinforce my point. PageGroup (better known to many as Michael Page and Page Personnel) saw gross profit (fees) in their permanent business decline by 24% in the UK. Hays fared better, with their fee earner count being 17% lower than in Q3 2022. Hays posted private sector fees 16% down in the UK (no data available for temp vs. perm). Both are very good companies, they are coming off record years, and their teams have clearly worked hard to produce good results. However, what this means is that some sectors will be down I’m guessing 8-10% and others far more than the averages, and this means some people are struggling to find a job.

At some stage in all of our careers we may find ourselves without a job. Some will be fortunate enough never to experience it, but they are the exception and not the norm. We work with firms in the services sector, and they can change strategy overnight and this can change their staffing needs. My experience is that most people get made redundant twice in their career. The great part of working in search and recruitment is placing people into their dream job, and one of the things you never get comfortable with is not being able to help those desperately looking for a new role. As recruiters we have enormous networks, we’ve helped plenty of firms enter new markets in a downturn by introducing good ideas, but you ultimately you can’t make someone hire. The helplessness can be overwhelming when faced with someone distraught. Equally, as recruiters we know that people often emerge from redundancy in a stronger position. When we discuss this with people I’m sure they don’t believe us, but it is true. Life throws up other opportunities, which often take you in another fulfilling direction. Job seekers need to be structured in their search, but you also need time to switch off from the process. It can very hard to do this, but you must and you must also believe all will be okay.

If you have a friend who is out of work at the moment, take time to check in with them. They may be okay on the surface, but struggling beneath. The offer to review a CV, or to have a catch up over a coffee, or an after-work drink can be a lifeline (after work drink is good as it connects people to the workplace). Ask anyone who is full time job seeking what it feels like, and all respond with the same “it’s lonely”.

“Margin compression” will be the story of the year for most firms. This will also mean bonuses will be smaller and may well need to be more targeted. Leaders need to find a balance between rewarding key personnel, with the gap not being so large that they alienate others. Equally, not rewarding outperformers can the detrimental to the health of a business. It’s going to be a very difficult balancing act. I’ve never seen HR professionals put so much thought into comp as they did at the start of this year. They wanted to reward for a previous great year, but they were mindful of a potential slowdown and fixed comp escalating. I think this year will be an equally difficult conundrum, and all we can advise is to get some fair metrics in place and to monitor. Remove gut feeling as much as possible.

If you’ve found the above useful, you may also find this article interesting on the importance of coaching.

About Fram Search

Established in 2010, Fram Search is a specialist financial services recruitment consultancy. We focus on mid-to-senior hires in the UK and internationally.

We provide high quality contingent and retained recruitment services to boutiques and global brands. We have long established relationships, outstanding market knowledge, and access to deep talent pools. Fram takes a highly consultative approach, combining outstanding tech with a human approach. We are proud that our contingent fill rate is nearly three the industry average and we augment our retained search methodology with rigorous psychometric testing. We take ESG seriously, we are champions of diversity and all staff have undertaken unconscious bias training, we also carbon offset.

Please contact us on 01525 864 372 / [email protected] to learn more.

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