We have been very positive about the market recently and with good reason, a record month for AdMore in October and what is shaping up to be a record quarter. I have personally been busier than at any period during my time in recruitment. Processes are moving faster and candidates are getting offers – a few lucky guys are getting multiple offers (click here for advice on how to deal with that happy problem). We have seen the ‘slack’ in the market reducing at an incredible rate. Earlier in the year there were still a lot of redundant candidates all vying for the same small pool of vacancies, a trend that had started in 2008. For those of you who are still out of work and looking for a new position, keep positive, the market is turning! That said there are still a couple of geographical cold spots – the North East quickly springs to mind.
So, with the slack in the market reducing, the pool of available candidates declining and vacancies increasing, employers are finding they are not quite in the buyers market they once were. As a by-product we have seen a noticeable increase in salaries in the last twelve months. A typical Area Manager salary of £45k a couple of years ago has shifted to £55k or more in order to secure the strongest candidates in the market…and in a few cases well north of £60k. We haven’t seen a marked increase in salaries at Divisional level or ‘Head of’ but there are definitely more vacancies.
I met a couple of clients last week that were quite honest about what they were seeing; fewer candidates and as a result, less qualified or capable indivduals. So, our conversation progressed on to a pool of candidates that the recession has created that a large number of employers have been actively avoiding – candidates with multiple job moves in a short space of time. If you have changed job three, four or even more times since 2008 you are not alone! I accept that this is not a phenomenon that has occurred recently but I do believe that the recession has exacerbated the problem for many people. One of the clients I met last week indicated that perhaps it was time to meet some of these guys and give them a chance and you know what, I agree.
Recessions breed panic. Back in September 2008 we were told that we were heading for the ‘Great Depression.’ Batten down the hatches it was going to be a bumpy ride, we were told, and it has been
Companies affected in the last five years have included Comet, JJB Sports, Clinton Cards, Game, Borders, Barratts, Alexon, T J Hughes, Jane Norman, Habitat, Focus DIY, Floors-2-Go, the Officers Club, Oddbins, Ethel Austin, Faith Shoes, Adams Childrenswear, Thirst Quench, Stylo, Mosaic, Principles, Sofa Workshop, Allied Carpets, Viyella, Dewhursts, Woolworths, MFI, and Zavvi/Virgin Megastore.
That is a lot of people. This doesn’t even include all the employees that were made redundant due to company restructuring.
So, what do you do if the media is telling you that there is going to be a depression, everyone is going bust and your bank has indicated that they are not likely to be very flexible about missed mortgage payments?
You take the job that is offered to you.
And you are grateful.
However; you took a pay-cut, you compromised your values around company culture, you increased your daily commute from 45 minutes to 90 minutes, you took a job one level (maybe two) below your previous role, you believed the promises of progression, you didn’t credit-check the company for financial stability, you didn’t research the company to check the previous hiring patterns.
So you moved, and you moved again. Sometimes repeating the same mistake, sometimes making a new one.
Employers don’t like this. It suggests that candidates haven’t done their research or compromised their values. It suggests they can’t stick in a job or perhaps they didn’t cut the mustard. It suggests that they might not be the perfect candidate.
I placed a candidate last week with a company that did look beyond the 4 moves in 4 years. The candidate had been made redundant twice, had been mis-sold on progression once and had joined a business that looks lovely from a consumer perspective but wasn’t exactly an ‘Employer of choice’ (click here for advice of identifying an employer of choice). He had made mistakes but he had needed to provide for his family and had made decisions that were rushed. A lot of employers took advantage of candidates like him and have churned a lot of people over the last few years with promises of stability, progressions and riches. He is a great guy and has finally landed a job with a great business that has offered him a position at the level he should have been at had the recession not happened (there is another blog to come about how the recession has damaged careers…and what to do about it).
Employers and recruiters are going need to look beyond multiple moves on CVs in 2014.
It is time to give people a second chance.