The latest annual Recruitment Industry Trends report published by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) showed strong results for the 2014/2015 period. 634,000 people were placed into permanent positions via a recruiter during the 12 month period. And every day during the same period there were over a million people out on temporary or contract assignments in placements which had been found via a recruiter.

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Employment in the Recruitment industry itself has grown during the period as well, and currently stands at over 103,000 staff, an increase of 7% on the previous year. The report noted that over 4 million people had been found a permanent job via recruiters since the recession. With the Office of National Statistics (ONS) data showing that job vacancies in the UK are higher now than they were before the start of the recession, it all looks very promising.

However, while these vacancy figures might, at first glance, seem to be great news for people looking for jobs, recruitment firms are encountering challenges. A report from job search engine Adzuna shows that in most of the UK’s cities, there are now more vacancies than there are jobseekers, with Adzuna’s co-founder Andrew Hunter, confirming that the level of job competition had fallen to its lowest level as a result. This high number of vacancies is in part being fuelled by a difficulty in finding the right people to fill those positions, because of a marked shortage of skills. Mr. Hunter went on to say that without the home-grown local talent available, companies are increasingly having to look further afield for workers, either from other parts of the UK or from overseas.

Faced with discouraged candidates on the one hand, and frustrated clients on the other, it’s even more crucial than ever that recruitment firms don’t lose sight of the fundamental goals that drive the industry. They must exercise every available skill in order to understand in detail a client’s requirements and match them with a candidate who has the right capabilities. This requires specialisation and experience, and a commitment to delivering the best personal service possible. It’s in situations such as this where a positive attitude and a sympathetic approach is of paramount importance. Job seeking is a full time occupation in itself, and continuous disappointments can take their toll on an individual’s own self-esteem and drive; not to mention the negative effects upon morale and the potential losses a company can endure when a vacancy is left open for too long.

Now, more than ever, an outstanding recruitment service is needed to source the right people for the job, including expert advice to help candidates prepare their CVs and hone their interview techniques, and a keen eye for identifying the key qualities in an individual that will resonate with employers.

As Kevin Green, chief executive of the REC remarked, the recruitment industry “is the engine that drives the UK labour market”. Nothing beats the reward of a satisfied customer, and word of mouth testimonials help to drive more new business the recruiters’ way. While the market has recovered from where it was seven years ago, it presents continual challenges. However, a detailed, personal approach, delivered with the highest level of expertise will benefit client, candidate and recruiter alike.

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