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To say 2020 has been a “topsy turvy” year so far for Planning (and every other sector) is a huge understatement and it is a year of more government legislative changes for the sector AND more debate about standard housing methodology. But I’m sure I heard you ask, what about the outlook when it comes to recruitment? The short answer, *very* quiet positivity.
Why? Firstly, Planning is a resilient and a much-needed cog in the development cycle and with the government screaming “BUILD, BUILD, BUILD!” one can only hope that turns into planning applications across a variety of sectors.
Undoubtedly, there has been plenty of bad news regarding redundancies across the country within the private sector, but we are working with a number of SME’s that have recorded positive growth this year not only in terms of headcount but have also experienced a growth in their workload.
London is often the barometer for growth in opportunities for Planners, but it is in fact the regions where we are seeing a steady increase in opportunities but also interest from those who would consider a move North. Across the capital, there is a notable increase in opportunities across the London Borough’s with many temporary contracts being made available at numerous levels and providing immediate opportunities for those unfortunate enough to be made redundant.
In terms of looking ahead, having worked within Planning as we emerged from the last recession, we anticipate a similar trend, and one notable expectation is that our client-side opportunities are likely to increase. In fact, we have already had a couple of client-side opportunities arise since we emerged from the national lockdown. Often this is due to developers/housebuilders realising the opportunity to cut their consultancy fees by employing an in-house specialist and at Cobalt we are fortunate to have a superb array of developers and housebuilders across the UK as our clients.
2021 is only a couple of months away and whilst it would appear life still remains far from normal, many of our clients remain upbeat and positive about their workload and prospects for growth heading into the New Year. Naturally, there has been a huge shift towards home working and greater flexibility, but that is something I have always felt the Planning sector has been ahead of the curve on and whilst we all adjust remembering to unmute ourselves and be patient as our video calls buffer many of our clients hope to be able to welcome their teams back into the office sooner, rather than later.
It has been great to hear of success stories in and amongst the negativity around COVID-19 and to see how the Planning sector has adapted to online committees and consultations amongst other things. We are on hand to support our candidates and clients alike whether it is simply offering advice or market insight or finding the right fit for your team as you adapt. My advice to you all is to keep calm, keep planning and stay safe.
We’re here if you need help defining a role or brief, specialist insight to help shape your ideas or expert help with your recruitment process. Just get in touch to arrange a conversation with one of the team or if you’re ready for us to find the perfect person for you, send us your brief.