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As we move further into 2021, we now have the hope of the “when” rather than the “if” that some sense of normality of working and personal life will return.
This change in perspective has led to a significant impact in demand for supporting roles for either Part Qualified/Qualified ACA, ACCA, CIMA as well as the property management accounts in service charge and client accountants.
What are the challenges now?
It’s no surprise that the key challenges faced in the first lockdown continue into this one, although we’re all more experienced at managing them now. These include keeping staff motivated and engaged, dealing with communication and technology challenges and the “how-to” of recruiting, onboarding, training and upskilling people remotely. Individual workloads have been pushed to the edge and beyond capacity, with some hiring plans postponed in early 2020.
Employers are now seeing the effects of this, with the initial gratitude, from employees who were happy to be keeping their job and work from home, subsiding. This has led to more pushback around promotions, salaries and working arrangements as employees look to seek recognition for the increased workload and challenge over the last 11 months...
So is everyone looking to hire now?
The team at Cobalt has seen an incredible spike in new vacancies, with headcount increases finally being signed off to help and assist those who have been overworked or covering roles during the worst of times of last year. We’re seeing a large number of interim and permanent requirements at all levels across corporate and property accounting - recruitment activity levels are close to early 2019 levels pre-Covid.
Whilst it is quicker and much easier to set up interviews over video, the length of the recruitment process can still be hampered with people working from home, home-schooling commitments and final sign-offs lengthening the time to recruit.
Is there a “but”?
Whilst employers are now keen to hire, there is still some nervousness from job seekers when it comes to the risks of moving jobs in the permanent market (the interim market is unaffected).
Applications to job adverts are still significantly down across the market, increasing competition for the top talent. Headhunting, referrals and revisiting individuals that put their search on hold again has become crucial to finding the best talent on the market as the perception remains that people are not hiring, and this is not the right time to move.
So what does this mean?
Using a specialist recruitment consultant, either when trying to find the best talent or searching for your new role, has become invaluable to save time and create a successful recruitment process. Job seekers and employers need more support throughout the process, particularly provide reassurance to candidates and information beyond just an advert or a job specification. There is a need to know why the role is there, company policies and actions that were applied over the last 12 months and why a person is looking for a new role.
Prospective employers and employees have a longer and more stringent list of prerequisites that need to be managed effectively in all stages of the process…and beyond and the team here at Cobalt have proved their ability to adapt and have been continuing to do this incredibly successfully.
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.
Associate Director - Finance and Systems
T: +44 (0)20 7478 2536
Principal Consultant - Qualified
T: +44 (0)20 7478 2539
Managing Consultant - Property Management & Systems
T: +44 (0)20 7478 2577
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