Article posted byon Dec 16, 2021
How was your 2021? Did you get that promotion you’d worked so hard for, or find that ideal new role you’d been looking for, or perhaps you’re sitting tight until next year? Did you hire new team members, or are you still looking for that next hire in the ongoing talent short market?
Whatever your year was like, I’m sure to all of us it seems crazy that December is already upon us and the year is drawing to a close. But what a year it’s been – forever keeping us on our toes…and as we head into Christmas that’s still the case!
So, before we all disappear to enjoy the festivities, we thought we’d take a quick look back at 2021 and our top highlights of the year, including a few of our exciting plans to come!
Our 20th anniversary – this year was extra special to us as we celebrated our 20th anniversary in October. To reach this milestone and for the business to be in such a strong position (despite all the challenges the pandemic threw at us) makes us so proud to be Cobaltians. It might sound cheesy, but the Cobalt family (including the strong relationships with our wonderful clients and candidates) is everything we stand for and what ultimately makes the Cobalt brand unique – the strength of our culture is something we have never sacrificed, despite our growth success over the years. A big achievement, if we do say so ourselves!
What we’ve learnt in 2021:
That we should never complain about the volume of roles in recruitment! But this year was a huge challenge in the built environment as the market corrected itself to catch up on the hires that were unable to be made in 2020.
We have also seen the importance of ESG with it having a bigger impact and influence across the real estate space through an increase in roles and conversations around sustainability.
The market has also shown more commitment to the importance of Diversity and Inclusion at all levels. Cobalt has a long-standing commitment to D&I with projects like our partnership with Future Frontiers.
What is clear is that the demand and volume of vacancies will continue into 2022, and the creative solutions and expertise that we deploy across the business will make for exciting times ahead. At Cobalt, we had to quickly adapt and change our approach to give the best service possible to our candidates and clients as market demands increased on a monthly basis and the competition for available real estate professionals reached an all-time high.
Business successes – Was it a record-breaking year? The acceleration in demand for talent from Q2 onwards was certainly nothing like anything we can remember before! Considering the challenges in the market at the start of the year, we have adapted and evolved, and ended the year in a strong position. We’re also proud of our high staff retention rate – much higher than many of our competitors. We’ve had incredible success over the last 12 months with our home-grown talent, and our longevity of staff means greater continuity and higher service levels for our clients and candidates. Overall, it was a much better year than we could have hoped for and sets us up for a strong start heading into 2022.
New office, new beginnings – The Cobalt team is very excited to be moving into our swanky new office towards the end of Q1 in the middle of London’s West End, right in the heart of the action. We can’t wait to invite our clients and candidates to come and check it out (adhering to any COVID restrictions at the time of course!) and more importantly, to get to know the best place for a spot of lunch and after-work drink! With our Manchester team having already settled into their new office, it’s new beginnings for all of Cobalt UK!
Future Frontiers – From January 2022, we’ll be kicking off another programme with Future Frontiers, supporting disadvantaged young people. This will be our third time working with this amazing charity, and we already have half of the Cobalt office signed up to participate. Those who have volunteered in the past have found the programme to be incredibly rewarding for themselves, in addition to the benefits to the students taking part, which for some can be life changing. It’s great to give something back to the local community, and is a big part of our Cobalt Cares mentality.
Hiring Plans for 2022 – Thanks to an incredibly successful 2021, we’re expanding across all of our teams next year, which means we need more fantastic people across all levels to join the Cobalt family. We’re also kicking off our 2022 Academy in January, an 8-week intensive programme for eight individuals who will become an associate consultant if they successfully pass the programme. We have lots of home-grown talent at Cobalt and many long-serving members of staff, so you truly can make a long-term career for yourself with us.
2022 Strategy – We’re really excited to elevate Cobalt's offering by partnering with clients in a more strategic capacity, thanks to our newly appointed Director of Strategic Accounts & Consultancy, Charlotte John. She returns to Cobalt after eight years’ working in-house for our clients, so she knows what challenges our clients face and what Cobalt can deliver. In this newly created role, Charlotte will engage with clients to understand which recruitment solution works for them - exploring everything from fee structures and exclusivity agreements through to in-house recruitment, process innovation and strategic talent planning. We’re looking forward to building partnerships that bring the two together and benefit all.
Exciting times ahead – bring it on 2022!
Our last day in the office will be Christmas Eve – everyone at Cobalt will be taking a well-deserved break and time off to relax with family and friends and enjoy some festive cheer. We’ll be back from Tuesday 4th January ready to charge ahead into 2022. We look forward to working with you all next year.