As we headed into the new year we spoke to Neil Carberry on the Talent & Growth podcast about what to expect in 2023. Neil is somebody who’s got his finger on the pulse as the CEO at the REC, and he provided us with fantastic advice for getting ahead in the next year. Read on to find out his best advice, straight from Talent & Growth Episode 98.
How can recruitment companies keep their voices strong in the next year?
Retention strategies are one of the main things that we need to focus on. Sensible companies are listening to their staff about the pressures that they are under. They’re not taking ownership of all of those pressures, because they can’t, but they are understanding what they can do to make a difference. Things like one-off bonuses to help with the energy bill rise will keep faith in the company. We also need to acknowledge that work is a transaction. Ask yourself what you need from your people, and what do they need? How can we mesh those needs together? People in TA should be talking to their colleagues in HR and leadership about how they can move our offers forward and make them distinctive.
Is the climate changing for recruitment?
Candidates have got spooked by the changing market quicker than clients have. It’s more difficult to move people early in the year. Some people are saying ‘I need a 10% pay rise to keep up with inflation. These guys are only offering me 5%, so I’m looking at moving.’ Other people are seeing it differently. We’re getting feedback like ‘I like my boss, I know how to do my job and they’ll give me a 5% raise, so I’ll stay because of the security I have here.’ As recruiters we need to find the right people who are open to moving.
Companies are never going to be able to offer everything that candidates want, but they can offer the most relevant things for their market, so it’s all about priorities. An example is hybrid working. Staff love it, as long as the company is clear about its expectations. It doesn’t matter if it’s two days at home or fully remote, they want clear guidelines. We can’t avoid our responsibility as employers, we have to make some decisions about what we need and articulate those decisions.
Are there any other challenges companies are going to be faced with in 2023?
The biggest challenge remains a shortage of people. The domestic labour force is getting smaller, because the baby boomers are a big generation, and they’re leaving the labour market. Brexit has tightened the market too, so labour being a scarce resource is going to stick with us now. Companies should be planning their business model for that environment. Productivity performance in Britain for the last decade has been a horror show. Companies need to put people first. If you do that, you’ll have a huge commercial impact. After a decent finance director, the next thing you need is a decent HR director. Companies need to be thinking strategically about how to lead and manage our companies to create opportunity.
What advice would you give to recruiters preparing for 2023?
Talk to your clients. Understand where their pain points are, understand what things are shaping the company that you’re in. One of the tendencies in our industry is to throw as many hooks into the sea as you can to try and catch some fish, but a well-baited hook is always going to catch a fish better than an un-baited hook. Invest in a niche or client with some foreknowledge. The more you know about your sector, the better you’ll perform in it.
Know where the business is going. Ask yourself, ‘Is everything I’m doing this week aligned with where I want my business to go?’ Do I know where this business is going and what skills it needs to get there? Do I know who the decision makers are? Am I hearing from them about their pain points? Am I reshaping what we’re doing to meet those needs?’ That’s the behaviour pattern that I see from the best people in the business. This is a people business, so focus on where you can make a difference and who you can make it to.
To hear more about Neil’s work with the Recruitment & Employment Confederation, tune into the full episode of the Talent & Growth podcast here.
On Talent & Growth we speak to talent leaders about the challenges they face and their solutions for attraction and retention. If you’re interested in hearing about how companies are building a more diverse talent pool, how you can attract top people from the big players, ways to create a more inclusive interview process or learn about the latest and greatest automation software to make your life easier, then this is the podcast for you.