Getting Ahead in the Race for Talent

We have now passed the one-year anniversary of the start of the first lockdown, and over the past 12 months the jobs market has dramatically changed.

However, we are seeing some positive green shots. In February this year, the CIPD offered a glimmer of hope as it revealed that of 2,000 firms questioned, 56 per cent of them planned to make new hires in the first three months of the year. Healthcare, finance, insurance, education and ICT were the sectors most likely to hire.

Further positive news came as the number of companies looking to make redundancies fell from 30 per cent to 20 per cent compared with the previous three months. Meanwhile, the latest Recruitment Trends Snapshot report from The Association of Professional Staffing Companies noted that permanent and contract hiring increased 15 per cent and 25 per cent respectively since November, again suggesting we are set for improvements. 

At the same time, public sector jobs are looking positive too, with the Government announcing plans to move 22,000 Civil Service roles from London to communities across the UK by 2030. Recently this included the Department for Transport announcing the creation of 650 new roles in Birmingham.

Indeed, over the last twelve months, interest in public sector roles has grown from a candidate perspective. According to Tribepad, applications per role increased by 31 per cent to 74 candidates per vacancy in the six months to August 2020.

Candidates are increasingly looking towards public sector opportunities as they perceive them to offer greater stability, and flexibility, two key elements that individuals are looking for in new roles in the wake of the uncertainty many have faced over the last twelve months. As a result, public sector organisations have benefitted from a growing talent pool, with highly qualified individuals applying for each of their roles.

As recruitment across the private sector picks up, it is important that public organisations are not complacent. With a hiring spree likely to kick start over the next few months across private sector businesses, particularly as industries such as retail and hospitality increasingly open up, the competition for talent will start to intensify.

While we expect to see a continued interest in public sector roles, it’s time for public sector organisations to take stock of their talent requirements both now and for the future. By starting the hiring process, and getting ahead in their talent strategies, they can ensure that they have captured the interest of highly qualified individuals, before other sectors open up. If they leave it a month or two late, then they will be faced with greater competition from businesses who might be able to offer more competitive packages for those individuals.

Those public sector organisations who can take the time and invest in their talent pipelines now, will reap the rewards in the future. The race for talent has not yet started, but the warm-up is about to begin.

To learn more about how we can support you in getting ahead with your hiring strategy, get in touch with

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