The economy in Gloucestershire is showing encouraging signs, but for those seeking to fill vacancies, the perception that there are more job seekers in the market isn’t necessarily true.
SoGlos spoke to Ian Moriarty from Cheltenham-headquartered recruitment experts, Hooray, to find out what’s really going on in the Gloucestershire jobs market right now.
About the expert – Ian Moriarty from Hooray
Hooray operations director, Ian Moriarty, has more than 13 years of experience in business development and account management, as well as running his own organic food brand in Australia. He takes care of everything from finance to marketing at Hooray. He’s also responsible for keeping the tea and coffee stocked up!
As Gloucestershire’s ethical recruitment agency, Hooray is proud to champion diversity, make a positive impact in the community and match the right talent to the right job.
How is the jobs market in Gloucestershire shaping up as we move out of lockdown?
The job market is buoyant and busy. We are seeing an increase in people looking for work in some sectors, but it is not all it seems, I think there is a misconception there are thousands of candidates looking for all types of roles. That is really not the case. It is busy, but it is quite a candidate short market in some areas.
Are there more candidates looking for work at the moment?
We have definitely seen the number of vacancies increase, as well as the amount of clients we are working with. But we are finding the number of candidates for each role has decreased, so… lots of vacancies, not as many candidates as you would think.
Which sectors are the most competitive?
We have three sectors we specialise in – one of them is professional services, the others are tech and engineering; and health care and education. We have had an exceptionally busy few months across professional services. Roles like paralegals – they are very much in demand. When we find those types of candidates we can place them 10 times over. We are also very busy across sales and support roles, registered managers, care managers and support workers – there remains a high amount of vacancies in those areas.
In professional services, health care, education, tech and engineering it is all very competitive when looking for candidates.
How difficult is it for businesses to advertise their own roles?
It would not be wise to assume you can advertise a role and you will have hundreds of candidates to choose from. The amount of time and cost can be quite substantial when businesses recruit directly.
It is not a case of putting an advert out on Indeed, or a job board, or social media. Most times you will simply not get the response or quality your business is looking for.
What can Hooray do to help businesses find the right candidates?
We not only advertise across all the big job boards and platforms like Indeed, CV Library, Reed, Total Jobs, plus our own social media platforms – which have a strong and ever-growing following – we have our own network and database. That is also growing, and we are finding new candidates all the time. We also have access to some huge candidate banks. It is not a case of putting out a job advert and praying to the recruitment Gods and keeping our fingers crossed a candidate will apply for the role.
We are very proactive. We go out to market and hunt down candidates. Not only can we find the best candidates, but clients can benefit from our expertise in terms of market knowhow.
We can then get involved in job descriptions, interview processes, on-boarding. We can get involved in as much or little as our clients want.
Are there benefits to building long-term relationships with a recruitment agency?
The benefits are huge. We have been in operation for close to four years. We have clients we have worked with since the start, who we have really strong and valuable relationships with and we have become an extension of their business.
Building strong relationships with a recruitment agency does also benefit in terms of candidate attraction.
The more we understand about a business, its culture, environment, the better informed we are when we speak to candidates.
Can businesses work with Hooray before vacancies become available?
Absolutely. It is sometimes a good move to do that.
At the moment the market is quite fast-moving. You want to put all your ducks in a row. As furlough ends there might be more candidates, but currently good quality, high calibre candidates are being snapped up, or counter-offered to stay in their current employment.
If we know the timelines and have all the information it should be a smoother process and transition when we find the right person.
Does Hooray have a ‘black book’ of names ready to consider a new challenge?
You could say that.
We have our own database of candidates. It is always being built upon and we are networking consistently. We have a team of eight, so we are speaking to hundreds and hundreds of candidates every week. Often a role will come in and we will already have a candidate we have interviewed and registered and know is looking for work.
What advice would you give to those looking for work at the moment?
Register with a good, reputable recruitment agency that knows the market and is honest, transparent and has a good base of clients. Check their reviews online.
Follow up applications. If you do not hear back, follow up with a phone call or email. Do your research. You want to do as much as you can to stand out. Make sure your CV is on-point, succinct, attractive, punchy and stands out.
What advice would you give to employers?
Do not hang around. If you are looking to recruit you probably want to get moving. A lot of candidates are getting snapped up. At the moment it is a candidate-driven market. Lots of vacancies on, lots of companies looking to recruit.
Candidates are getting several offers. It is competitive. That may change – we are still in a pandemic so there are a lot of people sitting on their hands and waiting to see what happens. That is one factor which has really affected the supply.