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2021 and recruitment

Posted over 2 years ago by Rebecca Thomas
Recruitment Insight

With so much happening in 2021, we thought we’d look back at a year in recruitment and some of its key events.

Jobs, jobs, jobs!

2021 has been a whirlwind of a year for us, and as agencies and in-house brands alike experienced a boom in client and consumer demand, coupled with the ‘great resignation’, recruitment demand increased.

Job vacancies not only recovered following a woeful time the year previously, but hit a record high, with the retail sector or motor repair industry seeing the largest increases.

Candidate shortages

Though record levels of jobs were available in the market, recruiters and hiring companies alike have had to grapple with the impact of a limited candidate market.

This was down to a variety of factors, from the skills shortage and the great resignation reducing the availability of talent in niche sectors, to employees feeling unconfident about market stability and feeling tied to their employers following a difficult year previously.

This issue is still to be resolved as is expected to be one of our and many other hirers challenges during 2022.

The great resignation

Burnout caused during (and prior to) the pandemic, coupled with job dissatisfaction is driving a high volume employee turnover within some businesses.

With a quarter of UK employees planning to change their career over the next few months, and some jumping ship earlier, the great resignation is creating a massive shift in the recruitment landscape.

We’ve spoken to many job seekers who are looking to change sector, industry and even their job discipline entirely in order to gain better levels of satisfaction at work.

We can’t argue with the logic behind it, but in some industries this is creating skill shortages and gaps which are becoming increasingly difficult to fill. And of those employers whose workforce is leaving due to company culture, re-hiring is becoming even more of a challenge.


The benefits package has always been important for getting more people to apply for a job. Historically it was factors like salary or an enhanced pension which appealed most. But in today’s climate psychological factors are the driving force behind whether a job seeker choses to apply to a job.

Working from home and the flexibility to have a work/life balance has become the driving force behind job seeker requests, especially amongst those who had the opportunity to work from home during the pandemic.

But workplace culture has also become a huge force behind whether someone will accept a job or even stay in the application process. We don’t expect this to change, and it’s important moving into 2022 that businesses utilise their organisational culture to attract the best talent in an otherwise scarce candidate market.

With so many businesses putting training on hold during 2020 & 2021, many applicants are also looking for companies with attractive training and development programmes and opportunities to help advance their career.

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