In many ways, life in Britain is getting back to how it was before the pandemic. While we gather in pubs and chatter away over restaurant tables, several industries are slowly getting back to “normal”. For others, Covid left a far more permanent mark. Some thrived, some folded and some had to adapt to a whole new “normal”, a world apart from the old “normal”. Many will never go back.
Takeaways, for example, will never be the same again. The chippy might always have its place on a Friday, and pizza night is still on the table, but so are Deliveroo and gourmet, gourmand, and Gordon Ramsey. Even curry night is now truffle naans with wild garlic poshkoras. We are spoiled for choice and can be as selective as we like on JustEat, with hundreds of convenient options at our fingertips.
Candidates take much the same approach to job sites these days. Scroll, swipe, and select a bit of what you fancy. If there’s another industry that has seen a dramatic change from pre- to post-pandemic, it’s recruitment. So much so, that we could consider calling it a Recruitment Revolution. Applicants are treating job boards like takeaways and Tinder, while agencies are selling products instead of services. Jobs are the products, and post-Covid customers are fussy when shopping. Standards are higher than ever, and candidates are looking for roles that tick all the boxes.
The Recruitment Revolution has in turn led to a Role Revolution. The industry might have changed, but the basic principle of supply and demand has not. A saturated market is a competitive one, and the Role Revolution has resulted in higher salaries, hybrid opportunities, increased benefits, and greater flexibility. Even the fussiest of shoppers eventually buy a product that matches their criteria. Mostly. Not everyone in the house always agrees on the same takeaway, and you might have to accept that your Tinder date doesn’t come with a sixpack, a six-figure salary, and the cooking skills of Gordon Ramsey.
Whether the industry will ever return to life as we knew it or continue to evolve in favour of candidates remains to be seen, but in the meantime, there are many positives to be taken from the current climate. Companies value candidates more than ever, and better wages make for a better quality of life. Selective shopping is no bad thing among job seekers. Candidates can focus on finding the right role, rather than one that “will do”. While JustEat and truffle naans are a weekend treat, many are on Tinder to find real, lasting love. Candidates are still looking for careers and long-term job satisfaction, only now, they’re more likely to find it. Except it probably doesn’t come with a sixpack.
As for consultants, we continue to do what we do best. We find that perfect person and place them in that perfect job and then get to feel all warm and fuzzy inside when it all works out. Some agencies might cling to “the good old days”, but here at Burton we’ve done a Deliveroo and evolved with the market. We adapt to continue offering an exceptional level of service to clients and candidates and instead of holding on to the good old days, we aim to make them better.