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As the saying goes, “a Jack of all trades is a master of none”.
However, many tend to leave out the second, most crucial part of the phrase, “though oftentimes better than master of one”. That’s the problem with our habit of shortening important references in life, as the quote is actually meant as a compliment. It refers to someone being a generalist rather than a specialist, skillful and versatile at many things.
And no truer word has been spoken about RE Recruitment of late; we are the Jacks and Jills of all trades, and in this instance, trade refers to recruitment sectors. We’re proud to shout this from the rooftops, especially as we recently topped the charts of The Recruiter’s much-revered FAST 50 2021 as the fastest-growing, privately-owned recruiter with a 71% growth rate.
So, what has changed in the world of recruitment since the pandemic, Brexit, and several other challenging situations, that have contributed to the multisector recruiter’s rise? Here, we reflect on the past year with our Founder and Chairman, Richard East, and consider the benefits of not putting all the proverbial eggs in one basket.
We’ve always been here – the ‘Jacks of all trades’ – although we’ve been somewhat sneered at in the past by the specialist recruitment agencies. Richard says:
“A few years ago, there were lots of specialist recruiters around in transport, IT, accountancy, legal etc., and I’ve always argued the toss that multisector agencies were looked down on a bit for not specialising.
We’ve continually aimed to emphasise the point that we do specialise; we specialise in recruitment. I admit, I’m not an IT or legal expert, but I’m a recruitment expert because that’s my chosen career. If you want to put someone on the moon or hire a refuse collector, we will get you who you want and need, as we’re the recruitment specialists.”
It’s not all been plain sailing, especially over the past 18 months, with various hurdles placed in businesses’ way. Like countless others, the pandemic forced us to batten down the hatches, and we had to scale back some divisions, most notably hospitality and catering, as the country shut up shop. On the flip side of this coin, several of our other divisions snowballed, such as health and social care, transport, food production, technology etc. Because of our multisector strategy, we were able to divert resources to other areas that enabled us to not only survive the fallout but grow through the process.
“You can never rest on your laurels. We’ve been in recruitment for 20 years and still haven’t seen it all!” Richard adds. With further unrest in the job market on the horizon, such as the end of furlough and the continued fallout from Brexit and IR35 changes, along with rapid growth in some sectors, it’s important to remain sharp and match fit; “And that’s what we do best, innovate and look forward”.
The future for us is to keep refining our ability to be agile and resilient, which means investing in our team and our client and candidate relationships. We’ve ensured our internal recruitment strategy focuses on attracting new talent and utilising apprenticeship schemes whilst growing our existing talent through training and development. Over the years, we’ve worked hard at our employer brand, making sure we are a great place to work, with heaps of growth and development opportunities for those that want them, enabling us to source the highest quality personnel for today and tomorrow. We constantly aim to reinforce this vital message with our clients to aid their recruitment strategies – be a good employer with prospects, and the talent will come to you. It’s important to us that our people remain confident and realise their value to the broader economy; Richard states that:
“Some recruiters might not see themselves as professionals, and we want our team to understand that they have such an impact on local economies and should realise just how professional they are. They might not be qualified to lawyer standards, but that doesn’t mean they don’t work to the same standards and determination.
Building our brand and conveying our why is another key part of our forward momentum. Recruiters can get a bad rap as ‘the shiny suit brigade’, and we’ve always focused on avoiding being put in this bracket. We want to be accessible to all, approachable and care about what we are doing,” Richard adds
Recruitment is a team effort between recruiter, client, and candidate. We must share goals and work collaboratively to achieve them to be successful.
So, in summary, we continue to see the wider picture and cater to various sectors by being specialists at recruitment. Our broadness enables our resilience; our entrepreneurialism allows our innovation; our bravery empowers our adaptability when the going gets tough.
The multisector recruiter has many benefits, should be respected, and is here to stay. After all, when the world stops turning in your specialist recruitment area, as it did for so many from March 2020, where do you turn to survive?