What are the UK recruitment sector’s immediate prospects and how can budding firms prepare themselves for the challenges ahead? Discover all the key details that your business needs to survive Q1, as well as the important role that Touch Financial can play in this respect, in our latest exclusive blog.
1. Build Brand Awareness to Beat Competitors
Today the recruitment industry finds itself under ever-mounting pressure to prove that uniquely talented clients exist and are worthy of investment for prospective employers sorely in need. The Telegraph reported earlier this month how British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) data showed professional skills shortages as having reached “critical levels” in Q4 2017, thus causing no shortage of grief for sectors like UK manufacturing in tandem with rising material prices and persistently high inflation rates.
But rather than perceiving the situation as an existential challenge to UK recruitment’s survival prospects, why not think of this as a major marketing opportunity? There’s arguably never been a better time to launch an advertising campaign which – depending on the markets in which your recruitment firm currently operates – promotes your clients’ diverse skillsets and extensive work experience to companies on the hunt for new employees, or encourages prospective employees to apply for roles which your business clients are looking to fill.
If your firm needs assistance with releasing the necessary funds to build its brand awareness this year, then you might consider pursuing an invoice finance facility, which allows you to release a high proportion of your invoices’ value within 24 hours of them being raised. Get in touch today and our consultants can help you explore the possibilities of gathering supplies for and running an advertising campaign along these lines.
2. Speed Up the Hiring Process
One of the most cumbersome challenges facing UK recruiters right now involves the speed and ease – or lack thereof – with which the hiring process can develop. Whether as a result of regions like Westminster shedding enough available office space to fill the Shard every year, or firms’ graduate employment drive diminishing by 10% in Q4 2017, the Financial Times describes UK hiring as remaining “weak” at present, with “many […] companies freezing capital investment plans until they have a clearer idea of what the UK’s future relationship with the EU will look like”.
Nevertheless, there are plenty of options available to British recruitment firms looking to streamline their hiring processes in these trying times. While construction behemoth Carillion recently suffered a tragic collapse owing to its outsourcing issues, there remains a tested and more secure market for recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) in 2018. For instance, if your business lacks office space to accommodate further staff – graduate or otherwise – then perhaps you might consider hiring staff as seasonal contractors, particularly for the recruitment sector’s annual peak periods or when you’re running the advertising campaigns mentioned earlier.
An invoice finance facility could once again lend support in these cases, releasing the funds necessary to pay seasonal staff’s wages or for consultations with potential contractors, rather than these additional expenses placing too great a strain upon your working capital to justify.
3. Get Ready to Embrace GDPR
Moreso than perhaps any other industry, UK recruitment firms relies hugely upon their data – compiled via Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, databases and other technologies – to manage their accounts and overall business development efforts. Little wonder, then, that any changes to UK legislation surrounding data management will have a profound impact upon the sector, often prompting industry players to launch a full-scale overhaul of their internal processes in order to avoid incurring steep fines down the line.
Take the General Data Protection Regulation. Set to be implemented in May, this watershed EU directive promises to transform the UK business playing field, bringing in its wake numerous key changes to how firms must handle their data – particularly any information pertaining to their clients and customers – going forward. An overhaul of this calibre should hardly come as a shock given that SMEs recently ranked cyber-attacks among their biggest 2018 fears, but according to the Telegraph, over 70% of UK firms have yet to prepare for the radical new legislation, with two-thirds doubting their ability to report breaches within the GDPR’s three-day timescale and one-third doubting they would detect breaches at all.
If your business ranks among the legions currently occupying this dangerous position, we would strongly recommend that you consult our GDPR guide after reading this blog, where you’ll find a comprehensive overview of how data protection requirements will change this spring and the penalties that your firm risks if its future strategies are not compliant. If your temporary hiring plans are still being finalised, perhaps a data protection officer (DPO) capable of monitoring your digital operations and working with data controllers to report potential breaches to the Information Commissioner’s Office.
Find out more
Now that you’ve discovered how to make Q1 a successful start to 2018 for your recruitment firm and how Touch Financial can help on that front, why not get in touch? Our consultant team can discuss your current concerns and ambitions for the year ahead, finding the most suitable cashflow solution to help your business reach new heights rather than allowing issues like GDPR requirements, industry doubts or evolving recruitment plans to hamper its progress.