New headcount is an investment and with firms recognising that certain skills need to be acquired to pursue opportunities and more confidence in individuals putting their head above the parapet, we are now seeing more activity than there has been for the last seven years.
What is becoming increasingly clear is that given the significant downsizing in 2008 and 2009 of firms operating in the intermediary channel the demand is greater than the availability of the most sought after skills.
An individual with a proven track record offers firms confidence that there will be a shorter lead in time and therefore ‘poaching’ what they want from elsewhere is often a key area I’m asked to explore.
However, what has been most interesting is that where poaching directly from a competitor is not desirable or not possible, the tendency has been to hire someone who has done a similar role in the past even if that experience is somewhat dated, rather than take someone on maybe from a different area with a view to transferring their skills
This leads to an inevitable conclusion that as new market entrants grow, which is after all why they enter the sector, they are going to be faced with several key factors.
There is wage inflation, fuelled by a shortage of individuals with experience in certain key functions, and even once these can be navigated past, there still remains the need to open minds to the prospect of working in a growth focussed – smaller business, with assurance about how it will deliver its plans vis-a-vis funding and regulatory position.
Pete Gwilliam is director of recruitment specialists Virtus Search