A brighter outlook…

How changes in the recruitment market could impact your business

Is the recruitment market easing up?” is a question I am often asked. The simple answer is “yes”. But what does this mean exactly – and how does it impact your business and Guernsey’s overall economic ‘confidence’?

In order to understand what impact the recruitment market has on business overall, it is imperative to understand what we have been through in recent times – and what this will mean for Guernsey businesses over the next year.

Confidence feeds growth (and vice versa)

Throughout the downturn, many companies seized the opportunity to restructure. Now, however, businesses are again looking toward the future – and this has been reflected in an increase in the number of positions available for candidates. When there are more jobs on the market, it’s usually indicative of economic confidence returning. So, as has become evident that over the past few months, confidence has started to return to Guernsey businesses.

Guernsey’s fortunate, but we’re not ignorant!

Despite some evidence to the contrary, Guernsey’s economy has actually been quite fortunate, especially compared to the UK and further a field. For starters we weren’t ‘hit’ as hard with the levels of unemployment that the UK is still struggling to deal with.

In saying that, it would be ignorant to assume that the events of the past twelve months haven’t negatively impacted businesses in the island. But the good news is that progressive, forward-thinking businesses are now in the enviable position where they are able to make the most of the imminent upturn in the economy.

It’s not just businesses that have learnt a valuable lesson

While the number of available positions has increased, the calibre of candidate has also improved. In the past, Guernsey has often had more candidates looking for positions than positions available. Now, however, candidates need to work even harder throughout the recruitment process in order to prove their worth – from writing their CV right through to articulating themselves at interview stage. Many candidates have even taken the opportunity to gain additional qualifications in order to add more weight to the key skills they already have.

With more candidates seeking employment, and with a higher calibre of candidate available, there has never been a better opportunity for businesses to secure the person who is perfect (rather than just suitable). Fundamentally, businesses that have had the foresight and confidence to believe things will get better are also the businesses that are best placed to move forward when the economy really starts to gain traction.

It’s time to look ahead

There is no doubt that the past year has been the hardest yet for many Guernsey businesses. However, as I mentioned earlier, Guernsey has already started to emerge from the downturn much less unscathed than other jurisdictions. This alone shows how robust we are as an economy. In fact, businesses are already talking about the ‘downturn’ in the past tense and I firmly hope, like many others, that I can soon open the paper and not see ‘doom and gloom’ dominating as many column inches as it has for too long now.

So as we look ahead and start strategising for 2010, it will be businesses’ reaction to the economy that will really help to turn the island around. Businesses that look to the future with confidence, and those that have already laid solid foundations, will thrive when it really counts.