Business | COVID-19

The Future of Recruitment: Part 1 – The Battle for Regeneration

The future of recruitment in the next 12-18 months


It’s been a tough few months for a lot of recruitment businesses. This industry is normally one of the first to really feel the impact of a recession, but it’s also one of the first to bounce back and regenerate.

To get the latest on what recruiters are finding, I asked recruitment experts what they think will happen in the next 12 – 18 months in the recruitment sector. In this four-part miniseries, their predictions, along with my own, will hopefully give you some guidance for the months ahead.

The COVID curve

Personally, I think those business owners who have taken this time to re-evaluate their business and are using COVID-19 as a learning curve will be able to bounce back in a far better position.

Asking questions like was there infrastructure in place to be able to get everyone to work from home? Did we have the financial performance figures available to make decisions quickly? Were we able to adapt quickly to the changing circumstances?

If you can learn from this pandemic then your business will be stronger than ever.

The opportunity to regenerate

Oliver Weiss, Partner at Blake Morgan, believes that from a legal perspective, “recruitment companies will be primarily focused on the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic: getting people off furlough and back into work, and the various legal implications that might come from that process. In the medium term, there may be some redundancies and restructuring which requires legal input.

When Stuart Hutchison, Partner at UHY Hacker Young, considers the next 12-18 months, regeneration is what comes to mind. “Businesses are currently taking on a lot of debt and there are a few more difficult decisions to be made. It will take us longer than 12-18 months to fully recover, however after a period of consolidation and contraction, I expect confidence to return as we move through next year.

The recruitment sector has always led from the front when coming through challenging times, and I expect this time to be no different. We’ll see businesses lead the way on how culture looks in the new normal, and commercially, those of us that have planned effectively, will survive and flourish as the market strengthens. There will be plenty of opportunities for grabbing market share for existing and newly formed SMEs.

Battles and bounce-backs

It’s going to be a battle for those to survive,” suggests Howard Greenwood, Director at LoveWorkLife Consulting. “So, if you want the accolade of peacetime, you’ve got to work hard through the war, which means as leaders, you’ve got to inspire your team. You have to deliver you mission statement and your values back to your staff. You’ve got to work hard to create value for your clients and your candidates, which is all about you inspiring as a leader.

Across the pond, David Ellis, Director at Precision Global Consulting, predicts a bounce-back in the US staffing market. “that’s what I’m hearing from all of the experts out there. As and when industries get back to some form of normality and start reopening, and a lot more hiring gets done, we see a significant bounce-back in the US market coming.

We will continue this miniseries next week with more advice from recruitment experts, discovering more insights on making the most of the new talent pool, what digital recruitment will really mean, and how recruiters plan to move out of survival mode.

This series was inspired by our future of recruitment video that features advice from a selection of recruitment experts, which you can watch here. For more information you can check out our Blogs or Resources pages or you can visit the COVID-19 section on our UHY website.

To discuss how COVID-19 has impacted your business and to find out how Recruitment Accountants can support you please get in touch, you can call us on 0845 6060 9632 or email

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