Future 50: Hard-to-find staff are good news for The Recruiting Office

Top-Down View: In Warehouse People Working, Forklift Truck Operator Lifts Pallet with Cardboard Box.

It's not only HGV drivers that are in short supply: The Recruiting Office has seen demand for staff rise in a number of sectors - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Between Brexit and Covid, it’s been an up-and-down 18 months for The Recruitment Office. “We had a slightly difficult start to this financial year but it picked up and we've ended with a very good year - and the forecasts are good moving forward,” says MD Neil Scarborough.

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The Future 50 programme is supported by the partner businesses - Credit: Archant

The agency specialises in finding staff for Norfolk’s food-production, warehousing, logistics and manufacturing sectors. “Like most businesses, we've had periods where it's been extraordinarily quiet, then periods where it becomes extraordinarily busy,” Mr Scarborough says. "We're now in a time where it is busy on the temporary side, while the permanent side is a little bit quieter than it would usually be.

Neil Scarborough of the Recruiting Office

Neil Scarborough of the Recruiting Office says the usual seasonality of the job market has gone - thanks to Covid-19 - Credit: The Recruiting Office

“The thing is, all of the traditional busy times and quiet times are out the window - seasonality doesn't seem to apply. It's all being dictated by coronavirus and the level of lockdown.”

It’s not purely about UK levels, though: Mr Scarborough points out that when customers can’t get raw materials because of problems with the international supply chain, that limits their ability to produce and reduces their need for workers. 

“Brexit also plays a part in staff availability, as so many economic migrants went back home when they were furloughed. I read that there are a million economic migrants less than a year ago - that's a million jobs that haven't got people in,” he explains. "When a whole sector of the workforce is no longer there, everyone is fighting over what is left.

“Companies who traditionally would have just placed an advert in the paper or at the job centre are turning to agencies, because you've got to be much more proactive to fill your vacancies,” Mr Scarborough explains. “That's great for us, because our expertise is finding hard-to-find people,” he concludes.

For more information, see www.therecruitingoffice.co.uk

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