4 Industries Recruitment Agencies Should Be Paying Attention To

4 Industries Recruitment Agencies Should Be Paying Attention To

Although the past year has been tough for contract and permanent workers alike, 2021 is set to bring in a renewed appetite for career change. In February this year 77% of UK workers reported that they are looking for a new job, and over half of those in employment are considering a new career altogether.

With a vast candidate pool and an abundance of industry specialisms, how can recruitment consultants prioritise their areas of focus? Here are the four industries with the best opportunities for employment growth in 2021.

Best Sectors for Recruitment Agencies to Work In 2021

1. Education

The education sector has long suffered from a growing skills shortage, which has intensified during the pandemic. Half of all Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs) leave the profession completely in their first five years, and the volume of teaching staff fell by 7% in 2019 alone, as class sizes rose to accommodate increasing numbers of pupils. In 2020 staff shortages due to Covid-19 isolation requirements and sickness absences have increased pressure for existing teachers, and particularly for contractors who work as supply teachers.

The urgent demand for teaching staff presents an excellent opportunity for recruitment agencies to engage with schools, and a new interest in teacher training indicates a budding talent pool. In July 2020, the total number of applications to qualify as a teacher had risen by 19%, after having steadily decreased in recent years. Redundancies, appetite for meaningful employment and the desire for a stable career path will drive the significant growth of quality candidate pools for education recruiters.

2. Public Healthcare (for those with the right knowledge and experience)

The NHS is potentially a pivotal market for recruitment agencies in the current climate, however several challenges will face agencies without established knowledge, networks and deep understanding of public healthcare. Britain has a current shortage of 40,000 nurses, and the lack of doctors is set to become even more urgent, with 14% of existing doctors planning to leave the profession altogether following the traumatic events of the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite the vital importance of these roles to global communities, there are a multitude of barriers to attracting fresh candidates into public healthcare:

  • Salaries – Healthcare worker salaries are usually much lower than those in the private sector, meaning low margins for recruitment consultants unless they achieve high volumes and supply staff placements
  • Mental Health – Mental health struggles in hospital workers have rocketed during the pandemic; stress and high workloads were already causing high sickness absences and premature departures from the profession before 2020
  • Brexit – The NHS is heavily dependent on international workforces – the UK has one of the highest levels of foreign-born workforces in Europe – and engaging healthcare talent will prove much harder following the UK’s departure from the EU and termination of free movement across European countries.

International recruiters without the right experience may not fare so well either: by 2030, the global healthcare sector is predicted to suffer a shortage of over 400,000 doctors, spread across 32 countries.

The multitude of barriers to start-up agencies and those without deep understanding of the sector will significantly reduce competition in NHS recruitment – and set the stage for savvy staffing companies to enter and flourish. Agencies led by recruiters with their own personal experience of a career in healthcare will seize the opportunities of urgent NHS skills shortages in 2021. Applications to study nursing have skyrocketed by over one third in 2021 so far, and the nationwide awareness driven by press coverage and the Clap for Carers campaign have ignited passion for meaningful vocations across demographics.

Recruitment agencies that are well versed and well connected in the public sector, with the ability to invest in the engagement and training of the next generation, will weather any future recession and reap financial rewards for years to come.

3. Life Sciences

Covid-19 has seen one particular aspect of the healthcare sector thriving and eager to engage with recruiters around the world.

Due to the increased need for testing and drug manufacturing during the pandemic, Pharmaceuticals and Life Sciences are booming – and recruiting high volumes of staff around the world. Specific sub-sectors of interest and benefit to recruiters include:

  • Covid-19 Diagnostics – The global Covid-19 testing market is projected to reach $8billion by 2027, growing at 2.7% every year for the next six years
  • Cancer Treatment – With the UK reporting its worst year on record for cancer diagnosis, cancer services were delayed as hospitals filled with Covid-19 cases in 2020. Despite the setbacks of the pandemic, Life Sciences specialists are closer to eliminating cancer than ever before, and will need thousands of highly skilled (and well paid) professionals to join their workforces in the next five years
  • Home Cancer Screening – The American Cancer Society predicted last year that ‘the future of cancer screening after Covid-19 may be at home’, and the financial backing of telehealth and telemedicines is rising rapidly
  • Medical Devices – The world’s Pharma and Life Sciences leaders are ramping up investment across robotics, wearable technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in medical devices.

The financial success and growth of Pharmaceuticals and Life Sciences will provide recruiters with a wealth of temptations to engage high quality talent. Candidate attraction revolving around well-known household brands, high salaries, career development and the opportunity to truly make a difference – saving lives, curing cancer or eliminating Covid-19 – will bring in a new wave of quality candidates for recruitment agencies in 2021.

4. Technology

Seemingly an evergreen and ever-expanding industry, the technology sector has cemented its importance to our lives and careers throughout the pandemic. The need for tech skills will be focused on two main areas in 2021: cloud architecture and cybersecurity.

After its sudden enforcement, the benefits of homeworking have proven popular with employers and employees alike. Hybrid working with teams spread across geographies and sites will become the new normal in the coming decade, and will present new challenges and opportunities for businesses. Cloud architecture professionals are already in urgent demand as organisations start to build the digital infrastructure that will connect international staff through project management tools, shared file access, video conferencing, company-wide databases and each individual phone and computer.

Remote working also increases the risk of security breaches, hacking and cyberattacks. The mislaid passwords, improper saving of data or vulnerable internet connection of just one staff member can open up any organisation to financial and reputational ruin. IT contractors who specialise in cybersecurity will become vital to the technical infrastructure projects of all companies, large or small. Embracing the growing demand for skilled IT professionals will enable recruiters to capitalize on business digitalization and achieve continued success in the future.

Set Your Recruitment Agency Up for Success

The best recruitment agencies are supported by the best suppliers. Contractor management companies that prioritise compliance and candidate care can drive efficiencies, improve the client-contractor relationship and dramatically reduce legal risk in the recruitment process.

Find out how Generate could help your agency.


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