Market update: How has the pandemic impacted our region?

In our first Pure leadership series of videos, our CEO, Ian Walters, shares his thoughts on changes in our market following the pandemic. Ian also provides some top tips for both organisations who are looking to recruit and for people who are looking for work.


"Welcome to the first video update of recruitment in the Eastern Region.

My name is Ian Walters, I'm one of the founders of Pure Resourcing Solutions, a leading specialist recruitment firm in the Eastern region since 2002.

Since the outbreak of COVID earlier this year, we're all aware of the impact it had on employment and the number of redundancies that have gone on and there are clearly significant uncertainties still as the furlough scheme unwinds leading up to the 31st October.

Inevitably, many of the statistics been published over this time show what has happened over that period of time. That's obvious. But what most people actually want to know is what's going to happen and what will happen for them.

Whilst I'm no futurologist, I do believe that with our spread across the Eastern region, where we generally place over 2000 people into specialist roles each year, we're quite well placed to understand what's going on, on the ground and I'm hoping to share some of that with you now.

So there are three sectors or specialisms where we have seen hiring activity going on. The first is within the software or technology businesses. That, in turn, can be divided into two because you have got those organisations which are full-on software businesses such as gaming businesses or other software companies and they have continued to hire throughout this period of time. But we have also seen a big increase for other organisations who may be in manufacturing or any other kind of business where their support or IT functions have need to hire. Sometimes that's to support the number of people working remotely but we've continued to see activity in that area.

The second sector where we have seen continued activity is accountancy. You've got the old adage of whether you are making money or losing money you need a good person to let you know what's going on and we've seen continued demand for high-quality individuals within that space.

And the third and final area that I want to mention is Board or executive level recruitment. Now prior to COVID hitting we were seeing reasonable activity but actually, that has continued throughout. Now there was a little adjustment whilst people were getting used to video interviewing over a period of 6 weeks or so but we are actually seeing continued new instructions for leadership at this level within our region.

So I wanted to share a few tips for those people who will be seeking work. So, number 1, resilience is absolutely critical. Never ever give up. You only need one job so just focus on that. It can be really difficult. Don't spend all day doing it because mentally, that's very difficult but do not give up, get up each morning and keep pursuing things.

Secondly, a tip for those seeking work would be when you are in the recruitment process just remember that actions speak louder than words. So, what do I mean by that well, you can demonstrate why you are interested in their business?  If they are/ have got services or goods that you can experience even as a consumer or find a way of trying their services then make sure you do but also when you are being interviewed make sure that you use genuine evidence of things that you have done to show why you would be good for this role.  And it is a two-way process, so it is really important that it isn't just them finding out about you. You need to find out about them and if it is the right fit for you.

The third tip that I want to share is the same as number 1 - never ever give up.

Now tips for employers. I have three things that I want to mention here. The first thing is, there is undoubtedly greater availability of talent for different roles but do not forget, people have choices.

Number 1, please pay fairly. Trying to get people on the cheap just never works - short, medium or long term. Secondly, do treat all applications or individuals who have applied treat them well. It's your employer brand and that is so, so important. Over the last five years or so people have invested a lot of time in that. Please, please remember to look after those who apply. The third thing, it’s a simple one, first impressions count so any interactions that people have with your organisation or with anyone in your organisation, does form a lasting impression.

Next point, please invest sufficient time in the recruitment process. Those of you who have recruited or hired many people in the past will recognise when you get it wrong, the cost in terms of time and the financial cost but more than anything the impact on the rest of your team is huge. So please remember that when you are looking to hire someone and dedicate sufficient time investigating, getting to know the individual so you make sure you make a good hire.

And then the third thing that we've really noticed is that the time to hire is significantly reduced. Now that’s the simple feature of the fact that when roles are coming in from our side, we can go and see clients very quickly because it’s a video. But from a client point of view, it’s so much easier to arrange video interviews and people are available more easily to do video interviews, especially if they are working from home. So we've noticed a significant probably 40% drop in time to hire.

Thanks very much, a good source of information is our website, so do please visit Many thanks."

 Ian Walters profile picture

Written by

Ian Walters

A founding member of Pure, Ian has worked in specialist recruitment since 1990. He started out at a national recruitment firm growing their accountancy recruitment business and then their public sector executive recruitment brand. As well as running Pure, he’s advised on CFO and FD roles, partner appointments for mid-tier and regional firms, and CEO/MD roles for privately owned firms.

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