Recruitment and the eastern region’s recovery

As lockdown eases, we are starting to better understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our regions businesses and our local economy.

Over the past few months, Pure has spoken to some exceptional values-based leaders across the eastern region that are leading with care, compassion and commercialism. These are the organisations that will be best placed to come through this period with more resilience and a strong reputation. How businesses have treated their stakeholders throughout this period (be it customers, staff, investors and their supply chain), will be remembered for a long time and those that have kept their values intact will be the ones that best bounce back and we will all want to support in the future.

Forced change

Despite the immediate challenges that organisations have faced, the forced change has generated some surprising benefits as well as fresh opportunities for some. Necessary innovations that many have had to adopt have had a lasting impact on operations and look set to stay beyond the crisis. For example, several manufacturing companies that have moved to split shifts have reported greater efficiencies and higher productivity with fewer people on the shop floor at any one time. Whilst some businesses had embraced remote working prior to the pandemic, almost every organisation has commented on the surprising efficiency of home and flexible working and the common concern about trusting employees to ‘work from home’ has disappeared overnight. Many describe how communication has significantly improved. Our regions industries will change but thrive from the opportunities that the challenges of the current crisis have presented. 

Best Employer partners, Archant, recently conducted a survey on attitudes to home-working and found that while just over a third of respondents (35%) would like to continue ‘WFH’ full-time, most people would like some time in the office. 39% voted to split time evenly between home and office, 10% favoured spending three-quarters of their time in the office and 16% were eager to get back to full-time office-based working.

With our experience of the 2008 recession, we know that our region's business will soon need to develop and evolve their workforce, whether this is to adapt to changes in business operations or to meet demand.

Our region is resilient

Through discussions with our clients and candidates, Pure have gained insight into how our market is changing. 

As has been reported nationally, the number of vacancies has reduced by over 50%, however, in this region, we have seen significant activity in Food and Agriculture, Biotech/ Pharma, Gaming, Edtech and Software sectors. HR professionals have been extremely busy maintaining the workforce, utilising furlough schemes, and the challenges of helping their people adapt to home working. The growing number of homeworkers have created a demand for technology support roles. Digital marketing and eCommerce job roles have been in demand as more of our region's businesses develop the digital experience for their customers online shopping and appointment-based opening times. There has been a notable demand in accountancy, technology and some Executive roles.

Whilst many permanent appointments were placed on hold at the start of the crisis, a high percentage of those have been reinstated and companies are quickly adapting to remote interviewing. Time to hire is faster as arranging video interviews is much quicker than scheduling face to face appointments and we expect video conferencing to become much more common, even after the vaccine.

Over the coming months, we predict there will be an increase in available candidates as the furlough scheme tapers, although candidates secure in their permanent jobs are likely to be cautious about moving. Even now, candidates are completing more thorough due diligence on the companies that they interview with, as stability and security are becoming a primary driver for people looking at new opportunities.

We anticipate that more organisations will reach out for temporary and interim workers to enable them to flex their resource and bring in specialist skills on a demand basis. Our trusted temporary workers are ready to meet this challenge.

It is increasingly important to trust your recruitment partner to find the right person for your organisation. With over seventeen years recruitment experience in the region, Pure have developed an incredible pool of temporary and interim talent, as well as deep candidate relationships and will be well placed to help.

Recruiting with confidence

We have learnt a lot about our own business in the last three months.

We are a very people-focused business and we thought that to be successful, we needed to be together - sharing ideas and knowledge across a desk. The pandemic has shown this is not true. Moving to a remote pattern of working hasn’t hindered us. Productivity has grown and our sense of team is stronger than ever.  

Our priority at Pure has always been to put people first. This includes our team, our candidates and our clients.  We value the close relationships we have developed and look forward to supporting you all as we come through this phase.

Pure can support you in the following ways:

  • A confidential discussion about your people-related challenges and opportunities.
  • Interim and permanent recruitment across professional specialisms including Finance, HR, Office and Administration roles, Digital Marketing, Technology and Executive.
  • We can be a sounding board and provide real practical help. If we can help we will, or chances are we will know someone who can and would be happy to put you in touch.
  • Our development programmes including Best Employers Eastern Region and Women’s Leadership Programme.
  • Our Covid-19 resource hub has useful guides to tackle the current crisis. Over the next few weeks, we will share examples of how others are over-coming today’s challenges and how they are making the most of the situation by innovating and adapting to new opportunities. 

Since 2002, the way we do business has built loyalty with our diverse clients. Our clients trust us to recruit not just the best available talent, but the right candidate for their organisation. Our consultants are knowledgeable experts in their specialism and work in partnership, to provide advice and support beyond the offer stage and ensure a smooth transition into the new role.

The right people are your most precious business resource and we go beyond recruitment and induction support. We also provide a range of added value initiatives and development programmes that are designed to help your people, and in turn your business, to thrive.

If you like our approach, talk to our consultants today to discuss how we can support you, your business and your people.


 Lynn Walters profile picture

Written by

Lynn Walters

Lynn is a founding Director of Pure and leads Pure Executive. She has over 25 years’ experience recruiting for executive appointments, and helps east of England-based businesses with senior management and board-level recruitment. Lynn also leads our Best Employers Eastern Region initiative and Women’s Leadership Programme, both of which help companies and people develop.

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