Why recruiters hold the key to unlocking the global skills crisis

International Recruiters Day: Why recruiters hold the key to unlocking the global skills crisis

The global skills shortage is impacting almost every business in every sector – even recruitment is facing a dearth of talent as the impact of Brexit, Covid-19 and the Great Resignation continues to play out. For staffing firms, the current landscape provides a perfect balance of opportunity and threat.

On the one hand, the significant hiring demand that clients are facing is driving more business and revenue for recruiters. But on the flip side of this, the shortage of candidates is not only draining recruitment resources, but also threatening success rates for firms. Solving the skills crisis will be no easy task, but recruiters, in my view, hold the key to moving this issue on.

No other profession has such a wide-ranging insight into where skills can be found, what candidates want, which roles are in high demand or what attributes are in decreasing supply. The value of the recruitment sector has been largely under-estimated – up until now, at least. Businesses are now recognising that staffing firms can not only tap into talent pools beyond those they can reach themselves, but also provide data driven insights for more accurate hiring decisions. But we know that recruiters provide so much more value – and we need to shout about it.

Hiring consultants are a part of every stage of an individual’s career. When an education leaver is looking to kick-start their professional career, a recruiter is there to help guide them on the right path. When someone is looking to jump ship and move into a new industry, a hiring expert is there to guide them down the right route. And when an experienced professional is planning to move into a contract role as they wind down their career, they’ll have an expert consultant available to guide them.

There’s no other profession that provides such a great influence on the career decisions of talent pools globally and this connection is what really makes recruiters so unique. They have the opportunity to guide digital experts into new sectors or encourage emerging talent down specific career paths, all of which can not only help organisations with immediate hiring needs, but also aid the creation of new talent pools in the future.

Recruiters, of course, already know this. But employers themselves are now beginning to recognise this too. Even government authorities are realising just how much sway the staffing sector has over skills development. Indeed, at APSCo we’re increasingly seeing our calls for legislative amendments to support the creation of a dynamic workforce being heeded by officials. The delay to the permanent move to Digital Right to Work checks is just one example of authorities taking on board the guidance from recruitment experts like APSCo to ensure the labour market is being bolstered, not hindered, in the current climate.

So, on the eleventh annual International Recruiters Day, I want to celebrate just how far the profession has come, but also call on every recruiter to think how much further we can all go. We’re at a pivotal moment where we may soon see the hiring spike of the last two years begin to stabilise, making now a critical time to cement the new image of the recruitment profession.