Massive changes in the job market mean companies and job seekers need to focus more on what they want, according to experienced recruitment consultant Fiona McClean.
Fiona, from Nominate Recruitment at Innovation Factory in Belfast, has worked in the industry for 21 years and has never seen so much change in such a short time.
“All the post-Covid factors have come together to bring about a sea change in recruitment. Many employers haven’t hired in recent years because there was so much uncertainty, but now there’s huge pent-up demand for staff as things return to normal. Additionally, potential job seekers have reassessed their lives during this time and are looking for a better work-life balance,” she said.
She said employers need to make themselves as attractive as possible to candidates.
“They need to promote their company culture and ethics to really demonstrate why someone would want to work for them. There has also been a huge shift in companies offering increasingly flexible terms to attract the right person to the job,” she said.
Likewise, job seekers should have a clear idea of what they expect from a new job.
“With so many opportunities out there today, it’s important for job seekers to think about what matters most to them. While everyone’s focus is on salary, the benefits of hybrid working, opportunities for progression, or perks like health insurance have value that shouldn’t be underestimated,” she said.
She added that candidates should also consider company culture and come up with a list of their dream employer.
“Having a clean, concise CV is obviously essential and I would advise you to register with one or two employment agencies that have good contacts in your field,” she adds.
Fiona set up Nominate Recruitment (www.nominaterecruitment.co.uk) a year ago after working for a major agency for over 20 years. She therefore understands the importance of prioritizing what is important to you.
“During the pandemic, it really gave me time to think about what I wanted, so I took the plunge and went out on my own. Going out on my own was something I had always wanted to do. learned to take a chance and live your dream,” she said.
She chose Innovation Factory (www.innovationfactoryni.com) on Springfield Road because she liked the centre’s unique open spaces which provide opportunities to meet other people and network.
“Talking to other business people at different stages of growing their business has been a huge help. Working alone can feel very isolating, but the atmosphere at Innovation Factory allows me to network with other like-minded people,” she explained.
Originally from Dungannon, Fiona began her professional life in hospitality and tourism before heading to Australia for a gap year.
“I wasn’t sure what I really wanted to do and registered with a recruitment agency in Australia. I saw how they helped me and knew immediately that was what I wanted to do,” she said.
When she returned to Belfast she had her chance and never looked back. “I love what I do and hope I help people find the right job for them. Your job is such a big part of your life, so it’s so important that you’re happy there,” she said.
Stephen Ellis, Head of Innovation at Innovation Factory, said: “Our community is an eclectic mix of entrepreneurs looking to start their own projects and established companies looking to expand and grow. All benefit from the knowledge exchange between each other and our in-house business support team. Fiona’s vast recruitment experience is a welcome addition to IF.