The Big Shakeup and what it means for recruiting

By Madeleine Lloyd, Talent Coordinator at Offspring

Back-to-back shutdowns have both forced and inspired record numbers of people out of the workforce in what many have called “the great resignation”.

As restrictions have been lifted and we are starting to get back to “normal”, the talent market has changed again, with many looking to move into new industries, roles or careers instead.

Recruiters are beginning to call these shifts the “big shakeup,” a time when employees and job seekers reassess what’s most important to them.

Across the UK there has been a dramatic increase in the volume of jobs available, but the number of job seekers just hasn’t caught up. Across the country, companies are all looking for talent at the same time, and the traditional employer-driven market has shifted to a candidate-driven market.

Recognizing the changing expectations of employees and job seekers is essential if companies are to adopt effective hiring strategies. Here are some tips to keep up with the post-COVID recruiting world and help find top talent in today’s competitive marketplace.

Understand what is important to candidates

There is a wealth of regular research and data to help employers keep the pulse on employment and recruitment trends.

Salary continued to be a key driver for many candidates, especially with the rising cost of living and the current economic situation. A recent survey of workers at the global hotel company Hilton, showed that the two most valued aspects of their careers were the opportunity to earn more and job stability.

Flexible working hours also continue to be of great importance to candidates and according to YouGov, 1 in 5 Britons want to work full-time remotely. Many companies are responding to this desire, which translates into an increase of 307% (Office for National Statistics – Business Outlook and Conditions Survey) in job postings offering remote work by May 2021.

Many job seekers are also looking for part-time work or job sharing. Latest official figures from the Office of National Statistics (Office for National Statistics – Employment in the UK: May 2022) estimate that more than 8 million UK workers are currently working part-time. This equates to 25% of the entire UK working population.

Another important factor for job seekers is diversity and inclusion, and the initiatives that companies put in place to support them. Research of Wise says nearly half (47%) of millennials consider diversity and inclusion an important factor in their job search.

By keeping abreast of candidate expectations, companies can ensure that they highlight their best assets and assets, both in job advertisements and during interviews or seek to adapt certain practices, if they are in lag with the market.


Momentum has been and always will be key to recruiting, but with today’s aggressively competitive talent market, it’s even more important.

Recruitment processes should be kept as smooth as possible, removing any obstacles that would slow them down unnecessarily. Gone are the days of multiple interviews over a long period of time, as this gives far too many opportunities for good candidates to give up or be offered another position elsewhere.

Hiring teams need to clearly plan the process upfront, including timelines, so candidates know exactly when they can expect a decision and are kept in regular contact throughout. There are many factors beyond your control that can contribute to candidate withdrawal, but designing and adhering to a timely recruitment process shouldn’t be one of them.

Be transparent about salary

New Reed’s research found that nearly 80% of job seekers are less likely to apply for a job vacancy that does not list a salary, with one in five applying exclusively for jobs with a listed salary.

With the cost of living rising dramatically in the UK, the time for pay secrecy is over and if companies aren’t advertising what they pay, it’s time to revise their protocols.

Next steps

Companies need to recognize that the balance has tipped and employers no longer hold all the power in the recruitment process. As a result, candidates demand more of employers, become much more selective about where they work, and express their expectations more.

While changes in the talent market are nothing new, many of the changes we’ve seen since the pandemic are likely to be here to stay. The companies that are in tune with the changing landscape and tackling the most recent challenges are the ones that will reap the rewards of getting the best employees in the market.