Priorities change for those thinking of switching firms

As a result of salary freezes, benefit reductions, bonus cancellations, extra work and hours forced on them by their employers, many employees are feeling undervalued.

Peter Gwilliam
Peter Gwilliam

Many also have a strong sense of security from having been retained by the firm through these testing times.

But the more ambitious among them are likely to be feeling their careers have been put on hold while the issues in the sector are being resolved, and they are prepared to evaluate what might be the best career growth.

Individuals understand sacrifices in their financial well-being are unavoidable in a deep recession. This has allowed tactical development in the breadth of skills, allowing some to be in pole position to accelerate, having had the handbrake on for the past few years.

So there’s opportunity at the moment for both employers and employees. But there are key elements that headhunters look for from both the companies employing their services and any potential candidates.

When recruiters take a briefing for a new assignment, what they first try to understand is why any individual would be drawn away from their current security blanket to join the hiring firm.

Headhunters try to gauge why anyone would be drawn away from their security blanket to the hiring firm

Headhunters want to be assured that there is a well thought out, well funded and executable plan.

And when it comes to candidates, the primary aim of headhunters is to work with individuals who are willing to open their minds and consider change.

In the current market I regularly say to candidates that change for change’s sake is folly.

But moving because a firm is better positioned to take advantage of market conditions is worth investigating further.

Loyalty is an honourable quality, but start with loyalty to making the right decisions as far as your own career is concerned. Do not leave yourself having regrets about the job that got away.

But it’s not just those who are comfortable but unfulfilled in positions that companies should be looking towards.

The mortgage industry has been through a significant correction and there have been many displaced individuals.

For these it is difficult to return to the sector because of the perceived gap in recent and up-to-date sector-based knowledge.

There is also often the implicit notion that if they were not retained or have not got back into the sector, they are in same way damaged goods.

I know many talented individuals who were only guilty of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

So again, the headhunter’s job is to understand what their level of motivation and hunger is.

Firms need to consider what individuals are likely to want from employers and I believe the past three years have changed the priorities people have when considering future employers.

People’s consciences have woken up and a greater focus is being placed on the potential employer’s ethos, values, policies, and its corporate social responsibility.

The most significant questions arise around the financial position of the firm, the future strategy and the sustainability of its business plan.