Did you read the FT’s piece at the head of the Recruitment section today? Click here to read the article. The main thrust is that the outlook for recruitment businesses in the UK was fairly poor, especially if they have large exposure to the “City”. In fact a number of the larger players including Michael Page and Hays have cut their staff numbers for the first time in years. Robert Walters, the CEO of the business with his name on the door! Is quoted as saying that in a downturn clients just give their business to the larger recruiting companies. We at Ardent would disagree strongly with such a sentiment; clients give their work to recruitment businesses who provide the best service, have the strongest candidates and who understand their markets most thoroughly. Businesses like Ardent. Mr Walters goes on to elaborate, “the buyers of our services tend to be procurement and human resources”.
We are heartened by this statement as our Supply Chain/ Procurement business enables us to keep close to this decision making community. Furthermore our decision, some months ago, to establish a Financial Services division focussed on Compliance and Risk may prove a bright idea. As the FT says, “Just about every kind of company is looking for seasoned risk managers and compliance experts”. There are tough times ahead, the recruitment market is slowing and some sectors eg construction, investment banking, and corporate finance are struggling, but there are definitely glimmers of light…supermarket retailers, insurance companies, oil, gas, aerospace and defence businesses are hiring. Even some of the recently “nationalised” financial services operations need quality people. In short there is still demand in the professional labour market. Ardent recognises this isn’t a time for complacency and we are working harder than ever to look after our candidates and clients but we aren’t despondent, there are always opportunities for talent.