2021 has been another interesting year, full of challenges but also lots of positives. I think it would be fair to say that most people were glad to see the back of 2020 but as we rang in the new year, much uncertainty still hung over us.
In Wales, we remained with some form of restrictions until August when it was announced that we were on alert level 0 of the control plan. This was delayed by the spread of the Delta variant. For businesses, this has meant almost another full year of trying to adapt to an ever-changing landscape and we’ve seen this have a significant impact on the ability to get staff for many sectors.
From a recruitment perspective, 2021 has been a year like no other. Having worked in HR recruitment for over 20 years, I’ve never experienced such a widespread shortage of quality candidates and the scale of which businesses are having to adapt to changes in employee expectations.
Having said that, it has been incredible to see just how many businesses have bounced back despite these unprecedented challenges and are continuing to hire, forward plan and grow. Supporting our clients by providing them with the best HR recruitment service possible has felt even more meaningful and it’s been a pleasure to work with clients, new and old throughout the year.
Similarly, to many other end of year blogs, I like to reflect on the highlights that we’ve had and look to the year ahead with positivity and focus. So, here are my thoughts on some of the standout elements of 2021.
- A year of celebrating 20 years in business
2021 marked 20 years of Human Resourcing and we’ve certainly had some fun celebrating the occasion. When I started out in business my vision was simple, I wanted to offer a totally honest recruitment service that was built on the highest level of service. Throughout the years this has proved to be a strength and despite the ups and downs of the markets, changing political backdrops and the evolution of digital technology and its impact on our lives, being consistent in the service we provide has helped to cement our reputation as the people’s choice for HR recruitment. I’ve been blown away by the incredible comments I’ve received on our social media posts about our 20 year anniversary and it’s reinforced just how supportive the business network is here in Wales and I’m so proud to be part of it. Here’s to the next 20 years!
- The return of live events
We were all forced to embrace virtual throughout the pandemic and whilst it served an important purpose it has been amazing to see the return of live events, in person meetings and being able to socialise with our HR network face to face! When the rules changed to allow in person meetings there was a real buzz, it felt like the klaxon had rung at the start of a race and we we’re all finally allowed to go for it. I’ve noticed a sense of gratitude across my network, attending events feels exciting again and people are much more grateful to be connecting in person. I’ve had the pleasure of attending some key events including the CIPD Wales Awards, panel discussions and have been a guest speaker at some HR focused workshops and it has been great to see lots of familiar faces as well as plenty of new people to the industry.
- Recognising Wales’s HR industry
Last month saw the return of the CIPD Wales Awards, an event that’s always stands out on the HR calendar. This year was a hybrid event to cater for everyone and credit to Lesley Richards and her team, they pulled off a fantastic event. We were delighted to sponsor the award for Best In-house Team, and it felt extra special after the last 18months we’ve had, being able to present the winners with their award on the night. Congratulations again to Wales and West Utilities who won our category and to all the winners on the night. HR teams played a vital role during the pandemic, and we’ve seen the lasting impact as so many businesses have now embraced new working models to benefit their workforce. Recognising the incredible talent across the HR sector in Wales is something we’re really passionate about and these awards encapsulated this perfectly.
- Growing our network
The pandemic has had a long-term impact on recruitment and hiring trends. We’ve found that as well as losing staff, many businesses have undergone restructures and are creating new roles which will be central to their growth. There has also been a shift in attitude, with more organisations prioritising people services roles than before, with a focus on retention and wellbeing, as well as requiring experienced professionals to advise on the ever more complex HR landscape. With working models continuously evolving and the very heavily driven candidate market in full swing, we’ve experienced a greater demand for our services as organisations require tailored recruitment services from experts in the HR sector. It’s been a challenge, but I’ve loved every minute of it and have had some amazing feedback along the way.
As we look to the new year, there’s still a degree of uncertainty around the pandemic but if we have learnt anything in the last 18 months it’s that we’re resilient and we’ll find the positives no matter what comes our way.
I’d like to thank everyone for their continued support this year and wish you all a restful and enjoyable Christmas period.