Companies are cautious and hiring processes are taking longer in Sussex

Ruth Skelton 08.07.2019

Across finance, HR and Office Support in Sussex, there is a general feeling of caution from hiring organisations as we move into the slower summer months of 2019.

What has the hiring landscape been like in Sussex over the first half of 2019?

The recruitment of finance professionals throughout Q2 has revealed how there is less of a demand for temporary resources to fill both qualified and non-qualified roles than seen in recent times. However, unlike some regions across the UK, Sussex has seen a steady flow of entry level finance roles. Considering all the above, the general feeling is companies are being cautious, focusing on efficiency, internal promotions and staff retention. 

2019 started strongly in terms of Office Support recruitment, but has notably slowed down in the past couple of months. For the first time in several years, the requirement for generic customer service based roles has lapsed. This could perhaps be because companies are striving to recruit the traditionally lower paid roles directly, or as they are looking for a more cost effective business model by challenging employees to take on more responsibilities. This lapse has been replaced with demand for more varied individuals, such as Administrators with previous logistics experience or Customer Service Advisors with the ability to analyse data.

Across Human Resources in Sussex, processes continue to take longer than expected and some roles have reached market saturation. For this reason, job descriptions are often being reworked or changed after the initial round, putting further delays on proceedings. A positive trend being seen is the increase in senior level HR roles becoming available.

How to keep the workforce motivated and attract new employees

Flexible and agile working are becoming the norm across most companies based in Sussex. Most professionals, regardless of the nature of their work, want to have a say over the hours they work, and where those hours are spent. An important part of this is enabling team members to work remotely, supplying them with the appropriate technology. 

Corporate culture and the office environment remain key considerations for organisations, often improving office space to make it more welcoming and relaxing for employees. On top of this, wellbeing and Mental Health Awareness have both played a huge part in bringing employee engagement into focus over recent years and is a trend we expect to continue.

CSR initiatives aren’t as important in the finance world as they are across HR or Office Support, but most organisations encourage their employees to give back to the local community in one way or another. 

What has made professionals based in Sussex successful?

Stability on a CV is important for finance professionals - this has probably come from the increase in permanent roles compared to temporary positions.

There has been demand for permanent HRBP level candidates and organisations have been looking for applicants with union and employee relations experience, with the latter being in short supply. Employee relations is also prevalent on the interim side of Human Resources, as hiring organisations look for contractors to join ER projects and restructuring.

How can job seekers stay motivated over the slower summer months?

It’s inevitable that recruitment processes will take longer than you’d first expect, as various stakeholders will have annual leave booked, but don’t panic, it’s the same for everyone across all professions. Stay tight on any processes you have ongoing, email to confirm feedback has been taken and ask the hiring manager to call you. Avoid being a keyboard warrior by agreeing upfront the timescales and who this will come from - follow up on everything.

Ruth Skelton's picture
Senior Manager | Accounting & Finance and Office Support Recruitment
rskelton@morganmckinley.co.uk