Keeping pace with a fast-moving industry

The business world moves at a much faster pace than when Just Recruitment started 35 years ago. Here’s how the recruitment industry has evolved to keep up.

By Tim Gibson

Wind the clock back three decades and the world seemed to turn at a very different pace. Although they existed, email and the internet were by no means in widespread use, and social media would have sounded like an idea from science fiction.

It’s a similar story with tablets and smart phones, the antecedents of which appeared in fantasy TV series like Star Trek and Buck Rogers, giving every impression of being utterly otherworldly.

All of which goes a long way to explaining why the speed business transactions moved at was considerably slower back in the 1980s. Because everything happened at a steadier pace, no one had a choice in the matter.

“I don’t think it’s the case that we did things particularly slowly back then,” reflects Jenny Wrightson, who founded Just Recruitment Group Ltd in 1983. “We were always working to optimum efficiency. It’s rather that everything can happen so much more quickly and seamlessly in the 21st century. And what we’re seeing is that there’s a whole generation that has been brought up in the digital age, and therefore has no patience for processes that don’t happen in lightning-quick fashion.”

This has profound implications for a business such as Just Recruitment, especially as so many of the candidates it works with are of the millennial or “digital native” generation.

“We find that many of the people we’re looking to place in jobs are accustomed to instant communications,” Mrs Wrightson continues. “If they express an interest in a job, they expect to receive further details in the time it takes for one of our consultants to reply to an email. Likewise, they expect to be interviewed in a matter of days, and even to be in post within a week or so.”

Fortunately, technology exists that enables Just Recruitment to meet these expectations – which is good news for candidates and employers alike. The sophisticated job-matching software employed by the company uses a massive database to cross-refer candidates with opportunities, enabling an almost instantaneous identification of vacancies for which they may be suitable.

“Contrast that to 30 years ago and you’ll get a sense of how far things have moved on,” says Mrs Wrightson. “When we started out, a candidate would come to our offices and have their CV typed by one of our staff. This would then be photocopied, shared around the agency and posted out to prospective employers. If a match was identified, the process of shortlisting and interviewing candidates could last as much as a couple of months. Which means a quarter of a year could easily elapse between us meeting a candidate and them starting in a new role.”

Now, Mrs Wrightson says it is possible for a candidate to make contact with Just Recruitment in the morning and have a job lined up by the close of play. In some cases, they will even report for duty the next day.

“Obviously, some appointments take longer to fill,” she declares, “especially for more senior positions. But a lot of the opportunities we handle on behalf of clients can be filled in no time at all, and it’s all thanks to the speed at which the digital world operates.”

Alongside big-data-munching job-matching software and speedy modern communications, it is fair to say the processes employed by the recruitment industry have evolved, as organisations like the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and initiatives like the Recruitment Industry Benchmarking (RIB) index recognise.

“With the emergence of social networks like LinkedIn, it’s possible to be far more proactive about finding candidates for roles,” observes Mrs Wrightson. “We can develop a profile of a candidate before we’ve even met them, and that greatly improves the efficiency of matching people to opportunities.”

This speaks of a bilateral enhancement to the recruitment process: on the one hand, technology enables candidates to find jobs more easily, and on the other, it enables recruiters to locate suitable candidates with greater alacrity.

“The net result is an industry that’s global, highly efficient and very fast-moving,” concludes Mrs Wrightson. “The nuts and bolts of recruitment are the same as they ever have been, especially the soft skills required by effective recruitment consultants. But yes, the speed at which things move has rocketed. As technology continues to advance, we’re only going to see even greater sophistication in the way jobs are filled, making it a very exciting industry to be a part of.”

© Copyright Just Recruitment 2018

In keeping pace with a fast moving industry, you should read - Why it's time for the recruitment industry to think big

You may also like - Just Recruitment publishes gender pay gap data

Jobs currently available

Featured job
Management Accountant
Sector: Accountancy, Banking and Finance
Salary: £30,000 - £38,000
Location: Haverhill
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 906965
About the role

The Just Recruitment Group have a superb opportunity for an experienced Management Accountant to join our client on a fulltime, permanent basis working near to Haverhill.

Reporting directly to the CEO of this fast growing successful company. The business is currently growing at 20% per annum and is at a pivotal moment in its development. New premises have been purchased and new sales and accounting systems are due to be installed in the coming 6 months. This role will be part of the senior management team and involved in key decision making for the business going forward.

Responsibilities include:

  • Responsible for the whole of the accounts department and production of the monthly management report and KPIs.
  • Managing the accounts assistant who has primary responsibility for the purchase ledger.
  • Managing UK and overseas payments, controlling deposits and advance payments.
  • Cash management including weekly forecasting of cash and credit control.
  • Running all aspects of payroll.
  • Management of Royal London pension scheme.
  • Responsibility of all company insurances and utility suppliers.
  • Working with the Operations Manager, analysing profit and cost variances to budget.
  • Implementation of new accounting system, which will free up purchase ledger clerk to take some of the more administrative elements of this role.
  • Job and departmental profit analysis.
  • Monthly VAT returns and Bank reconciliations.
  • Ad-hoc tasks necessary for the for Senior Managers and Directors.
  • Management of personnel files.
  • Administration and other duties relevant to the role.

The ideal candidate will possess the following skills:

  • Experience working in a fast moving busy office environment.
  • Ability to work to deadlines, quickly and accurately under pressure.
  • Ability to prioritise.
  • Discretion required due to nature of the role.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Confident in using Microsoft Excel.
  • Flexible and adaptable.
  • ACA/ACCA/CIMA Qualifications are desirable but not essential.

 

Read more
Featured job
Service Engineer
Sector: Engineering and Manufacturing
Salary: £30,000 to £35,000 Per Annum
Location: National
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 906655
About the role

This position is based nationally and reports to the Field Service Manager.

Responsibilities

  • Attending customer sites across the UK and Ireland as required by the business.
  • Delivering routine preventative maintenance and repair work as scheduled by the service coordinator.
  • Attending product breakdown calls, providing technical assistance to customers and supporting service refurbishment activities.
  • Working efficiently and safely, always within the companies Health & Safety guidelines.
  • Delivering high standards of customer service and maintaining a commercial outlook towards the business.
  • Occasional visits to our parent company in Denmark or attending other manufacturing sites for the purpose of training or support.
  • Active input into the strategic activities of the business when required.

Qualification 

  • Full clean driving licence
  • Knowledge of ventilation systems
  • Knowledge of refrigeration systems
  • Knowledge of control systems
  • Health and Safety, including but not limited to, a strong understanding of making and working within risk assessments and method statements.

Skills

  • Electrical
  • Braising
  • Fault finding

Experience

  • Service and preventative maintenance on HVAC products at a national level

Personal attributes

  • Honest
  • Diligent
  • Flexible
  • Supportive Team player
  • Work effectively and safely alone.

Hours

Monday to Friday 08:30 – 17:00 with a 60-minute unpaid lunch break. However, will be expected to work such additional hours as are necessary for the proper performance of your duties.

Reward Package

  • Competitive Salary (based on experience/qualifications)
  • Bonus scheme (Profit related)
  • 25 days holiday per annum (up to 5 days used for Christmas shutdown) increasing with length of service, up to a maximum of 30 days per year
  • Company sick pay (after 13 weeks service and increases with length of service)
  • Pension Scheme
  • Auto-enrolment 3% employee contribution and 2% employer
  • Group Personal Pension Scheme (once qualified) 3% employee contribution and 3% employer increasing with length of service
  • Life Assurance (2 x basic salary)
  • Private Medical Insurance (once qualified)
  • Childcare Voucher Scheme
  • Employee Assistance Programme

Other benefits

  • Monthly flexi-Fridays (staff can leave at 2pm, having made the time up that week)
  • Medical appointments paid up to one hour (excluding opticians)
Read more
Embedded Software Engineer (ref ES Micro)
Sector: Engineering and Manufacturing
Salary: Discussed on application
Location: Colchester
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 907200
About the role

The Just Recruitment Group are currently recruiting for an Embedded Software Engineer for their client based in Colchester, Essex, an internationally known manufacturer of single board computer products, for the VPX, VME, Compact PCI, AMC and other bus architectures. Our products are designed and developed totally in-house, and use leading-edge microprocessors and peripheral components.

We sell into many different markets around the world, but in particular we have a number of high-performance processor and other boards used in aerospace, defence and telecommunications applications, among others. Further products provide solutions for a variety of other data processing and industrial I/O requirements.

Continuing expansion of our product range means that the company requires an Embedded Software Engineer.

Continuing expansion of our product range means that the company requires an Embedded Software Engineer.

The Job:

Our software engineers are involved in many different activities, and in particular the following:

  • Design and development of system management firmware and diagnostics software.
  • Creating software utilities for use by customers or our in-house production test facility.
  • Backing up our technical support engineers when problems arise in the field or in our production test facility.

Working in a small company environment, projects are usually small and of short duration, and in most cases the bulk of the work is done by one individual. The hardware and software platforms vary, but most of the devices used are complex and a good appreciation of the hardware is a pre-requisite for this role.

Qualifications:

Engineering graduate, with at least two years of industrial experience and good experience in the areas below:

  • C programming for ARM processors.
  • Programming hardware devices at register level.
  • Excellent diagnostic skills.
  • Ability to write code that complies with complex industry specifications.

Experience with any of the following would be desirable:

  • Experience writing software to access hardware devices under Linux.
  • Experience with boot loader or PC BIOS development.

The ability to communicate effectively with others within the company at an engineering level is an important additional attribute.

Benefits:

Very competitive salary package, with generous relocation allowance where appropriate. Company-supported private pension scheme. Non-contributory private health insurance scheme.

Read more
Embedded Software Engineer (ref ES Linux2)
Sector: Engineering and Manufacturing
Salary: Discussed on application
Location: Colchester
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 907199
About the role

The Just Recruitment Group are currently recruiting for an Embedded Software Engineer for their client based in Colchester, Essex, an internationally known manufacturer of single board computer products, for the VPX, VME, Compact PCI, AMC and other bus architectures. Our products are designed and developed totally in-house, and use leading-edge microprocessors and peripheral components.

We sell into many different markets around the world, but in particular we have a number of high-performance processor and other boards used in aerospace, defence and telecommunications applications, among others. Further products provide solutions for a variety of other data processing and industrial I/O requirements.

Continuing expansion of our product range means that the company requires an Embedded Software Engineer.

The Job:

Our software engineers are involved in many different activities, and in particular the following:

  • Work on BSPs for cutting edge Intel processor based boards.
  • Design and development of middleware, system and device driver software for many standard operating systems.
  • Working with our hardware designers during the design phase to specify the product, and again during the proving phase to validate the product.
  • Work on challenging customer issues that get escalated to engineering team.
  • Develop test software and procedures.

Working in a small company environment, projects are usually small and of short duration, and in most cases the bulk of the work is done by one individual. The hardware and software platforms vary, but most of the devices used are complex and a good appreciation of the hardware is a pre-requisite for this role.

Qualifications:

Engineering graduate, with good experience in the three areas below:

  • Proficient in Embedded C.
  • Knowledge and hands on experience writing device drivers, preferably for Linux.
  • Good appreciation of hardware.
  • Excellent problem solving and debugging skills.

Experience with any of the following would be desirable:

  • Experience with writing low-level software for operating systems such as VxWorks or Windows.
  • Ethernet networking protocols and infrastructure.
  • Programming for parallel processor architectures.

The ability to communicate effectively with others within the company at an engineering level is an important additional attribute.

Benefits:

Very competitive salary package, with generous relocation allowance where appropriate. Company-supported private pension scheme. Non-contributory private health insurance scheme.

Read more