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Liverpool Business News and the Chamber of Commerce recently ​interviewed Terry Murphy, Managing Director of our executive division, to better understand the challenges faced across the manufacturing supply chain when recruting new staff.

Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic have combined to create the “perfect storm” for companies facing a major challenge in recruiting new staff. And, according to Terry Murphy, managing director of Morgan Ryder’s executive search division, organisations that have not, or are not at least ready to evolve and adapt to a new market where candidates are “calling the shots”, they risk extinction.

“Currently, businesses are doing well, demand is far greater than supply,” added Terry. “The result is increasing salary levels, package negotiations, counteroffers, all concurrent with multiple job offers. Yes, candidates are indeed calling the shots, however, with the correct approach, there is a lot a company can do to bring balance to this situation. Gone are the days where an organisation (or recruiter) can guarantee success by simply placing an advert on a job board managing the “wave” of enquiries until you attract the correct CV. Candidates just aren’t searching for jobs like they were in 2019, and with most of the sector’s talent sitting dormant or passive, you really need to ask yourself, “how do we capture their attention and pull them onto the job market?” This is where there needs to be a shift in an employer’s approach.”

Just 20 years ago, 80% of Morgan Ryder’s business came from within a 20-mile radius of its Knowsley headquarters. Today, the business has a global reach, working with clients across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and North America.

Morgan Ryder’s group managing director, Peter Ross, is also vice-chair of the Liverpool City Region Employment and Skills Board. He reports that sectors across the city region are struggling to recruit the right staff. Every sector represented on the board is experiencing huge challenges when it comes to retaining and recruiting staff,” he said. “Hospitality, professional services, construction, healthcare, education and manufacturing, and logistics are some of the sectors represented and facing these challenges"

He reports that, in some cases, London law firms are taking full advantage of the shift towards working from home (WFH) to swoop in and recruit talented people based in the city region. He explained: “They are paying London salaries but allowing people to remain WFH in Liverpool city region.”

Terry believes the recruitment market, distorted by both the pandemic and Brexit, will continue to heavily favour those looking for roles for at least the next 12 months, possibly for up to two years. After that, he believes, things may settle down.

However, he added: “There is no doubt that not all of the disruption is temporary. We are also seeing a genuine structural change in the market and the smarter employers are looking to get ahead of this. Those who are slow to catch up may find cultural shifts become an existential threat to their businesses. WFH is now an established practice. Many more people now want that kind of flexibility from their job and that isn’t going to go away. In the US, they are already well ahead of the game on this but many employers in the UK are still struggling to adjust. We are still spending significant time with organisations, laying the foundations for current and future recruitment drives, educating hiring managers on challenges, building and driving employer brands, helping them to react quickly. Companies need to properly prepare for recruitment. They must be able to sell their businesses to potential employees. Why should a person resign from their current role and be excited to join your team? Often, we will ask the senior managers or directors of a company what the answer to that question is and they don’t always answer with substance. Firms are offering good salaries, which is now a given. So candidates will want to know more about the employer, the personalities of the managers, the culture, and is there a commitment to diversity. All these aspects are now in play.”

The full interview can be found here at Liverpool Business News or here Chamber of Commerce