The lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic during 2021 disrupted local businesses and resulted in many not being able to fully trade. Interestingly the disruption has not hampered the continued buoyancy of the Guernsey recruitment market with many jobs still open and available. There are still plenty of requirements for experienced trust and fund professionals at varying levels. Encouraging for the economy is that we have a number of clients also looking for entry / junior level staff for these industries which is a great indication that the future is looking positive. Employers in the wealth management industries are aware of the consistent demands for STEP, ICSA and ACCA/ACA professionally qualified candidates. It is common knowledge that Guernsey’s jobs are mostly comprised of financial services opportunities and directly available to locally qualified people who have trained in these sectors. The truer picture is there are not enough locally qualified staff on the island with the necessary skills set available for the demands in this current job market. Is the deciding factor that the time has come to introduce more essential workers into the island to assist companies who cannot find the best staff? More importantly, are companies aware and ready to apply for necessary essential worker licences if they feel the need?
Understandably, most companies hold on to the conventional method of employing locally qualified staff. The job market is an employee’s one, this, in turn, creates friction between prospective employers competing to win over a new potential employee. The natural course taken is to provide extrinsic motivators, such as increased salary or adding monetary value to benefits packages, subsequently creating inflated salaries particularly for some of the jobs which urgently require filling.
Alternatively, if companies were willing to apply for essential worker licences they then can keep a high staff morale and retention rate, due to staff not having to work excessive hours to compensate for the missing qualified staff members which are hard to find. As line managers, we all have a responsibility to ensure our teams are fully supported and this comes in many forms. For instance, the addition of new staff where required and considering all available options when doing so.
AP Personnel helped a number of non-local candidates to secure new roles here on the island in 2020. We have recently helped three candidates find employment with licences attached already in 2021. Candidates from the UK, Commonwealth, Europe, Africa and Asia have all secured positions through us over the years and our clients have been extremely impressed with the ability, ambition and work ethic from the staff they hired through us.
From the outset, AP Group have placed candidates in more than 58 jurisdictions. These individuals are holding or studying professional qualifications, and often multi-lingual with previous exposure to working in offshore locations. More importantly, essential workers coming into the island can add a lot of value, culture and insight for their new employer. With such an increased demand for staff in the current market, we are anticipating organisations will need to rethink about applying for licences for candidates who are a ‘limited edition’ on the island. For local companies who have never thought to apply for work permits, they should certainly give thought to the possibility of extending their reach to a new talent pool which we have available for them who are outside of Guernsey. It really is worth companies who have only ever previously recruited staff locally, to perhaps try navigating through unchartered work permits waters. They may be surprised to learn that the conditions might be less difficult than they think.
The benefits of recruitment agencies far outweigh the costs
Andrzej Brzezinski, Manager of AP Personnel Jersey explains how the activity of professionally qualified recruiters stimulates the Jersey job market, influences the effective use of human resources by companies, and contributes to the efficient functioning of companies in the current job market and Covid 19 epidemic.
Going back to Covid free January of last year, it is impossible not to notice that the present-day reality is completely different in Jersey since January 2021. Although the world already knew about Covid-19 in 2019 the problem did not arouse such great fears and emotions at that time, the world was naïve. Lockdowns, turbulent Brexit politics, the growing tension between the USA and China had a large impact on global markets and affected the broadly understood economic activities. Possible inclusion of Jersey by the European Union on the black list of tax havens and related consequences for businesses that operate from Jersey, as well as growing fears that London could become a rival ‘offshore’ finance centre additionally increase the feeling of uncertainty.
Undoubtedly, companies are currently facing many challenges. Many companies and corporations introduce processes improvement and organisational changes in order to adapt to any new situation. They conduct effective risk management and have a well-planned human resource strategy in place, knowing that people are their most valuable resource.
Organisations in Jersey, mainly in the financial services, insurance, legal, IT and commercial sectors, rely at times on the use of external recruiting specialists. We have been cooperating with many regular clients for years. Partnering with an established recruitment agency can be highly beneficial to a company as a whole. Everybody knows the basic purpose of a recruitment agency, which is to help job seekers find new roles, while helping companies find the perfect person. Not everyone realises all the other benefits for organisations that come with using a recruitment agency. Especially during uncertain market conditions, organizations should not rely on the candidate to find them. The best employees do not necessarily explore the job market they expect a reliable and experienced recruiter to do that job for them.
Using a recruitment agency’s services increases a client’s ability to meet with high-quality suitable candidates. AP Personnel has been assisting Channel Island businesses with the recruitment of staff for 30 years. We focus on attracting the most talented candidates and local businesses to partner with, to ensure we are at the forefront of our industry and that we can offer job seekers the best companies to work for in the island. Our ultimate goal is to provide clients with the best talented staff available in the local and international job market.
A good recruiter knows how to network with the right candidates to meet their clients’ needs. AP Personnel are constantly looking for the best jobseekers from many sectors in order to be able to offer our clients the strongest candidates. At the same time, we explore the job market, compose job adverts, post them to number of job boards and use modern tools to reach valuable candidates who are the most difficult to find.
During candidate registration process, the recruiter performs a pre-screening, carefully evaluating and interviewing both active and passive jobseekers before presenting their cv to clients. The task of the recruiter is to make sure the candidate will be measurably beneficial to the client and a perfect match will happen. The client and successful candidate will have the opportunity to maximise their company and new employee potential and they will be in line with their professional interests.
With a vast talent pool in the database, extensive network of connections, access to expensive recruiter systems and the best tools that help locate people with hard to find skills, a recruitment agency can find candidates quickly and efficiently. Additionally, we will conduct a thorough pre-selection process and also make sure that a candidate's salary expectations are realistic and do not exceed the client’s budgets. This will make the hiring task easier for HR teams or line managers, so they can use their working time more efficiently and fulfil their business objectives and work / life balance.
Recruitment consultants can distinguish themselves through the continuous training and development in cooperation with a recognised recruitment agencies representative body. Thanks to on the job and professional training, AP Personnel understand client and candidates needs and we are therefore able to offer expertise advice when needed. This can relate to salary benchmarks requested by clients through to recommendations to candidates of the best companies to work for in Jersey.
Quality of service
Companies are in no way obliged to hire or even interview the candidate presented by the consultant. Companies looking to hire staff do not bear any financial costs related to using the services of an employment agency if no candidate is eventually hired. This means that in such a case the recruiter, despite the work done, will not receive compensation from the client and works normally on a success only basis – no offer to candidate – no fee to the agency. Our success is purely based on finding the right candidate for our valued clients. This means that the real value of our services is through hard work and knowledge of our industry in a local and competitive job market.