Recruitment - A Licence to Fill?
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.