Reflecting on an unprecedented year

2020 was a challenging year for many businesses across all industries, including recruitment. At CDS Recruitment, we have continued to work closely with our clients to understand the new recruitment challenges they face as a result of the pandemic, whilst ensuring we make the right connections for their business, so they have the right team in place to help drive their business forward.

As 2020 has come to an end, our Managing Director Chris Sultman has reflected on the positives of the year, the challenges faced, and our plans for 2021.

How would you summarise 2020?

It is safe to say that 2020 was a year like no other we have ever experienced before. Nothing could have aided us with how to deal with the challenges that the Covid-19 pandemic created. However, as a company I think we managed the situation very well and navigated our way through the difficulties and I am happy with the position we are in as we start the new year.

What were your biggest business highlight in 2020?

As part of the company’s strategic growth plans for 2021, our biggest business highlights of 2020 included the internal promotion of our very own Carla Braund to Associate Director, and the appointment of our new Training Manager, Neil Kitchen.

Previously Head of Engineering, Carla has over 20 years’ experience in recruitment and was appointed the role of Account Director to help shape the future of the company as it continues to grow. A truly deserved promotion, her responsibilities also include spearheading the Engineering division whilst continuing to build excellent relationships with both clients and candidates.

Neil is an experienced assessor in a wide range of industries including IT, Engineering, Manufacturing, Management and Health and Safety. In 2020 Neil was appointed as our Training Manager to help us launch a series of new bespoke commercial training courses, which will sit alongside our current training programmes, enabling us to expand our reach in existing and new markets.

Did you learn any business lessons throughout 2020?

As a team we learnt the true importance of regular communication, as well as of supporting each other through the difficult periods, especially when working from home. Scheduling regular team meetings and video calls between colleagues has been an effective method of overcoming the barriers that working from home can bring, as we were unable to have the daily conversations and discussions we would usually have together in the office.

Another valuable lesson learned as a result of Covid-19 is that cash is king. Whilst it is difficult to financially plan for an event as unpredictable as a global pandemic, it is critically important to prepare for worst-case scenarios, and to take into account all possibilities. This will certainly always be considered when making future financial decisions.

What changes did you witness within the industry in 2020?

I believe working from home has been the most unprecedented change for businesses across all industries. Looking ahead, I don’t believe that remote working will work for all businesses and I am sure that in time the office environment or onsite working will soon become the norm again. However, I can certainly see the financial benefits that remote working brings to a business and I think there will be many businesses which will continue to adopt this way of operating.

What industry changes or advancements do you anticipate for 2021?

The advancement in online communications technology has proved to be invaluable to businesses throughout the global pandemic, specifically live interactive video technology. It has improved processes such as interviewing candidates and meeting clients in many ways, as in the current climate it is a safer and more environmentally friendly way of operating. I think many businesses will adopt such technologies permanently and will use them as part of their regular company processes.

At CDS Recruitment, we have invested heavily in our technology to ensure our search capabilities provide us with the resource we need to meet our client’s expectations. Our recently upgraded CRM allows us to generate results with greater accuracy and communicate more with our contacts, as well as automatically upgrade and update legal requirements so our customers and candidates can manage their own requirements and data.

Looking ahead, what will 2021 bring for CDS Recruitment?

As a result of our experiences during 2020, we will be investing in automation and technology as much as we possibly can without losing the personal service and connection which is at the heart of our business. For example, we have launched a new online portal and specially designed training programmes to help clients and their employees access our learning resources regardless of their location. We believe we can utilise technologies such as these to strengthen our recruitment capabilities and to potentially reach new audiences.

However, in 2021 the uncertainties of the UK economy and recruitment industry extend beyond the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, as it will also be interesting to see the impact Brexit has on an industry which has such a high demand for a skilled workforce. We need to keep a close eye on the situation and be prepared to adapt to the changing landscape quickly and effectively if needs must.

In terms of the UK market and our approach in 2021, we believe that UK businesses do not yet have the depth of apprentices required to be self-sustainable. However, with our newly bolstered training arm supporting our experienced recruitment division we are perfectly placed to be a creditable partner to any business in the UK and beyond, helping them make the right recruitment choices and increase sustainability for the foreseeable future.

For more information on the recruitment services and training programmes that we offer, please contact us here.