Green shoots of recovery in the Professional Services sector

JULIE DUNNING • 17 Aug 2020

Job opportunities for the professional sector including IT, professional services, finance, and engineering have continued to improve - with July marking the second month in a row that vacancies have increased, according to ResponseSource.

  • Vacancies for professional permanent roles are up 18% month on month
  • Professional contract vacancies increased 14% month on month
  • Year on year figures are still down but the gap is decreasing

Research from CV Library has recently uncovered the jobs that each received more than 1,000 applications on its site last month, highlighting the increased level of competition in the UK jobs market. Trainee paralegal (4,228 applications), HR assistant (3,333 applications) and trainee accountant (3,272 applications) were among the top three roles that garnered the highest level of interest from candidates in July 2020.

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How can technology help with the challenge of volume recruitment?

For those already using recruitment technology, such as an ATS, or for those considering if now is the right time to implement technology automation, below are the key benefits of using technology. Particularly within a world where applicant volumes are likely to grow significantly, and as such, job seeker expectations around a positive candidate experience are likely to be critical.

Rapid hiring

When managing volume campaigns, utilising automated sifting and responses, understanding where in the process you have bottlenecks and being able to streamline processes will support your hiring speed. Utilising scored and timed assessments and bringing the tests online can cut the time to hire by an incredible 75% in some organisations.

Simplify the process

Making the application process a simple and speedy one is equally critical to tempt the best talent to apply. Two-stage applications allow applicants to submit key information quickly across two stages of the recruitment process, rather than completing one lengthy application form at the outset.

Automating communication

Application acknowledgement, interview invites and regret emails can all be personalised and branded. Using your Applicant Tracking System to do all the automation will maintain that personal touch even when large volumes of candidates are applying.

Automating communication with your colleagues

We know it’s important to keep candidates up-to-date, however, your colleagues (Hiring Managers / Recruiters) are just as important. Your Applicant Tracking System can take away the manual task and automate notifications and alerts at any stage of the recruitment cycle – this will improve your hiring velocity even more.


A report published by PwC (Preparing for tomorrow's workforce, today) looked at the impact of the current pandemic and how it’s ramped up the pressure on costs and productivity for many organisations - accelerating the need for digital transformation and creating immediate and large-scale workforce and skills challenges.

Looking specifically at Professional Services, how can recruitment technology help solve some of these challenges?

Enhanced job adverts that engage candidates and retain them through to Hire

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Applicants are 25% more likely to respond to an advert that has images or video content


An advert that includes a 'day in the life of' video is far more engaging than a text based job description. The stats speak for themselves - video job ads are shared 20 times more than text adverts.

Give employees the tools to share jobs and content with friends/colleagues and get rewarded for new hires.

There’s strong evidence of using your own employees as powerful marketing assets:

82% rated an employee referral as the best ROI

Time to Hire from referrals averaged 29 days versus 39 from job boards

Referred candidates are 3 to 4 times more likely to be hired compared to non-referred candidates

After 2 years, retention rate of a referred candidate is 45% compared to 20% from job boards.


Keep your candidates engaged from offer all the way through to their first day

Green Room onboarding helps drive engagement with candidates after they've accepted an offer. Providing candidates with video content; information about your organisation or about your department; sharing LinkedIn profiles of the people in the team they'll be joining - essentially building a rapport and a bond with your new team member before they walk through the door on day one.

Getting this right can:

Decrease the time to settle by 30%

Improve new hire retention by 82%

Increase productivity of new hire by 70%


Don’t lose track of the top talent

Adding a coding tag to your Applicant Tracking System at the point of application can categorise candidates by skill set or experience to help you quickly identify them at a later date.

Using analytics to track the best sources for candidates

41% of organisations say making workforce decisions using analytics is important - but they don't do it.

Including a Google Analytics tag to your ATS to monitor candidate traffic can provides your users with useful candidate source data. to track application data all the way through to successful submission.

Transform the way you source the best talent

Searching your own database of talent – whether that’s using Skills Tagging or powerful search functionality can transform the way you find, identify and hire talent.

Using a smarter search, such as Smart Match, has proven to deliver big savings on advertising and agency spend. Rather than a regular search based on keywords within CVs; Smart Match uses the meanings of words and related terms/phrases, which is far more accurate. All this can be done before you even consider paying for advertising or use an agency.

Can your candidate attraction and recruitment process be improved?

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