It pays to look after good staff - because replacements may be even more demanding, says recruitment expert.

The effects of a pandemic, Brexit, war in Ukraine and cost-of-living crisis are rippling through the jobs market, says Emma Dyer, director of Equine Careers.

Post-Covid, some people are enjoying restored interaction with others in an office. Others are more than happy to swap their commute for working from home. 

The return to workplaces made companies feel secure enough to start filling vacancies again. But where were all the candidates?

So different are the roles involved, it’s hard to say why we’ve seen a drop in applications for some. 

Could it be location and people restricting their search area to reduce their commute? Or perhaps people have become more comfortable working from home and aren’t keen on office-based roles? 

What is clear is that their expectations of a role have altered.

Finding good candidates

The way in which companies reach potential candidates has changed too. 

Social media means everyone watches videos now - and getting in front of the camera gives businesses a chance to get in front of potential job candidates, as well as customers. 

Good marketing is vital to effective hiring. There are still people out there looking for career development, fresh challenges and new jobs. Businesses just need to be open to new ways of finding them. 

Meanwhile, let’s nurture the good staff we already have. 

The jobs market

ETN asks Emma Dyer:

Which types of jobs are unfilled and needing more candidates? 

Office based roles seem to be struggling more. People are keen on hybrid working or working from home. 

Have the types of jobs changed? 

Anyone good at social media is in demand because the most popular job now is content writing and digital marketing. But do the current job seekers have the right experience? Is it just a learned generational skill or should they be studying social media first?

Also, there seem to be more jobs with veterinary reception. As the industry has bought more horses, so vets seem busier than ever.  

How are wages doing? Or are people now more interested in flexible working and more time with family (and horses) following the pandemic? 

Wages have stabilised. They did rise pre-pandemic but have now settled again. 

Are companies looking after good staff because they’re keen to hang onto them? Does this mean candidates can dictate terms?  

From my experience, some companies don’t seem to look after their staff. They are of the opinion that people can be replaced, which at the moment is quite short-sighted and not always true as the people applying are being more demanding. Maybe some [companies] should have looked after the ones they had and knew. 

What advice would you offer a young person currently doing A levels who wanted to work in the equestrian industry? 

It really depends what they’re interested in. If they’re creative, it could be marketing; or if they’re tenacious, sales may be a better fit. There are so many study options out there now that the world is their oyster.

I’d always suggest doing some work experience to build up an idea of what they’d like – or don’t like - to do before making important decisions about what to study.