The 2020 Recruitment Agency Expo Sum Up

Employment, Hiring, News / 11 February 2020

This was our first year attending the Recruitment Expo, and we weren’t disappointed.There was a huge range of exhibitors to chat to, products to discover, and talks to listen to. Just in case you missed out this year, or wanted to catch up on some areas you may have inadvertently passed by, here’s our round-up of this year’s highlights – one of which was spotting a convincing Gordon Ramsay look alike at the Snapp CV stall. Well done guys, yes?

The 2020 Recruitment Agency Expo Sum Up



There were almost too many exhibitors to count, so apologies to those we missed or haven’t included here. They were all great of course, these were just a few of our favourites for the sake of brevity (or you’d be in for a 6,000-word article): 


Neuroscience and psychology have long been of interest to businesses, and Psycruit are crystalising that interest into practical solutions. We had a very insightful chat with the guys about how their systems allow recruiters to pinpoint the right candidates easily, thanks to a number of skills tests and personality focused questionnaires. What made Psycruit’s software stand out for us was the fact it’s fully customisable. That means recruiters or HR professionals can tailor personality tests, cognitive skills tests and situational judgment tests to reflect their company culture and values. If you’d rather use preset questionnaires, then that’s no problem either of course.


Suits Me
One of the main problems many immigrant workers face is getting set up with a bank account, even if they have a job lined up. The Suits Me team explained how their card helps immigrant workers get an account set up quickly and easily. Migrants are crucial to a number of sectors in the UK economy, so we thought this was a superb way to help recent arrivals to get into work. It’s something we certainly think recruiters should promote to the international, temporary workforce.



Social media is an essential part of any recruitment business these days, thanks to the fact that thousands of jobseekers are now looking for roles on platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn. Paiger offers a pretty handy all in one social media solution if your posting jobs on socials. Not only does the platform offer the standard planning and scheduling that you’d expect, the Paiger AI also combs the web and finds content that your audience will find engaging. It even adds the hashtags and appropriate images (a real godsend, as you’ll know if you’ve ever managed socials).

What’s more, Paiger will even monitor the content of your job ads so they’re gender-neutral and free from incriminating spelling mistakes. Nice.



  Flexible Working

We keep hearing a lot about the increased demand for flexible working, but this talk from Emma Kennedy from Timewise put everything neatly into perspective. The fact is, there is an ever-increasing demand for remote and flexible working roles, and employers are not meeting this demand. 

One takeaway key stat was that despite the fact around 80% of jobseekers want flexible roles, only 15% of jobs meet this demand.

This huge gap is going to cause problems for employers that don’t want to adopt flexible working. As Emma pointed out, many are still scared to implement flexible working schemes, even though there’s plenty of research available that says both employees and employers benefit. 

Where this fear comes from is hard to say for sure, but it’s likely that many employers still haven’t made the connection, or simply aren’t aware of the research. Given that it’s such a top priority for jobseekers, especially groups that employers and recruiters are so keen to attract (like Millenials and Gen Z), it’s something companies ignore at their own risk. Recruiters can help feed this demand back to those employers who are still not aware of the potential benefits.


  Cultivating Positive Mental Health

This talk by Leila Khan was compellingly honest, and hit on some very penetrating points about mental health – especially in terms of being open and honest about how we’re feeling. There’s a commonly perpetuated dogma about Business that it requires us to be hard-headed, unsympathetic, and emotionless. We’re learning more and more that that simply isn’t the case, and Leila’s explanation of why it’s important for leaders in the workplace to think like human beings first and bosses second certainly resonated with that. Approaching Business, and especially the social aspects of work, from an emphatic and compassionate angle is not only perfectly viable, there’s an ever-increasing body of evidence that suggests it improves productivity and workplace happiness. It’s obvious perhaps, but easily overlooked. 

We particularly agreed with Leila’s advice about moving away from telling others what to do as leaders, and instead inspiring and empowering them to take leadership of their role or tasks themselves. 

Also of note was the need to constantly check in with ourselves – asking ourselves how we are feeling, are we getting enough sleep, are we stressed? Making sure we’re in a position to be able to help others requires us to make sure we’re ready and able to do so first. 


  Outlook for 2020 for recruitment

This was a really interesting one from Susan Farmer of Bibby Financial Services, and packed with some very useful nuggets of info. Many recruiters and firms are already aware that there’s a candidate shortage, and despite the fact the recruitment industry has been performing very well in the last few years, margins are currently very tight. The Taylor review changes are also having an impact, and along with the increasingly tight labour market, competition for skilled candidates is getting pretty fierce. Add in the reduced immigration levels due to Brexit, and the labour and recruitment markets could be in for a real challenge over the next few years. There were some positives as well of course.

While 13% of small to medium enterprises said finding skilled staff was their biggest challenge, there is also an increased demand to work in SME’s compared to large corporations. The flexible work market is also booming, which, unsurprisingly, goes hand in hand with the fact that 50% of Millenials now consider flexible working very important. 

Some other interesting highlights included:

  • Despite the fact around 76% of employers increased salaries, employees still weren’t happy – research suggests most staff prefer flexible working options over higher salaries. 
  • Employees want more transparency
  • Generation Z are changing industry expectations – they’re highly digital but also yearn for human interaction. 

Recruitment is also in for some big changes thanks to AI and automation, and the upcoming Gen Z are likely to want a much more personalised experience from recruiters in general. 

That sums up our sum up! If we didn’t see your stall or talk this year, then hopefully we’ll catch you in 2021. See you there. 


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