In the rapidly changing landscape of the events industry, recruitment and business practices are continually evolving. Reflecting on the final quarter of 2023, YOU Search & Select, a leading specialist in event industry recruitment, is pleased to share its newest quarterly report on recruitment trends.
Robert Kenward, the founder and Fitabilty® Recruiter, offers valuable insights into the industry’s current recruitment trends and provides a forward-looking forecast for the upcoming quarter.
This quarter has witnessed the emergence of three noteworthy trends:
Surge in ‘Boomerang’ Recruitment Activity
“The last quarter of 2023 showed a remarkable surge in recruitment activity, but this was mainly as a consequence of companies attempting their own hiring processes earlier in the year and getting it wrong. My entire network of recruiters all experienced the rush; businesses attempted DIY recruitment through platforms such as LinkedIn, but then realised to their detriment that recruitment is more than hard work and needs a continual focus and process to get right. Poor recruitment (vague job descriptions, poor interviewing methods etc) resulted in poor hiring decisions which in turn meant that new recruits were wrong for the role or didn’t stay long. Lots of companies were affected and then contacted recruiters in a panic to hurriedly recruit to fill these now urgent roles.”
The impact of last-Minute sign offs
“A distinctive trend emerged, driven by end-user clients providing shorter timelines for event execution. The industry witnessed a rush in demand for eventprofs who could adeptly manage clients and stakeholders and handle the complexities of last-minute event planning. This trend created a heightened need for individuals for ‘doing’ roles, people who could hit the ground running and who were skilled in quick decision-making and effective event management.”
“The last six months of 2023 felt more settled, like the industry was back to an even keel. Agencies have now steadied the ship and are now looking past survival mode and on to forward thinking and strategic planning. This meant that they have been recruiting for the roles that can effectively help them to grow their client relationships, build their portfolios, communicate with stakeholders, and generally strategically plan future growth.”
As we look forward, Kenward can make several forecasts for the first quarter of 2024
Mergers and Acquisitions on the Horizon
“I highlighted this trend last quarter, but it continues to be a major focus for agencies. My network is witnessing an increasing number of agencies expressing interest in mergers and acquisitions. This trend is driven by a desire to enhance efficiency, focus on core competencies, and address the challenge of sourcing new business. The larger agencies are exploring strategic partnerships and mergers to offer more fashionable boutique services while maintaining a flexible and agile approach.
US Expansion Frenzy
The allure of the US market intensified in 2023, with agencies experiencing a gold rush mentality and this will develop even more in 2024. The strategic and consultative approach, and soft touch of European agencies has found favour in the American market; as the US awakened post-pandemic, businesses recognised the need for nuanced, strategic brand experiences, contributing to a surge in demand for European expertise.
Internal Communications Evolution
Forward thinking agencies are now evolving their client relationships and creating compelling and engaging content for effective internal communications. Internal comms has evolved from routine meetings to a comprehensive service with the expectation for agencies to actively contribute ideas and strategies, going beyond traditional internal comms roles. The fact that this is a more profitable income stream is also being gratefully appreciated.
The next quarterly report looking at the first quarter on 2024 will be published in April 2024.
About the author.
I’m Robert Kenward, Chief Talent Officer and creator of FitabilityⓇ.
I’ve been working in the recruitment, Live Events, Brand Experience, and Experiential Marketing space for over two decades. I’ve been a candidate, a client, and a recruiter.
This makes me well acquainted with the challenges you face and enables me to cover the entire talent spectrum above £60k.
I care deeply about my work and I’m generous with my time.
Hit me up if you’d like a new perspective on solving classic hiring problems.
Or book directly into my diary HERE to see how I can help you attract, select and retain your next senior hire.