12 Months On...


It has been 12 months to the very day since I rejoined SW6 Associates, and it has allowed me the chance to observe and reflect on what has been a truly interesting rollercoaster across our industry...

Here are some of my key takeaways across the last 12 months...

1. The recruitment industry is made of sterner stuff.

When the 1st lockdown hit, it was obviously met with uncertainty and concern, but the industry banded together with a number of individuals conducting workshops, webinars, and lots of positive messages across social media sites... We got through it and showed in the lockdowns that came later, we were better prepared and, in some cases, benefited from this new world of work!

2. Working from home is definitely here to stay.

Once life returns to some form of "normality", the majority of clients we work with will continue WFH, and in some cases will continue to offer as many as 4 days working remote. A number of clients have reported that they have gone on to have recording-breaking months and quarters due to remote based working. WFH won't be a benefit, it is will be seen as a standard part of working life.

3. Whilst some enjoy WFH, many yearn for a return to the office (me included).

Having spoken to a number of founders, leaders, and candidates, one thing continues to be mentioned: "WFH is great but I really miss the buzz of the office"... Regardless of life returning to the early days of 2020, it will be some time until I think we see large sales offices, but those days will definitely return sooner rather than later... We are, after all, social creatures and having a great office culture is an important factor for many.

4. Clients who embraced the pandemic and continued to hire will prosper during the upturn.

Many clients took the first 6 months of last year to "take stock" or "batten down the hatches" (and rightfully so...), no one knew the severity and the impact lockdown would have on the economy, etc., but many clients did the polar-opposite and wanted to identify talent across the board, and hiring plans continued despite difficult conditions. It isn't a sure thing of course, but those who continued building their teams for the eventual upturn will be better equipped for continued success

5. Candidates are more cautious than clients at this time around.

January, in my experience, usually sees candidates start to consider their options and the market is generally busy. Whilst this has definitely been the case with client requirements, it felt like the candidate-side was a little bit more cautious than in usual years... Which again, is to be expected, especially in lockdown 3.0!

6. A number of recruiters have taken the plunge to set up on their own business.

The pandemic saw a rise of recruiters of various levels of experience, going off on their own and setting up their own recruitment businesses. From solopreneurs, joint-ventures, through to incubation-type opportunities, it seems like many have been bold and decided to rely on themselves to dictate their own destinies and only further strengthens the resolve our industry has and will ensure we can continue to adjust and prosper not matter what type of challenges we face.

Thanks for reading,


Leith Monro

Leith is a Director at SW6, and leads the Senior Appointments Practice. He has over 14 years in the industry, 12 of which has been working within the rec2rec space. He currently helps world-class leadership talent find their ideal role across the staffing, talent solutions, search and consulting marketplace globally. His focus is Director level through to C-Suite, and he also assists companies with team builds. He spends the majority of his free time with his young son, and equally energetic 3 year old beagle. When he does get any other free time he is a keen practitioner of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and loves watching MMA & Boxing.

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