After an all-time low at the start of the pandemic, there are now more jobs than ever on CharityJob. Vacancies are about 40% above the level they were before March 2020, with CharityJob currently advertising more than 3,600 roles.
So the jobs market has made a huge recovery, but what does this mean for candidates and recruiters in the sector?
A fluctuating market
Before the pandemic, jobs on CharityJob’s website were receiving an average of nearly 40 applications. But during the first lockdown, vacancies fell dramatically. Many charities faced financial difficulties and were forced to make redundancies and use the furlough scheme, or simply couldn’t afford to hire anyone new until they could be more certain what the future would hold. So by May 2020, the average number of applications per job was more than 100. Unsurprisingly, fundraising was one of the areas of the charity sector hit hardest by this, due to the difficulty in holding fundraising events at the time.
An increase in charities recruiting
Since then, things have slowly but surely become more certain and the market has shown a steady recovery. More and more charities have begun recruiting again, as three in five reported an increase in the demand for and the range of their services since the start of the pandemic. This mirrors the situation across the UK as a whole, with vacancies rising to record levels.
A shortage of candidates
While the number of roles available recovered, the number of candidates was also changing. In addition to the pandemic and low unemployment, various other factors have contributed to a big drop in the number applying for jobs.
Brexit and covid-restrictions mean there are fewer European workers than there used to be, and many other people have left the jobs market due to illness or returning to education. Some people have prioritised spending time with family and friends or going on holiday above looking for a job. Other candidates are reluctant to move due to uncertainty over charities’ financial situations or are waiting to see what their current role looks like once the pandemic has passed.
Candidates have more choice
For candidates, the current situation means they have more choice, both of roles available and where they work.
Remote opportunities have increased and people now value this flexibility more. Charities are in a good position to offer this, as many did before the pandemic. While 5% of all job adverts are offering remote working, on CharityJob the number is closer to 20%—and these roles tend to get more interest than non-remote ones.
Recruiters need to be more competitive
So, with so many roles and fewer candidates to choose from, what can recruiters do to fill vacancies? To be competitive in hiring, charities need to offer genuine flexibility in all its forms and remove bias from the recruitment process to attract a more diverse candidate pool. They may also need to be open to training and promoting from within to fill some roles.
What will the future look like?
You may have read about a ‘great resignation’ but this hasn’t happened, at least not yet. Some people are just waiting a bit longer to see how things play out. Which is why, in 2022, the market may look very different again and there may be a much greater number of candidates looking to move on.
So, if you’re a charity that needs to hire, hang in there. Expand your usual recruitment pool and be prepared to be flexible in your requirements. If you can’t fill your vacancy right now then consider using freelancers until the market picks up.
And if you’re a candidate looking for a new job, the message is very clear. Don’t wait until the New Year - there’s never been a better time than now to bag your dream job.