Eloise’s February 2024 News – New Trends, Recruitment Market, Horizon, Valentines

Recruitment News Jobs Market 2024

Hello and welcome to February Recruitment News Jobs Market

We made it, we got through January, and I’ve seen snowdrops in our garden, so it’s basically almost spring! I’m a bit excited to have completed January and it’s seemingly endless weeks.

I hope you’re doing okay and have had a positive start to the year.

We have a positive and exciting change here at Vanilla Recruitment. We have NEW email addresses for the whole of Team Vanilla in an attempt to make it easier to message us. Our old email address has been with us since 2005 and has served us well, but our new emails are in keeping with our brand, easier to input, and much less likely to be misspelled. We have already transitioned to the new email address and mine is [email protected]. Our website remains the same and our old addresses will continue to work for a few months while we transition, but please update your contact list and address book and feel free to send me a message if you need to.

What’s trendy?

With Christmas and New Year celebrations now a distant memory, it’s time to turn our attention to what’s on the 2024 recruitment news jobs market horizon. What are the trends we should be expecting? What are the buzzwords we should be using?

In terms of general business trends. The five main themes I am seeing are:

1. Balancing generative AI and human touch

  • Delivering meaningful interactions through AI, but without going too far and keeping a human touch to enhance a frictionless customer experience.

2. Making business a force for good

  • Becoming B Corp certified and balancing people, profits, place and planet.

3. Innovation and organisational resilience

  • With so much global disruption businesses must innovate and keep up with and make use of technology in order to keep moving forward. It’s also key to be protected from cyber-attacks as data value increases.

4. Diversity

  • In our socially conscious world businesses need to recognise and prove their talent comes in all ages, shapes, sizes, and colours. This will start to creep in to influence consumer buying decisions.

5. Remote and distributed working

  • Using technology to build teams constructed of people from all over the world to maximise talent and overcome recruitment challenges.

‘B Corp’ is definitely the buzzword I’m hearing already, with lots of businesses looking at how they can start their accreditation journey. Planning that being B Corp certified will improve their appeal to consumers and other businesses alike, as well as boosting recruitment potential, and making their business a ‘force for good’. A very positive and worthwhile buzz movement.

Let’s then overlay recruitment and HR-specific trends for 2024

1 Building your employer brand

  • This is critical to boost your recruitment and retention, but it must be genuine and authentic. The bricks to build this are; your culture, values, career growth opportunities, workplace benefits, and CSR initiatives. These messages are then shared consistently throughout your organisation’s website, social media channels, job ads, and review sites.
  • Aligns with the business trend ‘Making business a force for good’.

2. AI and automation

  • This year is going to be about streamlining processes and using AI where appropriate to make tasks more efficient. There are AI tools for recruitment interviewing and decision making, with the idea being to eliminate bias, but this must be checked.
  • Aligns with the business trend ‘Balancing generative AI and human touch’.

3. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI)

  • As I wrote for the business trend, talent comes in all ages, shapes, sizes, and colours. Also, full-time, part-time, job sharing, with family responsibilities, caring responsibilities, disabilities, neurodiversity, and more. Differences create depth and harness creativity and innovation. This year the push for EDI will be more obvious, more transparent, and more encouraging.
  • Aligns with the business trend ‘Diversity’.

4. Candidate engagement and experience

  • Yes, available candidate numbers are on the rise, but they still hold lots of the cards. This year will see better candidate journeys, improved communications, less ghosting, and more treating people how you’d like to be treated.

5. Consistent remote and hybrid work options

  • As we all know, the pandemic triggered a major shift to remote and hybrid working, and those still embracing flexible solutions are seeing higher application rates and improved staff retention because of it. If you’re not embracing the modern way of working, you’re going to struggle to tap into and keep talent.
  • Aligns with the business trend ‘Remote and distributed working’.

There isn’t a huge amount of new stuff in this recruitment and HR list. Lots of this list features each year. But it’s how a business keeps on refocussing and remodelling to keep things fresh.

Are there things from each list on your radar? How are you refocusing and remodelling in 2024?


HRH Recruitment News Jobs MarketSomething which would be fantastic to be on your radar, and a great way to find out more, would be to attend our next HRHuddle event on neurodiversity.

What HR/Employers should know about neurodiversity and why it matters?

  • Guest speaker: Mo Bury
  • Wednesday, 14th February 2024 @ 2pm
  • Online via Zoom, 2pm – 3pm
  • Book your place here

Mo has many years in corporate business under her belt, and she now specialises in delivering neurodiversity training for companies.

With potentially 40% of the workforce being neurodivergent, neurodiversity training in the workplace is evolving and essential.

Appropriate language, how to interview, and compliance with the Equality Act 2010, is only part of it.

With the right understanding, you can guide your organisation to be able to tap into the phenomenal resources of different neurotypes. Find out how can you support each neurotype to be able to thrive.

This event will cover:

  • How easy and low-cost reasonable adjustments can help all people to thrive
  • What the neurodivergent experience can be like and how to support them
  • How proactive inclusion supports all types of brains, including tired, menopausal, stressed, and anxious

Recruitment Market

The KPMG and REC Report on Jobs, published in January, showed recruitment for the end of 2023 was down on previous years, but the downturn was softer in December than in previous months. The supply of available candidates continued to rise sharply, and the competition for skilled workers and starting pay remained high.

What do these findings suggest Q1 2024 will look like?

With a muted end to 2023, it’s predicted that 2024 will see increased recruitment and economic growth, as confidence in the economy slowly grows again.

Indeed have forecast that the recruitment market will ‘rebalance’ in 2024. That we’ll continue to see the market softening back to pre-pandemic average levels. They also confirm in their research that flexibility is key. Flexible, remote, and hybrid working options rank the highest among benefit values for candidates. They comment that ‘flexible working is quite a powerful differentiator for organisations looking to make themselves more competitive, especially for jobs that are typically quite hard to hire for’.

Another thread raising its head everywhere you look is if AI is going to impact unemployment figures. Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey says he is optimistic about the impact on jobs, saying, “I’m an economic historian before I became a central banker. Economies adapt, jobs adapt, and we learn to work with it. And I think you get a better result by people with machines than with machines on their own. So, I’m an optimist.”

My takeaways are that if you’re looking to recruit you need to be working on your employer brand and building in flexible options where possible to gain competitive advantage.

Horizon scandal, lessons to learn

I’m going to presume you’ve watched the ITV, 4-part series depicting the Post office ‘Horizon scandal’.

It was a shocking viewing. The impact on people’s lives has been immense.

There are obviously lessons we can all take from it and questions we must ask ourselves:

  • How reliant are you on systems?
  • How often are you checking the quality of your data?
  • Do you know who has access to your systems and data?
  • Is every system interaction logged and can be reported on and traced?
  • Does every person accessing your system have to log in, and are logins restricted to one person?
  • How do you manage reoccurring feedback relating to system data/transactions?
  • Do you have a whistleblowing process?
  • How do you follow up on any issues?

And of course, how would you have done things differently?

I have been blown away by how long this scandal has been rolling on for, and how it’s been swept under the carpet time and time again. It’s disgraceful that it’s needed a TV show to finally push for closure for the impacted parties.

As businesses, we are so reliant on technology, and we don’t always understand everything or have sight of everything, but we do have the responsibility to make sure it works, and we have to take that responsibility very seriously.

Meeting room hire

Vanilla Recruitment News Jobs MarketWe have opened up our recently refurbished boardroom for hire. It’s a great modern space in the heart of Market Harborough, full of light and colour.

For just £15 per hour, you can comfortably seat 8 people, with the use of a large TV screen, and with free tea and coffee.

This is a fantastic space ideal for meetings, collaborative working and planning sessions, and presentations. It also lends itself to interviews or as a great-looking backdrop to an important Teams meeting.

With free Wi-Fi and within walking distance of Market Harborough town centre, and car parks, it’s a great choice to elevate your next gathering.

To find out more or to enquire about booking, please call us on 01858 898 058, or email us: [email protected]

Valentine’s / Jobentine’s / Careerentine’s

I couldn’t write for February without mentioning Valentine’s Day. It’s the month of love, and at Vanilla we specialise in finding people jobs they love, and employers the employees they love.

So, let’s embrace a bit of Jobentine’s / Careerentine’s – do either of those work? You know what I’m trying to do here.

For the month of February let’s all get behind the theme of love and kindness. Be that to yourself, your employer, your employees, or your colleagues.

How about sharing some thank you cards, doing some team building, having a special 30 minutes for a cuppa and a chat away from screens, host a walking meeting to get some fresh air. Things like this, as well as, random acts of kindness, all go a long way and as we transition out of winter, they can really give people a little boost.

I’d love to hear from you if you spread any Jobentine’s love and kindness.

And that’s Recruitment News Jobs Market for another month.

I hope February is kind to you and I’ll be back in touch in March.


Our temps do an amazing job for a wide range of clients in the area. They are some of the most flexible and hardworking people and we want to recognise that every month.

So, if you have a Vanilla temporary worker on assignment, or who has just completed an assignment, who you think has gone above and beyond or exceeded expectations in any way. You can nominate them to receive our Temp of the Month Award.

We recruit throughout the East Midlands covering Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Rutland and the surrounding areas, especially Market Harborough, Lutterworth, Leicester, Corby and Kettering. We help people find their perfect job and match suitable jobseekers with businesses looking to hire the best candidates across our four specialisms – MarketingAccountancy & FinanceHR and Office

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