3 Recruitment Trends for the Building Products Sector in 2023

Hannah Kirk

We’re officially in 2023! Wow did 2022 fly by.  

For many of us, 2022 was set up with great foundations. But, it really turned into a shaky building by the end of it. Merchants saw a huge decrease in the volume of orders, which was to be expected with the covid DIY-hype dying down and the current cost of living crisis. On top of this manufacturers have seen a huge increase in the costs of running which has driven the cost of materials up. However, we didn’t see so much of a dip in the financial status of the industry because of the price increases within the sector.  

This year will be different and we’re here to talk about hiring in 2023 is looking to change. 

Recruitment Trend 1: Companies Are Going to Streamline Internally 

The biggest change that will happen in 2023 is that companies will be streamlining internally. This means that many departments could see redundancies. Sometimes redundancies are unavoidable, with the most common reasons being: 

  • The need for the employee has decreased or ceased entirely. 
  • The business moves location 
  • The job no longer exists because work has been distributed to other workers. Or have implemented new technology/automation processes to cut costs.  

Ultimately, redundancies aren’t easy and aren’t taken on a whim. As it does impact a couple of things in the business. 

Impact 1 – Making large-scale redundancies adds pressure to the team 

As teams get smaller those that are left will be expected to take on more responsibilities. For salespeople, this can mean covering larger patches. For marketers, this will mean the never-ending to-do list will get even longer. If organisations aren’t careful, they can quickly create an imbalance of skills and experiences in their teams which will only add to the pressure felt by employees 

So, organisations will have to be careful how they streamline their business and will need to consider: 

  • The current workload of the team and their package 
  • What your competitors are offering their teams 
  • What the market will do later in the year 

Impact 2 – It could be more expensive than you think 

Typically, a business will make teams redundant because the workload isn’t there and they can’t afford to keep them. However, these instances can work out to be more of a cost than expected. As organisations will need to offer enhanced packages to attract people to leave. 

Impact 3- It can make hiring in the future more difficult 

All of this can cripple a company’s culture. Especially if the team isn’t correctly compensated for this increase in workload. On top of this, those that stay can develop low morale and trust issues with management. Not only is this horrible for your teams’ well-being, but it also affects your employer brand. As these employees might share their concerns with peers. This will make it more difficult to hire if the need arises in the future. 

Also, merchants aren’t the only ones to be impacted by financial pressures. 

Your smaller building contractors and firms are also having to downsize. With some ceasing to trade altogether. It’s reported that the number of insolvencies is at a 13-year high, and these companies struggling to keep up with the rising materials costs, skills shortages in the building industry and decreasing consumer demand. Some merchants could see a further drop in orders or struggle to collect payments, off the back of these firms going into financial distress. 

Recruitment Trend 2: More Candidates Will Be Active On The Market 

In 2022, our role as a recruitment consultant was to be a head-hunter. Where we go out and find the passive talent on the market. A passive candidate is someone that isn’t looking for a job, at least they aren’t actively looking. These people are usually pretty contented in their current roles, so it is more difficult to attract them to new roles. 

However, if redundancies happen this does lead to more active jobseekers. You’d think that this would be the dream for HR teams (and recruiters) however it does create new challenges. Namely, how to appropriately assess a larger number of responses. Headhunting will always play an important role in recruitment. But, in 2023, we expect that HR roles (and our role) will change a little and we’ll spend more time assessing direct applications. 

Recruitment Trend 3: Fewer Jobs On The Market 

Obviously, those companies that are making redundancies aren’t going to be recruiting as much. However, we also expect that more companies will shrink their plans for hiring. As a result, there will be fewer jobs on the market (but only by a little).  

Additionally, in 2022, we found that companies really struggled to fill roles because of the lack of talent on the market. As a result, they did a lot of internal shuffling to redistribute the duties that needed to be completed. This will also contribute to fewer roles becoming live in 2023.

Although this trend feels like it’s a bad thing. The reality is that it only feels that way because we’ve seen an unprecedented number of vacancies. So, the drop could take us to a similar level to before the pandemic. Additionally, from conversations that we’ve had with our clients, we don’t see that companies will have a complete freeze on hiring.  

Subsequently, finding talent will continue to be highly competitive with candidates still in the driving seat.

In Summary 

A lot of the recruitment challenges are linked in 2023 and it’ll really shake up the hiring market.  

However, these trends don’t mean that clients can be relaxed when recruiting. Even with less jobs and more active jobseekers. Modern-day candidates expect a streamlined and quick recruitment process. If you don’t have this, you can still expect dropouts. Which will only add to the costs of recruitment. So, companies should continue to deliver a great recruitment process that quickly gets talent into the business.  

For the building products industry, this year will a pivotal moment for the financial status of the sector. With less demand for materials looking to impact price competitiveness, if volumes stay at what they have been the sector will see a dip in its status.  

Truthfully, this will be a pretty unpredictable time for the sector. With everything that has gone on recently, you would have expected it to have dropped like a brick already. However, things are staying afloat for the moment.