Welcome, come on in.

Let me be the first to welcome you to the West……

The wild West! Or as Big Will called it, the ‘Wicki-wicki-wild, wicki-wild, wicki-wicki wild wild West!’

Recruitment in 2022. We have now moved from a busy period, a bull market if you will, to a modern-day version of the wild West. Recruitment style!

I know what you are thinking. Seriously Simon, it’s January the 25th, we are not even a month into the year, surely you are exaggerating?!

Honestly, I am not, it’s getting wilder by the minute out there.

Wild antics currently on display:

  • Greed is back. Yep, the BIG G, not just one for recruiters, this deadly sin is wielded and wielded a-plenty by many, from recruiters, to businesses, to ‘candidates.’ Greed is definitely back and seeping into EVERY aspect of recruitment. WILD!


  • Job boards. Yep, if you have not seen, many recruiters are filling your LinkedIn feeds right now with their utter ‘outrage’ that job board providers are putting their fees up by extortionate amounts. Some of the price rises really are outrageous to be fair. WILD!


  • Pot kettle black. Many of the same said recruiters are also putting their fees up, whilst at the same time complaining about the job board outrage. I can only presume the justification is passing on the cost increase? Surely, they would not be putting their prices up as their ‘product’ is now worth more? That would be the pot calling the kettle black as they say. WILD!


  • The career flippers. £100,000 a year people quitting work to go and take up writing, cooking, surfing. It’s not great resignation standard, but some people are literally jacking it all in, and running off to join the circus. We have seen two examples of this in the last 48 hours. WILD!


  • Hiring, not hiring, no we are hiring, sorry can you just let us do the day job. Yep, it’s fair to say some businesses seem to want to join the recruitment party but might not have all their party clothes on. ‘We need bodies right now, can you help?!’ Two weeks later, two offers in, two more roles to fill, 6 CVs outstanding. Radio silence. WILD!


  • The permalancers. Once a term used for long term freelancers, now we have this scenario; ‘I am looking for another permanent job as this one is not what I thought it was, can you help me out?’ Oh, of course we can! 48 hours go by, clients spoken to, CV introduced, interviews requested. ‘OH, I’ve decided to go freelancing now as I’ve heard I can make more money.’ WILD!


  • The wage warriors. January 2021, ‘I’d just like to move for the same money as I am on now which is £45,000.’ January 2022 ‘Yeah I’d need £70,000 to move now.’ WILD!


  • AMAZING! FANTASTIC! AMAZING! FANTASTIC! AMFUCKINGTASTICALLYMAZING! Now I fall into this category, but if every job, role, partnership, or brief that you currently have is AMAZING, then is there a league table on amazingness?! Surely at least one of these roles is just a business looking to replace someone who left for more money due to the market being, well you know, WILD!?


In all seriousness it is pretty crazy out there at the moment. Lots of the above are concerning and are going to damage the recruitment space in the longer term.

Personally, I am worried about the impact this ‘I need everything right now’ will have on those of us in the space who believe in relationship driven partnerships. Not everything is available in a seven-day turnaround time. Not everything is available ‘NOW!’ That does not make a business a bad provider, it just means they are trying to navigate the wild west as best they can.

I also think it’s short sighted to put prices up. It’s ultimately any businesses prerogative to do whatever the hell they like with their pricing, but price rises? Nah, that’s not for me. We won’t be putting our prices up at Digital 51 in 2022. We’ll keep offering the price, the rebate, the extra services, all as we currently do. We believe in partnership and putting the price up on a partner because you have something they need does not feel right to me.

Recruitment 2022; saddle up partner, you’re entering the wild west, are you ready!?

This article was written by Simon Brown, Founder of Digital 51 and frustrated cowboy. Do you agree with Simon that the recruitment market has more in common with the wild West right now than it does a jobs market? Drop Simon a line on to tell him what you think.