Recession proof recruitment

Having had a ten-year boom in the industry, recruitment is facing some tough times ahead and many agencies won’t be protected from the coming recession without some hard work and planning. But there are things that agencies can do to survive, and even grow, despite the difficult times.

Here are some of our suggestions to cut through the recession doom mongering and help you create a plan of action.

Create sustainable relationships

During a tough time, agencies need to ensure that they are engaging with clients and contractors to build strong relationships.

By understanding what people are looking for from their staff, and effectively communicating that to contractors, agencies become indispensable. 

In the same way, looking after contractors will help retain workers in a difficult market which is plagued with labour shortages. It is essential to make sure that payroll is working as it should, contractors must be paid correctly and on time if they are expected to stay. Outsourcing payroll systems can take the pressure off small agencies who simply don’t have the labour power to ensure consistency. This will help retain contractors who cannot put up with badly managed payroll during a cost-of-living crisis.

Working with a compliant umbrella company can also help contractors maintain stability during a difficult time, by providing a steady employer despite working for changing end-hirers.

Cultivate resilience

Resilience has been a buzzword in employment for several years, recruiters look for it in contractors, and employers look for it in the agencies they choose. Being able to bounce back from problems is key in any successful business. 

There is no single answer to guaranteeing resilience but remaining calm during the storm is the key. The ones that really get resilience right are those that can plan for the hard times. 

But in a post-pandemic labour market, we are all now very used to situations bucking the trend and being prepared is becoming ever more difficult. This is where having access to expert support and advice can help ensure that your company has the information it needs to not just survive but thrive in a recession.

Workforce planning

When faced with the possibility of recession, the instinct of employers is often to pull back and let staff go. But this can just lead to additional costs when the economy recovers (and it will). The demand will return, and people must be rehired.

Payroll forecasting can help you feel more confident about your future, which will ensure better managed costs and avoiding knee jerk reactions.

Proper payroll forecasting will also protect your contractors and ensure that they benefit from seamless pay at a time when money is difficult for everyone.

Talk to your payroll provider about the payroll forecasting options available, so that you can be better prepared for the coming months.

Making use of the latest technology

Both end hirers and contractors have high expectations of what is possible via their smartphone. The best technology is that which helps previously difficult tasks become easy, and makes inconvenience melt away. For this reason, people will often choose to work with agencies who have their finger on the pulse of industry trends and the latest technology.

Now more than ever, contractors are demanding smooth and convenient onboarding that can be carried out from their smart devices, from straightforward digital right to work checks and payroll set up, through to easy hours logging. Working with a compliant umbrella company will provide contractors with access to the latest tech solutions to ensure industry leading payroll and HR support.

While the news is full of doom and gloom, it is also important to approach the recession with a sense of the opportunities that it presents for growth. We at JMK Group UK are here to support all our clients and candidates with advice on navigating the rumoured recession. The only way is up!


Since 2002, JMK have been compliantly consolidating back-office, accountancy and payroll functions. 

We have evolved to provide a range of expert services; such as Funding, becoming a leading provider to the contracting industry.

We know every agency is different in some shape or form, even if only by a little, but important bit. Combining our knowledge and experience of multiple sectors enables JMK to support you all from recruiters and payroll, through to finance, compliance and management.

With JMK as your trusted partner, even the smallest team can process the largest payroll, regardless of payroll type.

Have a look at the wide range of services our Funding can provide to you and your business, it is far more than just payroll and finance.

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