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part three

Young Accountant
Modern Office

High employment.
Low unemployment.

  • Retired population increase of 7.5% in the last 10 years (#1).

  • Current employment rate is 96.2% (#2).

  • Just 3.8% is unemployed,the lowest since 1971.


A similar dynamic applies in the USA... since 1969 (#3)

Shadow Show


Why are hiring cycles so long?

As illustrated on the right, it's not unusual for hiring managers to consider as many as 16+ parameters when sizing up candidates.

These are aspects that we're discussing with hundreds of clients since 2020. When they're outlining hiring requirements and giving feedback on prospective candidates.

In 2010, the number of parameters was typically 12+.


Every year expectations of people sitting in a hiring seat rise, and this probably applies to you too. Consequently, finding the right people with such specific skill sets takes longer.

  1. Location

  2. Working style i.e. hybrid, remote first or office

  3. Seniority level, scope and dimensions

  4. Functional area expertise (1)

  5. Functional area expertise (2) sometimes an additional definition

  6. Industry sector familiarity (1)

  7. Industry sector familiarity (2) sometimes an additional definition

  8. Employer size

  9. Underlying competencies

  10. Likeability

  11. Track record

  12. Emotional intelligence

  13. Challenge-related qualities

  14. Cultural match

  15. Values

  16. Motivations

  17. Stability and agility

  18. Growth potential

  19. Salary parameters match

  20. Availability to start within an acceptable timeframe

  21. Does the candidate want to take up this job?is job

Costly hiring cycles

Recruiting cycles (1).png

Not only are expectations of candidates higher - which means it takes longer to source them, but also recruitment processes are increasingly becoming longer.

Hiring cycles are not only painfully long but they're costly too.

  • They carry an opportunity cost of having the position vacant.

  • There's the time involved of those people involved in the interviewing process.

  • For the most senior people investors, business owners and CXOs, they incredibly distracting and dilute operational effectiveness.

The number of interview stages has gradually increased, translating into painfully long and costly hiring cycles, often 3-6 months for senior and specialist hires. Whilst hiring expectations are rising, the availability of talent is reducing. Most companies are already operating with headcount gaps. And it's going to get worse. There is an ageing population. You can expect a reduced availability of talent. Complicating matters further employees are more independent and less loyal.

Onboarding to effectiveness - another 3-6 months

  • Logistics, getting them on the payroll, setting up email addresses and apps

  • Familiarising them with systems and process

  • Plugging the skill and knowledge gaps

  • Doing the work that needs to get done

  • Relationship building, networking and integration.

  • Developing workstreams, projects, implementing work that leads to the person becoming effective, productive and making a contribution.

  • Raising performance through levels from satisfactory, to good, very good and first rate

Why they stay. Why they leave.

According to Gallup, just 20% of employees are engaged in their work.

70% of employees say the issue of feedback is ignored. Seventy per cent of employees have either no feedback system or a failure to act on it when provided. Source: Qualtrics.

  • Average turnover rate is 20%. Source: Department of Labor Statistics, US

  • Average turnover rate in sales jobs is 31%. Source Xpert HR

  • Employees who are "engaged and thriving" are 59% less likely to look for a job. Source: Gallup.

  • Three out of four employees leave voluntarily. Source: AON 2020.

  • Over half of employees who quit jobs do so because they have a bad manager. Source: Udemy


Trust and culture feature in over 90% of the conversations that we are having with candidates about their criteria, and expectations of an opportunity.


London is the most ethnically diverse region of the UK, with 46.2% of residents identified with Asian, black, mixed or ‘other’ ethnic groups. 

Females represent 52.7% of the workforce. There are 2 million more women working in the UK today since 2010.

Women in professional jobs up 40% since 2010.

Source: UK Census 2021 and ONS 2023

The UK working population is 30 million, of which 2.25M are non-British EU Nationals i.e. from the EU.


A further 2M are non-British nationals, not from the EU - this number is up 100% in the last 5 years!

An increasingly mobile international workforce, expect to be surrounded by... Africans, Americans, Arabs,  Australians, Central Europeans, Chinese, Eastern Europeans, French, Irish, Israelis, Swedish...

Similar dynamics apply to global capitals.


Street Fashion

Age distribution

You're managing different types of people.

  • Across four generations.

  • Each with different attitudes to work.

  • And different expectations.

Visuals for Part 2 of The future of the world of work.png
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