Recruiting new staff in a post pandemic world

The massive changes in the employment market mean both businesses and job seekers need to be more focused on what they want, according to experienced recruitment consultant Fiona McClean.

Fiona, from Nominate Recruitment at Innovation Factory in Belfast, has worked in the industry for 21 years and has never seen so many changes in such a short time.

“All the post-Covid factors have come together to bring a sea-change to recruitment.  Many employers didn’t hire over recent years as there was so much uncertainty but now there’s such huge pent-up demand for staff as things return to normal. In addition, potential job seekers re-evaluated their lives during this time and are looking for a greater work life balance,” she said.

Recruiting new staff

She said employers need to make themselves as attractive as possible to candidates. “They need to promote their company culture and ethos to really demonstrate why someone would enjoy working for them. There’s also been a huge shift in businesses offering increasingly flexible terms to attract the right person to the job,” she said.

Equally job seekers should have complete clarity on what they want from a new job.

“With so many opportunities out there now, it’s important for people looking for work to consider what’s most important to them. While everyone focuses on salary, the benefits from hybrid working, progression opportunity or perks like health insurance have a value that shouldn’t be underestimated,” she said.

She added that candidates should also consider company culture and make a list of their dream employer.

“Having a clean and concise CV is obviously essential and I’d recommend registering with one or two employment agencies who have good contacts in your field,” she added.

Fiona set up Nominate Recruitment a year ago after working for a large agency for over 20 years so she understands the importance of prioritising what’s important to you.

“During the pandemic, it really gave me time to think about what I wanted so I took the leap and went out on my own. Going out on my own was something I had always wanted to do. Covid taught me to take a chance and live your dream,” she said.

She chose Innovation Factory on the Springfield Road as she loved the unique open spaces in the centre that give opportunities to meet others and network.

“Speaking to other business people at various stages of growing their companies has been a huge help to me. Working on your own can feel very isolating but the atmosphere at Innovation Factory allows me to network with other like-minded people,” she explained.

Originally from Dungannon, Fiona started her working life in hospitality and tourism before heading off to Australia for a gap year.

“I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do really and registered with a recruitment agency in Australia. I saw how they helped me and knew immediately that this is what I wanted to do,” she said.

When she returned to Belfast, she got her chance and has never looked back. “I love what I do and hope that I’m helping people find the right job for them. Your job is such a big part of your life so it is so important you are happy in it,” she said.

Stephen Ellis, Innovation Manager at Innovation Factory said they were delighted that Fiona chose IF when she set up Nominate Recruitment. “Our community is an eclectic mix of entrepreneurs looking to start their own projects and established companies looking to develop and grow. All benefit from the exchange of knowledge between themselves and from our in-house business support team. Fiona’s wealth of experience in recruitment is a welcome addition to IF.”

For more information on Nominate Recruitment see and to find out more about Innovation Factory go to

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