Market Update October 2021


Barry Byrne & Jamie Miller

Market Update October 2021

We are delighted to be celebrating Miller Byrne’s first year anniversary on 1st October 2021. A huge thank you to our client and candidate network and to our trusted suppliers. Both our HR and Marketing practice areas experienced steady growth over the last 12 months, and we remain cautiously optimistic about the year ahead. Both functions needed to be highly agile during the pandemic and responded to significant levels of change.          

The initial impact of Covid 19 on the UK and global economies was unprecedented, however, unlike the banking crisis in 2008, society itself has changed and levels of organisational transformation show no sign of losing momentum. Consistent with previous recessions, the recruitment market was heavily disrupted and developed a variety of new and challenging idiosyncrasies.

The market transitioned into a highly ‘candidate driven’ space and this has largely been driven by changing perspectives on lifestyle and, ultimately, individual and family wellbeing. This has also led to what we believe will be a transient increase in base salary and total reward packages being extended to candidates. HR Directors across the professional services sector in particular, have expressed significant challenges in attracting and retaining top talent.

Despite the challenges of the pandemic, we both agree that this has been the most ‘progressive’ and innovative recruitment market we have ever worked in. Levels of organisational engagement on DE&I, mental health, sustainability and flexible working are at an all-time high. There is much work to be done but a great deal to celebrate. We believe that candidate engagement and attraction will prove to be a significant challenge over the next 12 months and that building the right narrative to the market will be central to the success of organisational recruitment efforts.        

Human Resources:

We are pleased to report a significant increase in client assignments across HR with a very strong focus on interim assignments in the final quarter. Highlights included partnering a leading real estate investment firm to appoint a senior payroll transformation consultant (EMEA) and working alongside an international corporate and treasury bank to appoint an interim Head of Talent.      

Permanent assignments included searching for an Organisational Development Manager into the Re-insurance market and a European HR Business Partner into a global asset manager. The permanent recruitment market has gathered strong momentum, however, we believe it remains cautious as the job retention scheme winds down and organisational structures are continually assessed.


Our Marketing practice was delighted to partner one of the UK’s leading real estate businesses to appoint a new Director of Marketing. From a sector perspective, Marketing has been prolific across both the real estate and tech sectors where demand for marketing specialists across SEO and digital marketing has grown significantly.

Additional client assignments included partnering a cyber security business in the Northwest to appoint a Digital Marketing Analyst and searching on behalf of a Southwest based digital learning provider to appoint an SEO Manager. The marketing sector has become increasingly candidate driven increasing the need for targeted search activity.      

Our Community Partners:

For the first time in over a year and a half, The Outward-Bound Trust were recently delighted to welcome back school groups to their residential outdoor activity programmes. With outdoor pursuit centres located in Snowdonia, the Lake District and the Highlands, young people are once again embarking on hugely challenging and rewarding outdoor development journeys. Miller Byrne have sponsored 3 students on 1-week residential courses this year and have partnered the Trust with pro bono recruitment activity. We are delighted to be partnering Outward Bound again in 2022.        

Virtual HR Director Workshops:

During September we facilitated a range of HR Director workshops on mental health in partnership with ‘Working Mindset’, a team of clinical psychologists who consult across organisational mental health strategy and training. A huge thank you to Dr. Lucy Shoolbred and Dr. Rebecca Holt for joining us and for helping facilitate such meaningful conversations and debate as managers prepare to welcome back teams to the office. A big thank you to our HR leadership guests for attending and for such strong contributions to the agenda.

Wishing everyone across our networks a safe and productive run up to year end.

Barry & Jamie

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In October this year, the Miller Byrne team were privileged to visit our community partner, The Outward Bound Trust, on a residential supporters’ visit to Aberdovey, Snowdonia.
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