Confidence is an elusive quality. It’s also the quality that is so fundamental to a healthy job market as it drives the belief of professional individuals that it’s a favourable time to look for new work. It’s just as fundamental to employers, giving them the faith that the economic conditions are right for taking on new talent. When both our candidates and our clients have confidence, we see a marked step up in terms of job movement and job creation.

Undoubtedly one or other of these two groups has suffered from a serious knock in confidence over recent years. That is what has made the specialist recruitment business such a challenge since 2008. When that all-essential confidence was lacking in so many parts of the world due to the uncertain economic backdrop, as an industry we realised that we had to innovate and look to new markets to position us favourably for the future. Thankfully, those opportunities did exist for those who looked hard enough and were willing to invest. That has been one way in which we have developed our own business, taking our industry into markets where specialist recruitment remains a new concept.

Technology is a great enabler, and ours is an industry where it is important to have this at the heart of any strategy. In many ways we are the ultimate people business and our value is driven by the skills and expertise of every one of our consultants. However, equipping them with the technology tools to do their jobs even better makes a big difference. This is something that I’ve made a particular focus on in my time at Hays, investing in technology to help towards our ultimate goal – to achieve a global reach, to be the expert in as many industry sectors as possible, in as many places as opportunities lie. That’s why we’ve developed a global database that works with and complements the knowledge of our consultants. Each is vital to the other – technology can do a great deal, but nothing can replace human expertise and experience, particularly in a field like ours, which is all about human beings.