The following insights are brought to you by EMEA Recruitment, which specializes in finance, procurement & supply chain, HR, operations, and BI & data recruitment at middle-management to executive levels across the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the wider EMEA region.

As we near the end of the final quarter of 2021, it seems like a good time to look at how the year has evolved from the perspective of both job seekers and employers.


Job seekers: Those seeking jobs found more opportunities advertised directly, but higher volumes of applicants and a frustrating lack of feedback when applying for roles.

Employers: Employers saw a focus on advertising directly, rather than using recruitment consultancies, to save costs and take advantage of candidates needing work. The high application volumes masked a decline in relevance, as individuals who had been displaced were forced to apply for a number of jobs to maintain their support.


Job seekers: As lifestyles were reviewed post-COVID-19 and the return to the office got nearer, the working from home factor became more important for candidates.

Employers: Competition for talent increased and EMEA Recruitment saw more counter offers from employers trying to retain employees. Companies unable to offer work from home flexibility struggled to attract high-quality individuals. More recruitment processes required support from recruitment consultancies.


A number of trends emerged in the third quarter. For job seekers, we saw:

  • An increase in career moves from passive candidates, but a preference to work with recruitment consultancies rather than applying direct—partly due to time restraints, but mostly due to very specific search criteria.
  • More opportunities for good candidates, resulting in multiple offers for some.
  • Counter offers by current employers were experienced more frequently.
  • Frustrations grew with regards to directly advertised positions—particularly relating to salaries (explained in more detail in this story by EMEA Recruitment, When Should Salary Be Discussed in the Recruitment Process?). 
  • Negative employer brand experience, due to the lack of feedback from direct applications.

While for employers, EMEA Recruitment witnessed the following:

  • Unexpected vacancies appeared as passive candidates re-engaged their career plans and started securing new roles.
  • High levels of competition for talent resulted in some upward salary pressure.
  • Work from home policies were challenged by potential employees.
  • Recruitment timelines were shortened to avoid missing out on desired candidates.

As we near the end of Q4: 

As the impact of COVID-19 reduces, the new normal becomes clearer and business confidence increases, many projects and developments that were put on hold are now being brought back into current plans.

All of this is good news for candidates seeking new opportunities, but it means we will see more movement in the market, as individuals who have been happy to sit tight for the last 18 months put their career plan back into action.

For more information about these trends, please visit EMEA Recruitment or contact Mark Robinson at