Learnings from the year that was, and what we can expect in 2021.

Learnings from the year that was, and what we can expect in 2021.


After what might be the most collectively intense and challenging year of our lives, we thought it was the right time to reflect on the lessons learned, the experiences shared and the new ways of working we’ve all had to embrace. As we enter the festive season, our fearless MD, Sarah Bolster, shares her thoughts on how the workplace has changed and what we can expect in the months to come.

“It’s crazy to look back and think about how many of us entered 2020 with the assumption the new year would bring continued growth. It wasn’t just going to be another new year, it was a new decade that was going to usher in exciting experiences, opportunities to travel, career changes, professional advancements and quality time spent with family and friends. By March, it was clear that our best-laid plans were being put on indefinite hold. As the COVID-19 pandemic quickly spread, it took over people’s lives and livelihoods. Thankfully, in a show of community spirit, people banded together as one. We shared our collective experiences and woke up each morning with a single goal, to make a positive difference to everyone we spoke to.

With the recruitment industry being at the front line of the job market we’ve seen a roller coaster of emotions this year and it’s certainly been challenging for all. One positive we’ve noticed is that the conversations between all individuals are simply more personal and considered. There has been a deeper level of empathy and understanding from everyone.

The pandemic has forced businesses to become more innovative, to start thinking about a future that’s more dynamic, more tech-focused and more connected. At SB Recruitment, we had already been set up to run as a virtual recruitment company, with the ability to work from anywhere at any given point. Seeing our clients and candidates become more accepting of this way of working has been an interesting shift. Looking to the year ahead, while there may be plenty of candidates working from home, it may not be feasible for everyone to enact a permanent tree or sea-change. I believe the future of the workforce still requires people to be present in their offices for a couple of days per week at the very least. Not only is it important from a collaboration perspective for businesses, but also as a mental health initiative for staff and business owners alike. The social aspect, the daily structure and the need to collaborate on projects as a team won’t be going anywhere. For organisations to move forward and for career-progression to continue, coming into the office will still be an important aspect of everyday life – once the dust settles, of course.

On the flipside, individuals working from home will need to become better skilled in managing their own time and workloads. Every new starter needs to be as dynamic and resilient as possible, open to embracing new technologies and to be an independent learner.

Personal branding will become even more important in the coming years if individuals are seeking a future where they’re being tapped on the shoulder about opportunities instead of proactively applying for roles.

For those who are currently employed but looking for a new role in 2021, now is the time to sit down and consider your motivators. What makes you happy? What do your professional goals look like? You don’t want to be stepping into a new role next year that isn’t going to tick the boxes. If anything, 2020 has definitely taught us what’s important in our lives and what isn’t.

Whatever the coming 12 months hold, we want to thank you for your continued support, and from everyone at SB Recruitment, we wish you a happy and healthy festive season with your family and friends.”

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