20 Years on – Dave’s 2019 Review

by in Agency Life

2019 is our 20th year of trading, and to be honest with you has been one of the hardest years I’ve had.

It was supposed to be ‘the year’, in 2018 I declared that it was the year that we’d do a lot of growing up and moving forward. In the end, it turned out to be the year of survival. Not work-wise, but personally. I lost my mum to cancer in April this year. She was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2018, she fought it in her optimistic way, but we knew that 2019 would not be the year I’d hoped it to be. Dealing with this loss and trying to run Wave at 100% proved a challenge. I’m thankful to the whole Wave team for keeping everything together while I’ve been dealing with my own demons.

Dave cycled 130 miles to raise money for his mother’s hospice

When things like this happen, it hits home how important family is, and unfortunately how business never stops no matter how hard you try to push the pause button. Your resilience is pushed to the max! 8 months on and times are still hard, but I along with my family are now adapting to our new way of life. I’m ready to put 2019 to bed and start 2020.

As I mentioned though, business-wise, we’ve had a positive year. Certain times have been slower than others, obviously, you simply can’t get away from Brexit and the chaos that’s caused. Irrespective on whichever side on the debate you sit, for us we witnessed a general slow down in business trading.

Employment wise, we’ve seen record numbers in employment, a slowing of net immigration, and more jobs available in the UK than in the last 20 years (although the number has been dropping every month in 2019), which has caused a tightening of the candidate market, making recruitment harder all round. Looking at the growth figures, nought point something growth either side of a contraction means we’ve narrowly missed going into recession this year. Inertia seems to have been the culprit here – a result of business waiting for a Brexit decision which seemed to be kicked down the road each and every time. 2020 may bring some more clarity on that, or we’ll simply get used to the status quo and crack on with business in any case.

An update on last year’s predictions talked about growing, we built a stronger infrastructure to the data that we produce and report on and we have greater insights to jobseeker than ever. RecWebs is another year old, and we have overhauled much of our tech meaning that we offered a new service for clients which delivers websites that look beautiful, are fast and attracts the talent that our agencies are looking for. We have a new website ready to launch and next year will bring even more developments that will accelerate our growth even more! But of course, that’s all hush-hush for the time being.

WaveTrackR has been exciting as well, although we’ve spent a long time perfecting our Bullhorn integration which we released last year and then carried onto into version 2 to make it even better. Pleased to report that our latest integration includes our job board recommendations after huge demand from our clients using Bullhorn. We were delighted to be appointed by Korn Ferry too to deliver WaveTrackR to their clients as well as providing Talent Attraction Consulting to them and their clients.

2019 also saw me make my RecExpo speaking debut which was good fun, and we also held our very own event in Talent Matters – something we’ll be taking into 2020 as another channel to share the data we collect around jobseekers.

Dave's talk at Talent Matters
Dave at the Talent Matters Event 2019

WaveTrackR will continue to evolve with some new features being announced early in 2020. We’re also beefing up our integrations to work with more CRM’s and ATS providers. We’ll be driving and targeting fast growth for WaveTrackR. Expect to see us move into the corporate market as well, we’ve had some strong demand from in-house recruiters to better understand their performance and ROI from the job boards and media channels.

So it just leaves me to thank my team for their support and understanding during this year, I’m happy to put 2019 to bed and move into 2020. My ambitions for the future burn as bright as ever. Thank you to all our clients whichever service you use, we’re committed to helping you attract more talent in everything we do. We know that getting the right candidate for the right role has been tough this year, but we’ll be doing everything we can to make it easier in 2020.

2020, I’m ready for you.