The steady growth of the headhunting markets in Finland, which had continued for years, stopped last year as expected due to the global pandemic. However, the signs of a slowdown began to show in the autumn of 2019. This is also supported by the figures of the Finnish economy, although the Finnish government has blamed the recession on the pandemic, which is not the case. Corona just came to accelerate the downturn that had already begun.

However, there are already signs of recovery, as shown by e.g. the fact that January this year was the best in InHunt Group’s history in terms of invoicing. The headhunting and recruiting market is expected to recover well this year, although the sector as a whole will still lag behind the numbers of 2019.

In Finland, the economic downturn began to show clearly as early as the end of 2019

Contrary to the fact that many representatives of the Finnish government have blamed the economic downturn as a whole for the pandemic, this is not the case. The economic downturn was already clearly visible in late 2019. This was also reflected in the drop in the number of recruitment assignments. The same trend continued in early 2020. The pandemic then put a total stop and spring was a very quiet time in terms of recruitment.

Signs of recovery began to appear after the summer, however, in which the second wave of the corona quickly slowed things down. Finland lived in the belief after the summer that the pandemic was over, although in many places in Europe the numbers had already started to rise sharply. This was only a matter of time when the figures would start to rise in Finland as well. Especially when airports and ports were completely open and the travellers got into the country without any control. Even quarantine was just a recommendation.

Signs of recovery 

Towards the end of last year and the beginning of this year, there have been signs of recovery in the headhunting and the recruitment market. Above all, there is now a positive change in the state of mind of companies and their directors. Long-delayed recruitments have now been started again at a comfortable pace. This is also confirmed by the fact that the past month was the best January in the history of InHunt Group in terms of invoicing, as well as the second best month ever.

However, it has not happened by chance, and InHunt has systematically invested in the quantity and quality of work throughout the pandemic. At no point have they set foot on the table and just decided to wait that the situation would start to improve. In the autumn of 2020, a few very important strategic decisions were also made, which have now started to bring great results.

Headhunting and headhunters are not going anywhere

Since job sites on the Internet saw the light of day, “experts” have talked about how headhunters and the entire headhunting industry will disappear as job sites and later on the social media make recruitment easy and effortless for the companies.

It is often overlooked that most companies do not have the tools to activate and attract the best candidates, and if companies manage their recruitment themselves, there is often a risk that the level of candidates will remain at a satisfactory level.

There are a number of reasons for this in general, including a low level of the company’s employer brand, low company interest / awareness in the eyes of the applicant, poor access to passive candidates, low candidate experience, lack of professional recruiting skills and lack of HR/recruitment systems. 

TOP5 Headhunting companies in Finland in 2021

The combined turnover of the five largest headhunting companies in Finland, consisting of direct search assignments, in 2019 was approximately EUR 24 million. In addition to InHunt Group, TOP5 includes Egon Zehnder, Mercuri Urval, MPS and Heidrick & Struggles. The difference in the list between the fifth and sixth in terms of turnover is so significant that it is difficult to think that that list would change when the 2020 figures become available.

The value of the headhunting market in Finland in 2019 was approximately EUR 77 million, and it is assumed that it dropped quite significantly in 2020. In 2021, it will rise again, but hardly to the 2019 level.

InHunt Group’s goal for 2021 is to become the largest headhunting company in Finland for the first time, also in terms of turnover. The start is at least very promising, and if nothing surprising happens about the pandemic and things go more or less as predicted, there’s no reason to think why InHunt couldn’t succeed in that goal. InHunt has a very skilled group of headhunters and employee turnover has been very low in recent years.

However, InHunt Group’s goal is to grow not only in Finland but also in international markets. InHunt Group’s international network InHunt World (www.inhuntworld.com) is also seeking strong growth for 2021 through its ever-growing Partner network. Currently, InHunt World has partners in 35 countries.