News, Blog, Employment, Awards, Careers | Friday 29th January 2021

January has certainly been a challenging start to the year and not what I or many of us expected.   

Unlike lockdown #1, where the message was clear and everyone was in the same boat, lockdown 3 has seen a wide range of feelings, opinions and requirements and that has meant a conflicted message coming from the industry.  

While many businesses in the fire and security sector are recruiting, looking for a job is not currently the priority for candidates.  Candidates are still looking for work, but simply not in the volume that they were before, and this is backed up by data across all of the job boards, APSCo, REC and other trade bodies.

Across my own network, employers and recruiters are all experiencing the same issue. High client demand versus low candidate interest.  Our industry is not alone in facing these issues.

Recruitment will not be the only concern for employers in 2021. Based on our client’s feedback, the top 8 workforce challenges for employers are;

  • Managing the return to work (including re-integrating furloughed staff)
  • Continued short term restructuring / making redundancies
  • Changing workforce design and flexible working arrangements
  • Strategic workforce planning
  • Making changes happen on diversity and inclusion
  • Talent shortages in critical skillsets  
  • Managing reputational risk and employer branding
  • The growing importance of mental health and wellbeing
  • IR35

We are already advising our customers on all of the above and have a range of free tools and resources to help you with any of the same issues.

Should you want to know more about what’s available, or speak to one of our subject matter experts, get in touch with me or any member of the Zitko team today.

Finally, you will continue to see and hear about our 2021 developments on our website, socials, print or through your Zitko contacts.  Our five divisions of Sales, Technical, Contract, Talent and International will continue to grow allowing us to strategically partner with a wide range of candidates and employers in the industry.

Fundamentally, our overall plan for the year is to offer our customers more value, and an even better, more complete service.

I wish you all a very happy and prosperous new year and look forward to working with you throughout 2021.

Kind regards
George Zitko

Founder and Managing Director


Market Update 28-01-21

Technical: (Phil West - Director)

  • The New Year is off to its normal busy start with the Permanent Team seeing a huge number of vacancies in all areas of the industry and throughout the UK. Companies are busy, continuing to work with only very limited furlough, often due to certain contracts. Some areas, such as data centres are busier than ever and has grown even more than their already rapid rate. 
  • We’ve seen a particularly noticeable influx in fire-based positions as end users have a legal requirement to update and maintain fire systems.
  • Despite the industry being so busy with vacancies, the same is not true of active and available candidates. Many job seekers are choosing to stick with what they know and the security of their current employment. This coupled with a surprising low volume of redundancy has created a very candidate short market. 
  • Bad news for employers who will have to work extra hard to impress against lots of competition (such as a current candidate of ours based in Manchester who has interviews at 13 different companies) but definitely good news for any candidates brave enough to check out the opportunities available to them.

Sales: (Dave Geddes - Director)

  • Really positive signs for the Fire & Security Industry.
  • Manufacturers & Distributors hiring, some with added investment to grow which is great news
  • Lots of Installers / Integrators hiring also - focus though seem to be on the same markets and specifically High Security or M&E Contractor market.
  • Candidates a little more reluctant to move currently, making sourcing good candidates tough and some clients increasing salary expectations to attract top sales people.

Contracting: (Laura Raven - Managing Consultant)

  • Contracting got off to slow start in the New Year, but this week we have seen an uplift in jobs coming in and confidence about the coming year from clients.
  • There are still projects that are being delayed and some caution, but as we move into February, we are expecting that to start changing.
  • IR35 is a key challenge for employers in 2021. You could be at risk of falling foul of the new regulations. Book a call today to discuss how we can help. 

Resourcing: (Terri Lalonde - Resourcing Manager)

  • We are excited to announce the launch of our new jobs page on our website. You can now register your own account, set up job alerts and apply for jobs even more quickly than before. 
  • Why not check it out? You’ll find a wide range of jobs on there, not just in the UK but across EMEA and the US too. You’ll see that the national lockdown doesn’t seem to have dented the demand to hire engineers in the fire and security industry. 
  • If you’re a Contractor, you can simply register all your details so that you’re ready to start your next contract straight away, and there are plenty of jobs on there to keep you busy. 
  • If you have any feedback on the website, feel free to get in touch with me at, we’d love to hear what you think of it.  

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