How has Covid-19 affected the recruitment sector?
The affects of Covid 19 have made an unquestionable impact on every sector in the UK, EU, and across the globe. While it is vital to respond to this threat responsibly and safely, taking the time to understand the impact made by the virus can help ensure that your business is prepared for the years ahead.
So, how exactly has the real and potential threat posed by the virus changed things and what should you expect as the marketplace responds to the impact.
Covid-19 – a quick recap
The first official impact of the Covid 19 outbreak was felt on the 25th of January when foreign offices throughout the world began to advise against travel to China Hubei Province, the confirmed epicentre of the initial outbreak. This led to a broad suspension of flights and, despite the best efforts of all involved, the UK confirmed the first two cases of Covid 19 in the UK in the 31st of January.
This led to an immediate spread in a range of regions and a spate of deaths in affected countries throughout the world. The interconnected nature of travel meant that the only way to slow the advance was to shut down travel and impose quarantines in a range of cities and locations. This led to the development of furlough schemes, working from home initiatives, and mass disruption – leaving the market in a place of peak uncertainty.
As of September 2020, schools have reopened, workers have slowly drifted back to their places of work and financial analysts have confirmed that that UK economy has suffered a tremendous Impact. This has left many workers unable to carry out their daily tasks with the usual routine, resulting in a wide range of uncertainty about the future of many sectors and having to adapt to a daily way of working that simply does not fit their lifestyle choices.
How did it impact recruitment?
This period of mass uncertainty has had a significant negative impact on a range of sectors throughout the UK and further afield.
The nature of the virus means that, in addition to professional disruption, all elements of engagement and contact have been affected. This makes meetings, planning, and any in-person activities close to impossible or incredibly difficult to conduct successfully.
For many businesses, the end result is a blanket of uncertainty. As none are able to accurately predict what way the virus will continue to impact the sector, or how things will resolve, a range of industries have chosen to freeze in their tracks. This has resulted in significant layoffs in sectors such as hospitality, retail and entertainment.
In short, many businesses have found it necessary to put a hard and fast freeze on recruitment or have kicked start dates for new employees into the long grass. With recruitment lying at the heart of the issue for the current economy, the decisions made by the government will have far-reaching impacts across a range of industries. This makes it essential to take stock of the opportunities that exist but also put in place concrete plans that protect your clients and business in the months ahead in this highly volatile market.
How will things continue in the months ahead?
One of the greatest issues posed by the virus is an inability to predict what is going to happen in the weeks and months ahead. However, some clear issues have made themselves known, including-
Sectoral Disruption: This means that candidates will likely be thin on the ground and many businesses unlikely to commit to hiring. However, those industries that are able to work remotely – such as those that are software or tech adjacent – are set to be pressing ahead as usual. Assessing how your clients will be affected can allow you to take action to protect them, secure quality care, or ensure that you are placed to take advantage of any opportunities that may arise.
Furloughing: As the furlough scheme comes to an end, there is likely to be a greater and greater push for companies to evaluate their staffing requirements. This in turn carries the potential of businesses being compelled to bring individuals back into the workspace or look at redundancies. Further extensions to the furlough scheme are not on the table at the moment but any changes to the scheme will be felt by the recruitment sector almost immediately.
The Rise of Video Conferencing: The importance of video conferencing cannot be underestimated when it comes to operating in the sector in the weeks and months ahead. As meeting in person can be unadvisable, being able to quickly hold a cross-team video call is essential. This makes investing in a webcam and decent microphone essential – allowing you to take part in a call that is clear, effective, and removes any obstacles in your way when it comes to reaching out to clients.
New Work: Whether employees are jumping before they are pushed, hiring freezes will make it difficult for certain professionals to justify sitting still – leading many to consider changing their jobs for better benefits and incentives. Keeping an eye out and tracking these can be complex and ensuring that you have quality in-house infrastructure and suite of tools can help you quickly catalogue and engage with clients – ensuring that your company is perfectly placed to provide the support that your clients need.
There are numerous challenges ahead but with the inevitable redundancies that will be taking place, more and more high-quality candidates will become available in the marketplace. This presents an opportunity to bolster your workforce with new talent.
If you want to deploy a software solution that helps improve your preparedness, our team at Practical Software is here to help. With many years’ experience, we understand the importance of providing the timely care that your business needs.
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