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How the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the recruitment sector

How the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the recruitment sector

To say that coronavirus has turned things on its head is an understatement. Whilst we prepared for the changes from a business point of view, the world has changed and it's anyone’s guess if we will ever go fully back to normal. Looking back to February, things were very different in the UK job market; the office for national statistics recently published figures showing that the UK employment rate stood at a record 76.6%.

Looking to today, no one could have predicted the changes to the market and how heavily hit some industries would be. Figures from WavetrackR regarding job postings for the beginning of May saw a record low, down 86% from the previous year. They also recorded a 36% drop in the number of applicants, which is not as dramatic as the fall in job postings but still significant.

We have seen recruitment drives cancelled or postponements from some of the UK’s largest employers. Graduates have suffered as well, according to a survey by the Institute of Student Employers 25% of companies surveyed plan to hire fewer graduates going forward. Perhaps the manpower to train them is not available or they can only focus on their short-term businesses' survival. With vacancies being taken off job boards, there has been an increase in those looking for jobs as redundancies have also risen.

For many recruitment companies’ operations have become a struggle with many opting to reduce or furlough their work force to save many jobs. Some have adapted their approach by focusing on industries that have seen an increase in recruitment such as social work, logistics and warehouse work, but this is not a solution for everyone. The short term is uncertain, but things are slowly coming back to life in a way with WavetrackR recording data that vacancies are leisurely on the rise.

We are fortunate that the technology and the digital sector continues to be buoyant throughout this and we have seen contract vacancies remain steady. Companies still need specialists for roles managing the digital infrastructure of their business paired with the safeguard of a short-term contractual engagement. However, we as a business are seeing an increase in permanent positions again and hope this will continue to grow through quarters 3 and 4.

For People Source, our future is looking positive. Our team’s adaptability and resilience to this pandemic have been outstanding and safeguarding consultants will allow us to support any job hunter or vacancies a client might have and expedite a rapid turnaround. A blanket approach to furloughing will see many recruitment companies slow out of the gate and even stalling the job market while they try to begin to operate again, while those that never left will be ready to pick up the slack.

If you are a job hunter then check out our latest roles here or upload a CV to the team. If you have a requirement that needs filling, then fill out a contact form here and we will be in touch for a free consultation. We’re here for you now and will be here when you need us in the future.


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  Posted: 28/05/20