How has COVID-19 Affected Employment & Recruitment?
18 December 2020
Picture of the COVID-19 virus

Over the past 5 years, the UK Recruitment sector has gradually grown steadily, the value of the market in 2019 was just under £40bn. This was a notable increase despite the Brexit deal still not being resolved. COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the world’s economy and governments around the world have put initiatives in place to help people keep their jobs throughout the pandemic such as the Furlough Scheme introduced by the UK government in March. They pledged to cover 80% of workers earnings if they were unable to work because of COVID restrictions. It has been reported that the schemes have cost over £42bn and recent figures have shown that the recruitment industry has seen the sharpest decline since the global financial crash in 2009.

Image of a person holding up a cardboard sign saying 'Need a Job'.

The Hard Work Has Been Undone by the Pandemic

The recruitment industry was making good progress in terms of employment rate at the start of March 2020 as the UK reached its lowest levels of unemployment since the 1970s. The positive levels of unemployment were quickly diminished with the start of the COVID-19 pandemic as the UK saw a record number of unemployment claims this year. The Leisure and hospitality industry has been hit the hardest this year, businesses having to shut down due to COVID-19 restrictions the government have put in place. While leisure and hospitality lead the way in terms of jobs at risk, transportation and consumer-focused sectors such as retail are high on the unemployment list.

The recruitment industry has had to transform its procedures due to the COVID-19 pandemic as we try to reduce the spread of the virus. Here are some of the changes that recruitment companies and recruitment departments are having to implement during the pandemic, whilst also looking at some of the problems companies are having to deal with during these difficult times.

Utilising Technology for Job Interviews

Across the UK, companies are telling their employees to work remotely from home and communicate with the team through platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams. The overall goal is to stop face-to-face interaction and workers unnecessarily travelling into their workplace. Therefore, all job interviews will have to happen remotely, this can sometimes prove difficult for companies as it’s often difficult to get a feel of an individual and their ability to fit into the workforce.

Image of a person on a remote call.

Difficult to Onboard New Employees

We’re living in extremely difficult times; however, businesses still need new employees to fill vacant roles. The new employees need to be onboarded and shown how to do tasks within their job role. It is often difficult to deliver an effective onboarding process without being face-to-face with the new employee. However, there are ways that you can make this work, you just have to be adaptable in your processes.

 Employees Less Likely to Want to Change Jobs

Sourcing new employees can always be a stressful experience; however, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it even more difficult as people are hesitant about change during this uncertain period. If the employee has a full-time contract with their current company, their inclination to change jobs is low. However, at the same time, the employees may be worried about potential redundancies which could lead to them looking for a new challenge.

Here at Pure Staff, we take the health and safety of our staff, workers and clients seriously. Read more about our COVID-19 response.

Contact our Team of Recruitment Experts at Pure Staff 

Worrying about your employment situation and looking for a new challenge in the Driving, Industrial or FMCG / supply chain sectors? Get in touch with our team at Pure Staff to speak about the opportunities we have that may suit you.

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