COVID Secure working – what does it mean for the recruitment industry?

May 26th, 2020 | Industry News

Recently, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that “anyone who can’t work from home… should be actively encouraged to go to work”. However, several recruitment bodies have criticised the lack of clarity in the statement. Recruitment software was never designed to cope with current circumstances and yet it will be vital to restoring the UK to a fully-functioning economy.

The needs of workers, including temporary staff, need to be built into any reopening plan, bearing in mind that no business can guarantee a COVID-19 free workplace, and no online recruitment software can deliver certainty about roles, responsibilities and daily tasks in a period of such upheaval.

Recently we discussed digital recruitment and its impact on restoring businesses to full activity, and recruiting software is one of the tools in the armoury of a risk-conscious business. Proactive management of risk includes using SAAS recruitment tools to create online teams to manage the process of business restoration.

In the US, 55% of recruitment agencies are said to be planning, or already implementing, redundancies, whilst at the same time, recruiters in certain fields: engineering, telecoms, healthcare (especially telemedicine) and customer support have all grown, with ‘tech industry’ vacancies growing by nearly 5% in mid April according to Glassdoor. In Germany, 40% of the recruitment industry is saying that it’s had around a 50% reduction in activity – another clear sign that recruitment agencies need to work differently to maintain market share. In the UK, we don’t yet have clear evidence about how the industry has been impacted, but it’s very clear that businesses that managed to maintain business activity, or move rapidly to restore it, are likely to gain market advantage over their rivals.

What the best candidates are looking for has changed too. Top talent has moved away from exotic perks and new venture claims to look more at the strength of a potential employer’s balance sheet and their track record in coping with challenges. Recruitment management software has a strong part to play in establishing a strong relationship between an employer and a high-calibre candidate during COVID-19, allowing individuals to feel confident about the resilience of their new employer and employers to handle many of the tasks of onboarding new personnel through the recruiter’s online platform.