How optimistic are we about recruitment?

July 23rd, 2020 | Industry News

Very. A recent survey of the impact of COVID-19 on the recruiting industry suggests that only 2% think there will be a ‘sustained depression’ that continues longer than 2021. More than half also expect the economy to improve by the end of 2020.

More surprisingly, hard data seems to back up this positive view. A third of those surveyed said that their businesses are doing as well, or better, than they were a year ago. Of course this might be a sectoral response and as we all know healthcare and IT have been in demand all the way through the pandemic.

Online recruitment software has been a major contributor to recruitment success – not just because of the obvious sense in which it has allowed recruitment consultancies to continue to operate during lockdown, but also because it has been able to support an internal workforce in a way that other recruitment agencies just haven’t been able to manage. One disturbing statistic is that in the UK 82% of businesses have laid off at least some of their employees. Recruitment CRM software has been valuable here too, allowing even the smallest agency to look at transferable skills and make lateral jumps to help candidates find new work, even if only temporarily, and to keep their organisations relevant to employers’ needs. A quarter of agencies also reported increasing their use of analytics – unsurprising in the circumstances, as is the increase in the use of automation (16%). Recruitment management software that can investigate trends and respond to changes is vital during periods of crisis, and automation has helped many agencies to keep running, because it’s freed up time and resources to focus on understanding client need and produce results.

The Chancellor’s ‘Plan for Jobs’ hasn’t created as much optimism as he might have hoped

Whilst a focus on getting young people back into work has been broadly welcomed, the ‘job retention bonus’ for employers who bring back workers from furlough doesn’t fit all circumstances – umbrella employers and agencies who have a different employment model will find the £1,000 per employee bonus falls far short of what is required. Web based recruitment software may be essential if these organisations are to remain viable in the challenging months ahead. Not only that, but for many employers this job retention bonus comes with a big ask – keeping previously furloughed staff successfully employed between now and January 2021 may require some organisational gymnastics, depending on the way the pandemic continues to develop. Recruitment database software may be part of the solution – allowing for redeployment and skill transfer in unpredictable circumstances.