COVID-19’s unexpected effects on recruitment

August 12th, 2020 | Industry News

There are some surprising developments in the impact of COVID-19. For example, in the USA, recruiting doctors has dropped by 30% since April, although specialist recruitment has increased substantially.

Difficult to understand at first view, it makes perfect sense in the wider recruiting picture. Recruitment management software reveals that in fact, healthcare spending in the USA has all but collapsed, with the most dramatic spending decline since 1959. Add to this abnormally high expenses as a result of coping with the demands of the pandemic, and many US healthcare organisations have opted for a spending freeze. It’s good news for the UK, where we may actually have a buyer’s market for healthcare that benefits from a surplus of general practitioners looking for employment.

Not at all surprising is the huge increase in applications for every job. Any employer would struggle to cope with recent surges, such as a restaurant that received 1,000 applications for a receptionist job in 24 hours. The best recruitment software for agencies, is well designed to manage this kind of process, calling on sophisticated automation to acknowledge and respond to all applicants without bogging consultants down in paperwork. Given that 650,000 people have become unemployed in the UK since March, this is a trend that we can expect to continue for at least the next 12-18 months.

But it’s also true that people’s mental and even physical health is being affected by unemployment. Do recruitment agencies have any responsibility? Well no, but they do have a surprising ability to help, and not just by finding people jobs. In fact, successful recruitment agencies are able to support job seekers in this time of crisis.

While only 16% of agencies were ready to become 100% digital, all agencies had to cope with only having an online presence. Those who were already using SAAS systems had a huge advantage, as they were already in a position to work with their clients and candidates remotely. While no recruitment agency can guarantee work, what web-based recruitment software can do, is support individuals by giving them a sense that they are valued. Automated systems that remain in touch with candidates, regularly updating them on any applications they have in process, give people a sense of security, which is important for wellbeing. The same automated communications allow recruitment consultants to spend their time most effectively – in personal engagement with clients and candidates to build relationships, establish trust and, most importantly, fill positions and support employers in rebuilding their businesses.