May 27th, 2021 | Industry News
The UK economy has weathered the second lockdown much better than expected, despite having the worst economic response of the G7 countries and the second worst in Europe (only Spain fared worse), the stock market rallied by mid February and unemployment has not risen as much as feared.
This has significant consequences for the recruitment industry. There may have be more finance on offer for apprenticeships and training schemes and fast track visa options but recruitment management software is tracking some challenging issues: work experience gaps, the collapse of many planned career progressions, especially in research, sales, the arts and hospitality where working from home just didn’t pan out and younger workers failing to get their expected exam results due to COVID-19 disruption.
How to adjust hiring for COVID-19
1. Any adequate application tracking system UK wide will show that while there may be fault-lines in career progressions, disappointing academic results and gaps in continuing professional development, there are work-arounds that allow the right people to emerge. Aptitude is a major component of any job, but it’s rarely highlighted in the recruitment process. Adding a couple of task-based elements to the recruitment process, or asking applicants to give a short presentation on an element of the job description can help find those incredibly able people who’ve just been badly served by the COVID-19 restrictions.
2. Consider training to fill gaps. Apparently changes in business operations mean that 84% of businesses have had to change the skill sets they require of candidates. Most commonly, organisations need more web and app skills, social media savvy and expertise in systems like Slack and Teams. Trying to recruit these skills might be difficult to impossible, but recruiting a trainer to bring your organisation up to speed should be doable. Once you’re up-skilled internally, it’s always easier to recruit specialist help that broadens skills when those skills are in demand everywhere else too. The best recruitment CRM can find people who have the aptitude (as above) for such training so that you’re not recruiting blindly.
3. Appeal to the future. It’s been a tough couple of years in the UK – finding reasons to be optimistic can be difficult. However, organisations that show a clear commitment to their employees, and to societal improvement, are appealing – not just to the Gen Z applicants who are much more likely than their predecessors to align their values with their employer’s – but to those who are battle-hardened by the setbacks of the last few years in the UK. Revising job descriptions to show this commitment and designing interview processes that contain a vision for the future of the organisation and how that can contribute to general betterment will help find the best candidates to move a business forwards.