The future of recruitment: an employment outlook

Written by Carmen Watson - Chair and Managing Director, Pertemps Ltd

Though we have entered a lockdown and unemployment remains on the rise, businesses are staying positive as we navigate the Coronavirus pandemic.  

We have witnessed the substantial impact the Coronavirus has had on our global economy, but while the economy grew as the country opened up over the Summer, it remained 6.7% smaller than it was before the crisis according to the ONS.

But businesses have maintained composure in the face of uncertainty and have been essential in supporting the nation in the fightback against Covid-19. The labour market has suffered a heavy strain throughout 2020, but a two-speed recovery is emerging, with 51% of firms expecting to maintain or increase their permanent recruitment in the next 12 months.

Like many business leaders; we welcome government support which will clearly be needed as we continue to respond. Young people are amongst the hardest hit by the pandemic. With many roles for young people concentrated in sectors which had been worst affected by the pandemic such as hospitality, retail and leisure, the kickstart scheme continues to play a crucial role in supporting young people where they need it most.

We are not out on the other side yet and remain in a very difficult global economy. Sadly, many are reporting redundancies and significant job losses across industries and sectors. On the other side of the coin, however, some industries are still proactively recruiting and the challenges for them are around social distancing and driving recruitment processes remotely in order to protect the health and safety of candidates, clients and employees.

Businesses are taking all the necessary steps to protect jobs and reduce redundancies, through flexible working arrangements, pay and restructuring operations as they continue to manage change. But despite this, hiring expectations are weaker compared to 2019 but remain positive with new job markets emerging.

2021 will see the UK adapting to a new trading relationship with the EU and while the consequences of Covid are yet to be seen, we can be confident that professionals need to adapt and adopt different strategies to survive and thrive as the situation continues to evolve in this ever-changing economic landscape. As we emerge from the pandemic, we need to begin thinking long-term and start to implement changes and lay the foundations to build back a stronger, fairer and more resilient economy.

The recruitment industry will continue to play a pivotal role in mobilising the UK economy and workforce, but also to help clients adapt to a new ‘normal’ of recruiting, by providing job opportunities, personalised insights and market advice.

It is likely there will be difficult times ahead; the hiring market has changed, with unemployment on the rise. As the labour market constantly changes, we need to address the ever-changing recruitment needs, always ensuring our recruitment strategies are at the forefront to maintain business-as-usual and maintain company resilience. Our recent industry award for ‘Most Effective Business Continuity & Resilience Programme’ (Recruiter Investing in Talent Awards 2020) is testimony to our ability to support clients through these coming months and years.

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