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Covid 19: How has it affected the recruitment industry?

27 April 2021

A Pandemic: And a Recruitment Industry still striving for positive results!

How can we re-frame these challenges to opportunities?

The world has been hit by a huge pandemic and all our lives have been impacted.

The Recruitment Industry has experienced some major changes over the past year and businesses have had to adapt quickly to survive. There’s been changes in the job market, changes in the hiring needs of companies and changes in the way we work and recruit.

So – what’s been happening.

An initial general decline or decrease in hiring
As the pandemic struck, the business world and the economy were sure to take a hit in these uncertain times. Recruitment budgets were frozen and jobs lost, in a world where we were all told to ‘stay at home’ and keep safe. Business owners would naturally be wary of making big decisions in the event of the crisis and be more cautious whilst waiting for things to unfold. And for some major industries hit by the pandemic including Travel and Tourism, Events, Entertainment and Hospitality Industry and some Manufacturer’s, government funding scheme’s or unemployment was inevitable.

An increase in hiring in certain sectors
For some industries there has been huge spikes in demand and a need for high volume recruitment. Some sector’s are busier than ever including logistics, health care and medical equipment, pharmacy and food retail, remote learning and comm’s services. As a smart recruiter, all efforts would now need to be targeted towards those key sector’s in high demand.

A major change in the way we work
There has been a huge contrast in the recruitment environment where offices have gone from being buzzy and bustling to ghostly silent. Many of us have been required to create work stations in our own homes, some of us balancing the demands of work with childcare, home schooling and other responsibilities, whilst people living alone were left feeling lonely and isolated. But some people have loved the flexibility that WFH has provided including doing the school run, less commuting, more time for health and wellbeing activities. Remote working has opened up an opportunity to attract a wider audience of candidates to jobs. Options have now opened up for people who would normally be unable to apply for certain jobs due to distance and other practical commitments. Can we now increase the scope of our talent pool by widening our candidate search?

A major change in the hiring process
In an industry that is reliant on face to face contact, the initial lockdown came as a shock to recruiters. But technology has paved the way for the digitalization of the recruitment process and we can now see more evidence that online digital recruitment is on the increase. Although it is more preferable to meet candidates face to face, online recruiting has created more opportunities and flexibility for us during the recruitment process. And it is very possible that the legacy of Covid-19 may have forever changed the nature of recruitment.

A reduction of applications and candidates in these uncertain times
There is a definite shortage of candidates and there has been a significant reduction in the number of applicants as a result of the pandemic. Job seekers are less hesitant and prefer the security of what they know in these uncertain times. People need reassurance that new opportunities are stable and supportive. A proportion of workers are also currently in limbo on government financial support schemes, hoping that businesses will eventually return to normal in these unsettling times. But could this time have given people the opportunity to reflect on what they really want to do with their career? We have seen a range of talented candidates with transferrable skills applying for new sectors in the current job market.

So, will Covid-19 change the face of recruitment forever and what will the future look like?

As an industry, we are now asking ourselves, will things ever get back to normal or are some of these changes here to stay. I think the general consensus is that business will return to normal eventually, but virtual recruiting and remote working is definitely on the up in this post pandemic world.

We need more flexibility and “out of the box” thinking!

And so….

To all recruitment Industry professionals seeking new opportunities in the recruitment market. We have a range of roles for recruiter’s looking to secure jobs within the North’s busiest agencies. Give Anna Maher a call for a confidential chat and Anna can tell you which agency will suit your personality, skill set and work requirements the best.

And to all Recruiting Manager’s looking to expand their team. Think about remote working and how you can widen your staff base and talent pool by considering remote or partial remote working. AMR have found some great candidates after being asked to consider remote workers and expanding the geography of our searches!

Stay calm, stay positive and embrace the change!


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