Like many other industries, the recruitment industry has been negatively impacted by COVID-19 and the trio of lockdowns. Here we take a look at the employment market and discuss if recruitment agencies will survive the coronavirus epidemic’s impact.
The current state of employment
According to the Office for National Statistics, the unemployment rate has risen to 5%, up by 0.6% from the previous quarter and 1.2% up compared to a year earlier. The redundancy rate has reached a record high at 14.2 per thousand.
The number of unemployed in the UK now stands at 1,724,000. During the three months to November 2020, the proportion of the workforce on furlough rose to 16%, and 398,000 fewer people had jobs.
The UK labour market has challenges to overcome to halt the trend of soaring unemployment. Recruitment figures are predictably low, but some recruiters are noticing employers reengaging their job advertising.
Employers and employees are adapting to working from home. Job competition is up and muddled by many unskilled people applying for jobs they are not fully qualified for.
There is an influx of job opportunities from supermarkets, looking for temporary workers. However, some recruitment agencies struggle to operate at maximum efficiency, with a loss of workers through internal redundancies.
What recruitment agencies can do to survive COVID
Recruitment agencies need to adapt to the present economic and social issues, which means working remotely from home and switching to video meetings rather than face to face. Agencies should also assess their current financial resources and spread these over a more extended period.
Government schemes can help and include the furlough scheme and government-backed loans. Further government initiatives aimed at assisting SMEs are expected during 2021.
Recruitment agencies should undoubtedly look to cut costs now and invest in software that will save long term costs. Decisions need to be practical and fact-based, considering future predictions.
How companies can keep employment costs down
Recruitment firms need to be innovative, change working behaviours, and look at opportunities to add value to their service. Many companies will be searching for low-cost recruitment as the economy recovers, resulting in agencies considering fixed fee recruitment or flat rate recruitment while confidence builds. We have a library of job description templates that can help you employ the perfect candidate.
While some recruitment agencies might not survive, it is likely that many will. The damage to the recruitment sector will depend on how long lockdown will continue and how other companies choose to manage their personnel. Contact us to learn more about how our job advertising services can help you with low cost recruitment.