COVID-19's impact on the future of recruitment
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COVID-19's impact on the future of recruitment

23 July 2020 By YPO, Comensura, Matrix SCM, Reed and Pertemps

group video interview

In the final part of our three blog series where we investigate what has been happening in the recruitment sector, we're looking into the future of recruitment and how it has been impacted by COVID-19.

We wanted to ask providers how they could see the future of recruitment and have interviewed them to get their thoughts on how they see recruitment changing in the near and distant future. The third question we asked the providers was:

What do you think the future of the recruitment market looks like?


Coronavirus has significantly shifted the way businesses operate and has caused a seismic shift in the ways we work by large-scale adoption of remote working, changes to our digital strategy and onboarding processes. Technology will be a key aspect in managing communications, collaboration and productivity amongst HR professionals and business leaders in the future. We have already seen a heavy reliance on digital recruitment approaches for all aspects from interview, onboarding and offboarding to ensure business continuity and to maintain the health and safety of our clients, candidates and employees during the Covid-19 pandemic.

As businesses recover, there will be a race for talent to make up for the talent that has been lost. Businesses will be heavily reliant on trusted referrals, since they cannot meet their new hires face-to-face. Its crucial businesses think beyond traditional recruiting and place people at the heart of their strategy. Post Covid-19 will involve change and uncertainty as we embrace the opportunities and challenges of a modern labour market, but, as usual, we will adapt, reshape and prosper in the face of new trials. 


With upwards of 6.3 million employees having been furloughed, and an additional 2 million joining the ranks of unemployment, there will be a lasting impact on the recruitment industry. The war for talent has been over for some time, with evidence suggesting clear ‘talent gaps’ in the UK, in areas such as qualified social care, where we just don’t have the volumes of candidates available to fill the roles.

COVID-19 has seen both candidates and organisations needing to ‘stand out from the crowd’. For example, organisations are now having to think more about how they are perceived in the market and how they compare to others, via their brand and employee value proposition (EVP). This is in response to candidate expectations of job roles changing, such as an increased need for home working, flexibility and job security.


The best place to start is to look at the data we have captured during lockdown. Across our clients we have seen orders for new workers fall as they focus on extending their current workforces’ contracts and redeploying them into frontline roles. This has led to increased spend in areas such as Social Care compared to previous years. As we begin to transition back to normal and redeployed workers move back to their original roles, we predict there will be increases in Social, Child and Adult Care.

The future of recruitment at the moment for us is demand management. We are focusing in on proactively understanding our clients’ capacity in key areas so that we can ensure that our supply chains are built to cover them with any potential future workforce demands. This workforce strategy is going to be key by communicating to clients and supply chains so we can ensure that, no matter what the future holds, there is capacity to support service delivery.


We are on the cusp of a cultural and industrial revolution with so many wide-ranging implications for the economy. Some banks are suggesting that 50% of their workers work remotely from now on, given the logistical issues that COVID19 has introduced to their business continuity plans and the opportunity to make cost efficiencies in the face of the gloomy economic situation.

Flexibility and remote working will become an expectation for many, which will change the way that workers are sourced. The accelerated move toward counter-urbanism will mean demand for local authority services may be subject to radical change, and require new specialists to be sourced on a contingent basis.

There may be excess capacity in the available temporary workforce, creating downward pressure on pay and the margins that agencies can secure, with agencies prioritising public sector business in light of depleted private sector demand. This excess capacity could provide an excellent opportunity for talent pools to be deployed and grown with a customer, albeit they will require proper management. Some previously hard to fill job categories may prove easier to fill, however where demand and supply has remained static many roles will continue to be challenging to recruit for. 

We have all seen changing demands in recruitment over the last few months, due to the impact of COVID-19. In our previous two blogs of our series, we’ asked our providers 'what is happening in recruitment across the sectors and what changes are being seen?' and 'is there any innovation in the market around fulfilling roles?'.

If you would like to find out more about how we can help with your recruitment needs during the pandemic, get in touch with the team!

Categories: Procurement , Public Sector

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