Interim and executive recruitment has seen rapid and major changes during COVID-19. We wanted to find out exactly what’s changed in the market, the most popular roles and if there have been any changes in the way local authorities are recruiting.
So, we caught up with our suppliers on our Local Government Resourcing Partnership (LGRP) framework to find out.
What have been the most popular job roles recruited throughout COVID-19?
Transformation and digital
Unsurprisingly, these roles are at the forefront for public sector organisations, so they’re able to respond and adapt to rapid changes. Due to the impact of COVID-19, it is evident that there is room for continued growth as employees adapt to a rapidly evolving ‘new normal’ as employees opt to work remotely long term.
There has been an increase in hospital and review social workers. Many authorities seem to be preparing for an increase in demand of children’s social work in September. Within public health, there has been a continued requirement for health and safety and legal roles.
This is to support the increase in remote working. IT infrastructure has been prioritised as some authorities have started to try and push on with work that they were doing pre COVID-19.
Directors and assistant directors
The increased need for directors and assistant directors is largely because of re-structuring and realignment of services to local communities. This has been common across all different categories, including social work, IT, finance and transformation. The search and selection of leadership teams at board level has been critical in business continuity. These business leaders were, and are still, required for business turnaround given the circumstances.
COVID-19 has proved a clear period of transition in relation to furlough, increased mental health awareness, increase in remote working. With this, has become an increase in senior level HR interims to support the changes that have occurred.
What are the key changes that you have seen across interim and executive search recruitment?
Breaks in recruitment
Many authorities did put breaks on their recruitment, especially at an interim/executive level. There have been multiple reasons for the reduction, including difficulty getting internal stakeholders to discuss as they work remotely, a focus for senior managers on the emergency response to coronavirus resulting in less time for day to day operational work.
Increases in the candidate pool
Due to the increase in remote working, there has been a track record in the pool of candidates due to reduced need to travel or stay away from home. This has led to the market being hungrier to consider candidates from other parts of the country – and at more competitive rates. Another reason for an increase in candidates is due to job losses, leading senior level staff beginning consulting.
Permanent recruitment is rebuilding
Although permanent recruitment saw a pause and was one of the hardest hits throughout COVID-19, it is now beginning to rebuild and see an increase in roles. The next couple of months will truly show how the permanent recruitment market has recovered. Hopefully, the hard hit was only short term.
Are there any changes in the way local authorities are recruiting?
Online interviewing and remote working
These are prevalent in a way that didn’t exist before COVID-19. It is difficult to forecast whether the market will return to older ways of working. Although there is noise about remote working being the ‘new normal’. Some authorities are discussing returning to the office, despite this only being for a couple of days per week.
Speed of recruitment
Authorities have had the ability to make speedier decisions when it comes to recruitment. Online interviewing and remote working speeds up processes due to less travel time and the ability to find time in diaries easier.
- COVID-19 has and will continue to impact the recruitment market indefinitely. We are currently in August 2020, and changes still are occurring to date.
- Local Government has been less hit from a recruitment point of view than most other sectors, but it is still proving a tough market. One large impact in the medium term will be where the government decides to spend the money dedicated to rebuilding the economy.
- Almost all, if not all, interim contracts continued and extended, no terminations. An initial reduction in new roles has ceased with activity levels recovering well for both interim and executive recruitment.
For further information, get in touch with the team!