The impact of COVID-19 on the interim market
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The impact of COVID-19 on the interim market

02 June 2020 By Ebony Armitage - Further Competition Coordinator of HR Services at YPO

business man discussing recruitment

The outbreak of COVID-19 has had an extensive impact on many aspects of the nation. One of the areas hit is recruitment. We have seen this especially in the interim sector, where the market has changed and evolved throughout the pandemic.

There are hundreds of interims across the public sector delivering a wide range of roles in different categories, from social care, IT and human resources. We first started to see the impact on COVID-19 on the interim market as early as March and began to see a reduction in recruitment at an interim level.

The affects on the interim market

The need for interims dropped due to the obvious change in recruitment priorities for public sector organisations. We needed to recruit key workers and look to address staff shortages (for example in social care and nursing) that would support the demands of COVID-19.

Currently, the public sector is beginning to overcome and gain more control over the crisis, leading them to look at recruiting at an interim level again. YPO have seen a significant increase in enquiries on our interim frameworks. Feedback from providers shows that they are seeing more interest from hiring managers. Organisations are beginning to consider and work towards what the world will look like post COVID-19.

The demand for specialists

The principal aim seems to be recruiting specialists for transformation projects, digitalisation and other specialist roles that will support the transition over the coming months. Specialists with technical skills are been called upon to support permanent staff in moving forward.

Digital transformation is leading the way with a high volume of appointments to provide digital agility and a change to the way we work and communicate virtually. IT roles have grown, developed, and become commoditised so that large teams are not necessarily needed any longer, and more and more organisations are recruiting interims for a period of a couple of months, opposed to permanent appointments.

The key focus is ensuring front line services are still able to continue to deliver, as well as maintain and develop back office services and the authorities’ vision for the future.

How HR is ensuring workforce safety

But how will these interims start to deliver transformation and change whilst following social distancing and government guidance? Interestingly, over the last few months HR teams have been at the heart of the pandemic as they must ensure the safety of their workforce. They remain as busy as ever, which has led to a significant increase in HR related roles.

Most organisations require a HR leader to support with realigning pay structure, the implementation and management of furlough schemes, appointing and onboarding staff remotely and in some cases the redeployment of resources. It is important to plan employees for all eventualities, whether it be future growth, or change.

Preparing for the ‘new normal’ and the future

It is important to remember that times are difficult. For organisations trying to plan their future workforces for even the following week seems impossible due to the rapid changes and demands of the current pandemic. These changes are likely to become the new ‘normal’.

Organisations are now beginning to look at interims to support future workforce planning. The pandemic is likely to leave a forever change in the recruitment sector, with the support of digitalisation.

For more information on our interim recruitment solution or if you’d like to discuss your specific challenges, our HR Services team are here to help, get in touch!

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