Upskilling the recruitment market post COVID-19
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Upskilling the recruitment market post COVID-19

02 September 2020 By Lucy Simpson - Category Buyer of HR Services at YPO

woman virtually recruiting

Organisations now more than ever need to look at how they can upskill existing employees and start to look at different skill sets within the market.

At the start of the pandemic, a lot of people were reluctant to move jobs, but this changed as organisations started to place employees on furlough or begin business restructures.

We’ve seen many industries suffer, such as travel and tourism, entertainment and hospitality. This has caused an unexpected increase in the unemployment rates worldwide. We’ve seen retired front line workers such as NHS staff and police officers drafted in to help the country cope with the impact of the pandemic, and we’ve seen many people work from home and utilising technology to support everyday working.

COVID-19 has also meant that many people have opted for a career change, due to requiring more flexibility, more money due to financial difficulties or simply wanting a change of career. Many others have been forced down the path of seeking new employment due to being subject to redundancies or closures.

With around three million people currently unemployed in the UK, employers are starting to look differently at how they recruit. In a world that has changed in a matter of months, it has meant that organisations now need to look at a broader range of skill sets when recruiting for a role.

Upskilling staff or redeploying workers into roles that need to be filled is on the rise, and we are now seeing a shift towards a very different recruitment market.

Before the pandemic began, we already started to see changes in technologies and new ways of working too, which is continuing to disrupt the recruitment market further and the skills that employees need.

Below I’ve outlined the key things organisations should consider within their recruitment strategy to support the challenge of upskilling, whilst also accounting for how the market has changed due to COVID-19.

  1. Identify existing skills in the organisation and review other areas of expertise that existing employees may have
  2. Strengthen the social and emotional skills - these are needed as we work in a much more remote world when home working
  3. Consider the skills needed if rebuilding your workforce and try to incorporate these into job specifications
  4. Think about the training budgets, and how they can be utilised to broaden existing skill sets
  5. Review the job specifications and how flexible they can be, considering employees who may want a change in career or new direction
  6. Motivate the workforce – we have been in such an unsettled time and for some people who have been furloughed for long periods will need to be eased back in. So, it’s important to find ways to motivate staff with the changes that may have been made to a role

We are moving towards a situation where there will be many more people than jobs available, and competition is high. Now is the time to look at the skill sets within the market and allow people to make that shift into a new career.

Recruitment agencies should be able to support on this and help generate the pool of resource available to meet the requirements of the positions available. The recruitment market is changing and will continue to change as we come through this pandemic and enter into the new world of work.

For more information or to discuss your specific requirements, get in touch with Lucy and the HR services team at [email protected] or view our Recruitment and HR Services blogs for further updates and guidance during COVID-19.


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