How Will Jobs be Affected when COVID-19 Restrictions Ease?

With the government asking millions of people to stay home in March 2020 to help protect lives, millions of people were unable to work. Only those doing essential work were able to continue.

This disruption meant that many businesses could not operate normally. With their employees not being able to go to work and customers not being able to buy products or services, businesses suffered and jobs were lost or part of their income was cut.

With jobs still being cut and put on hold, as a result of being put in lockdown, we asked experts in the field how jobs will be affected when COVID-19 restrictions ease…

 

Our Expert Panel:

  • Simon Roderick – Founder of Fram Search
  • Nick Derham – Director of Adria Solutions
  • Romanie Thomas – Founder and Director Juggle Jobs
  • Léon Milns – Co-Founder of We Are Adam

 

 

For any questions, comments or features, please contact us directly.

 

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Simon Roderick – Founder of Fram Search

 

Simon Roderick

 

“Whilst the COVID recession has been awful for those businesses and individuals affected, we expect the recovery to be very strong. The areas that were most affected are likely to come back the strongest such as field sales, reception roles etc. Working practices will change and we expect employers to be more flexible, but we still feel most people will spend time in the office most days of the week.

Firms will have to show flexibility to attract and retain the best talent moving forwards, but we still expect most people to spend about 3-4 days a week in the office when they reopen. Many have missed being around colleagues and it’s harder to collaborate when working from home. We expect the recovery to be strong once restrictions are lifted.”

 

Nick Derham – Director of Adria Solutions

 

Nick Derham

 

“The pandemic has slowed down apprenticeships and entry-roles. Many companies weren’t able to mentor inexperienced candidates and newly-graduates while having their more-experienced employers working remotely or from home or because of social-distancing rules. As restrictions are lifted and we slowly get back to the office, entry-role positions will be easier to secure. Also, the government has promised to boost internship and graduate programs, which should encourage companies to offer more entry roles.

With the end of restrictions, some sectors will slowly start to prepare to open: hospitality, catering, travel, high street retail, art and culture, etc. We believe that the ease of the restrictions for the hospitality sector will see a spiral effect in recruitment.

For pubs and restaurants to open, breweries start to work and take people off furlough, restaurants will start putting orders in food, etc. There will be a huge surge movement in hospitality, which will bring a massive spike in the economy in the next months. As days get longer and weather gets better, everyone wants to be outside, do stuff and people are moving and consuming, so temporary and perm recruiting will be on the rise to cope with the demand.

This will indirectly affect other sectors in a positive way. For instance, this pandemic has showcased the need for mobile apps and digital technologies, which has boosted the demand for tracking apps, webs and mobile technologies.

The Digital Marketing sector has also grown and will keep growing as restrictions ease. In this regard, we have noticed a surge in the availability of Marketing jobs, which means that companies are increasing their marketing budgets ahead of the end of the restrictions. Recruitment in Social Media, Graphic Design, E-Commerce and Digital Marketing will only increase as companies get ready to the end of restrictions.

While the IT and Digital sectors have remained buoyant and actively hiring through the pandemic, we have noticed a higher demand for Data jobs (data analysis, big data, cloud architecture…) in the last months. Companies have realised of the importance of taking business decisions based on data analysis and data predictions in a challenging environment.

Finally, we have noticed that candidates in the IT and Digital sectors have been less open to move jobs in the last six months, which traditionally would be some of the busiest time of the year. It seems logical to think that candidates are staying put because of the instability of the current job market, as a consequence of the pandemic, but also because most companies in the tech and digital sector have opted for flexible working options and/or home working. The combination of these two factors have aggravated the technology skills shortage in the United Kingdom. ”

 

 

For any questions, comments or features, please contact us directly.

 

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Romanie Thomas – Founder and Director Juggle Jobs

 

Romanie-Thomas-Juggle

 

“There is no turning back post pandemic. Jobs that have been propped up by the furlough scheme are likely to disappear and office workplaces are likely to stay, if only in a modified way. Throughout the pandemic, we have seen more candidates who want greater flexibility while still being able to achieve a well-paid salary. Enlightened companies realise that to attract and retain quality employees, offering more flexible job roles is paramount to success.

In a February 2021 survey of 20 top companies by the Financial Times, most employers said that their companies intend to offer a hybrid approach so that employees can work from home one or two days a week. Although remote working and flexible working are not the exact same, they are deeply connected. In order to successfully work remotely, companies need to adopt asynchronous working, they need to prioritise planning, but then shift into execution mode, delivering on personal and company goals which are agreed upon in a collaborative manner. The same is true of flexible working. Trust, technology, and a shift in attitude is required to make those arrangements work.

The stats speak for themselves on this, productivity increases in a remote working setting, with some reports stating up to 35% increases. A number of factors play a part in this; less distraction, feelings of control, less stress and quicker response times. In fact, in a recent study by Employment Hero; 95% of people would encourage others to work entirely remotely, 99% would work remotely for the rest of their careers if allowed due to job satisfaction. It is clear that overall productivity increases when flexibility is designed around employees working towards goals and processes and technology are fully utilised to ensure an output model is adopted. In other words, employees feel better, work better and retention is increased due to remote working conditions that suit the individual.

Furthermore, 87% of millennials maturing into the workforce want flexibility (and not in a prescribed hybrid manner). How can we be proposing a working model which is rooted in values of the past, for employees of the future? It doesn’t fit. If one’s company culture only works in an in person environment, your company culture is weak. If training only works through in person interactions, your processes and systems aren’t strong enough yet. The entire recruitment process is changing and candidates now have far more options than ever before, businesses that fail to embrace these changes will get left behind.”

 

Léon Milns – Co-Founder of We Are Adam

 

Léon Milns

 

“The pandemic has stalled the recruitment market. Despite an unemployment rate of 5% and rising, we’ve seen many people choosing to stay put in their current role, as changing jobs is perceived to be risky in the current climate. The end of the furlough scheme is expected to bring about a rise in unemployment, potentially as high as 7%, but the worst affected sectors are likely to be leisure, hospitality, and tourism. I anticipate other sectors will see rapid movement as the easing of restrictions coincides with a new financial year.

Currently we’re seeing processes take significantly longer than usual but this will probably pick up in pace. Much like in the summer, I suspect spending bans will be lifted as companies focus less on controlling cost base and turn to growth and recovery to negate the financial impact of the last 12 months. Skilled, white collar roles such as the ones we recruit will flood the marketplace and we’ll see a shortage of candidates where they are needed. Sadly, at the other end of the spectrum, it’s highly likely we’ll see more low-paid roles being made redundant as the CJRS comes to an end.

Of course this will be both a challenge and an opportunity and it’s the responsibility of us as business leaders to offer training, paid internships and apprenticeships to upskill those out of work and plug the gaps we’re likely to see as the world adapts to our ‘new normal’.”

 

 

For any questions, comments or features, please contact us directly.

 

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