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COVID 19 and You - The impact of Coronavirus on your business

We are a self-confident industry; undeterred by challenge; sure of our ability to meet our customers' needs; certain of our processes, creativity and ingenuity; confident that all we possess will see us through the most testing of times! Recruitment processes are more sophisticated, robust and responsive than they have ever been. The possession of recruitment tools and forecasting models that, in their infancy, were often handled crudely and without true insight by practitioners.

All of that has changed. Sophistication is a byword for all that we do. Processes and modelling techniques, based on best practice from across the globe, have enabled us to meet the demands of a pre-Brexit world without much difficulty, and the challenges we have predicted for a post-Brexit UK have not created any sense of foreboding.

But now, Covid-19. What will it mean for our industry? So much is unknown! So much is uncertain! Will we successfully meet the many new challenges that lie ahead, or be found wanting by a world turned upside down by Covid-19?

In the short time that has passed since the virus erupted in China, governments have been forced to introduce draconian measures to reduce the pace of progress of Covid-19, resulting in closure of cities and regions, transport and services, the partial imposition of home-working, and social isolation of all but the most critical of workers. The economic consequences are potentially calamitous for the world.

What recruitment professionals have to say

With a combination of most UK businesses incurring rather hefty costs from the outbreak and an already volatile market, recruiters should expect business to be slow in the coming months

says Lee Biggins, CEO and Founder of CV-Library. He adds,

We're already hearing feedback that employers are pausing their hiring plans while they wait for the worst to pass.

As you might expect, with so many countries on complete lockdown, the travel industry is one of the worst affected. Recruitment numbers are down across the board for airlines, travel agencies and hotel chains worldwide. This is closely linked to hospitality, which is also taking a hit. With many pubs and restaurants forced into temporary closure, the employers are struggling to maintain their current staffing levels, without scope for increasing any time soon. Naturally, this is having a knock-on effect on hospitality recruiters, an avenue that seems to be closed to applicants for the near future.

Claire McCartney, Resources and Inclusion Adviser at the CIPD has stated that many employers are not only slowing their hiring but also taking reductions in existing staffing numbers under serious consideration.

Conversely, however, retail is actually seeing a spike in recruitment opportunities, with Morrisons creating 3,500 new jobs in an effort to support the community and keep up with demand at the same time. Also, Amazon is joining in with this idea, and are set to hire 100,000 more workers to deal with the rise in online orders. Many experts have said that there is still hope for the recruitment industry, as health and social care roles alongside positions in logistics are also recruiting more workers already.

Sensible precautions

The outbreak of this disease is having massive ramifications on businesses worldwide, and recruitment is no different. By its very nature, recruitment works alongside many other industries, all of which are seeing some description of impact from the COVID pandemic.

Due to its concept as a whole, recruitment is an industry that requires a large amount of face-to-face contact, the very thing health professionals are saying we should not be doing.

Certain adjustments that have been suggested for recruiters among many others are to avoid meetings, hot-desks, any format that requires a physical presence. Video conferencing has seen a massive upsurge in the past few weeks, tools like Zoom, Skype and Microsoft Teams being used to communicate with clients and interview and 'meet' clients.

We would be interested to hear your input on COVID-19 and the current climate. Is it having an impact on the way you do business? What adjustments have you had to make, if any? Please let us know your thoughts.

There is an open and honest discussion on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/covid-19-you-impact-coronavirus-your-business-andrew-constantinou/

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