The COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone’s lives, whether or not they have fallen victim to the virus. A serious recession is now virtually inevitable and this is likely to have a significant effect on the jobs market.

Many employees have been temporarily laid off with government financial support but that lay-off may become permanent when the support is removed. Particularly severely affected are young and old workers, those with few skills and people employed in sectors such as travel, leisure and retail.

 

Job Market Changes

The pandemic has led to a major re-shaping of the labour market and this is likely to continue and intensify. Many sectors have reduced jobs, particularly those industries that have been hardest hit, while a few have remained largely unscathed. Others are expanding as a result of the crisis, particularly healthcare, online retail and delivery companies that have benefited from the shift to online ordering.

The need for social distancing has resulted in many people working from home and the success of the change has led to a greater acceptance of this practice. Indeed, where remote working is practical, it is likely to become a much more permanent way of working. Social distancing has also led to a reduction in business travel and face-to-face meetings have largely been replaced by virtual versions held online.

Online consultations are becoming more common as people seek to have less personal interaction and unnecessary travel. These moves to reduce direct contact and operate remotely put much more pressure on technology and communications companies to deliver. This, in turn, means that those with the necessary skills are in greater demand and will be able to command higher salaries while unskilled workers will struggle to find suitable jobs.

The pandemic has accelerated some trends that were already becoming established, such as the increase in online shopping at the expense of town centre stores and the growth in IT and healthcare. Warehousing and transport workers are likely to be in greater demand, as will those involved in the development and manufacture of medical equipment.

 

Reacting to Altered Needs

Businesses have been badly hurt by the pandemic and will want to reduce that risk in the future. That may put a greater emphasis on increased productivity and accelerated use of technology to help achieve that. A more flexible workforce may also be a requirement, with more people on short-term or part-time contracts and a greater use of sub-contractors.

Innovation that has by necessity been adopted during the pandemic will need to continue to enable companies survive and grow. That will be combined with a need to reassure workers that their safety is being looked after and a continued reduction in unnecessary travel. Technology is likely to be at the heart of all that and will continue to drive future change.

Hiring specialist technology and communications staff plus others with particular skills requires recruitment consultants who have knowledge of the market. At Schward Recruit, we have a number of consultants with a wide range of business experience who can find the ideal candidates for you.

 

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