Normally this is the moment as a job seeker where you click on a relatively click bait headline expecting to receive some insightful information, but are met only with generic answers to questions you desperately need answering with facts.
In fact we can probably guarantee you have read numerous articles or emails from recruiters who have informed you their doors are still open and that they are there to help you, which though great, is not really the answer you were looking for.
One of the biggest concerns we have encountered from our candidates is the question of whether businesses are still hiring. Some of you, likely hit by flashbacks to negative experiences of the 2020 job market, are experiencing a strong wave of pessimism and firmly believe this lockdown is likely to be the same.
Are businesses still hiring?
Short answer: Yes.
This blog has been slightly delayed because rather than jumping to conclusions, our consultants wanted to get a true picture of the market for you.
After calling around all of our clients and dedicating hours to real and honest conversations last week, we can honestly say this lockdown is not likely to be the same. There has been no cliff edge, no substantial drop off in involvement from clients, and contrary to belief many are more engaged than ever.
What has changed in recruitment?
Clients appear to still be hiring for one of two core reasons.
They have a real need
During the first lockdown businesses either had to scale back on their team sizes or experienced substantial growth which pushed their current teams to the maximum.
Those businesses that are hiring in 2021 are likely to now have a genuine need for talent to either make up the shortfall in light of recovery during the latter stage of 2020 or to better manage their teams workload and create a positive work environment.
An additional factor to consider is the volume of business projects which were pushed back during 2020 to either save money or re-focus attentions. However, we have spoken with multiple brands who in 2021 aim to reinvigorate projects such as digital transformations and rebranding exercises in addition to taking on new projects like increasing their digital presence in light of the shift towards e-commerce during 2020 regardless of new restrictions.
As a result we anticipate to see a higher volume of demand for digital marketers, creatives, developers and even project managers despite the new lockdown.
They have adapted to the new environment
Amongst businesses, especially SME’s the phrase “we are just pushing through” is coming up repeatedly.
Unlike the first lockdown, businesses are better prepared to handle issues as they arise and now have suitable safety procedures in place which allow them to continue to operate despite restrictions. This is most common in manufacturing, engineering and distribution environments, who were heavily impacted during the first lockdown.
Whilst there are some markets like leisure, hospitality and events which will continue to be impacted by the lockdown, the wider picture is generally more optimistic and should provide some hope for prospective job seekers. For a more indepth chat about how your industry may have been impacted by this lockdown, you can reach out to one of our consultants.