Rachael Moss
by Rachael Moss
Anirudh K Ces633 Hh1 M Unsplash

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Apparently unprecedented was the 2019 word of the year.Seems they called it early. Covid-19 is indisputably the unprecedented event of not just the year, or decade, but of our generation. Not in our lifetime has the word been more appropriate, or more widely used.

To understand the impact of these unprecedented times, we recently partnered with Talent Nexus to undertake a Recruitment Pulse survey. Here’s the 5 strategies that are being adopted by recruitment agencies to help them handle the effects of Covid-19 on the world of work.

Dealing with the here and now

  • Cutting costs was the highest priority for 64% with many taking decisive action to reduce headcount costs - through furloughing, redundancies, temporary pay cuts and reduced hours. 39% have reduced LinkedIn budgets and 33% job board spend.

  • Filling existing vacancies came out as the second highest priority at 55% of respondents, although 53% are experiencing changes to candidate start dates. 6% of respondents are seeing increased roles with in house recruiters still looking to fill roles that support their critical programmes. Alongside the obvious healthcare jobs demand remains for IT, engineering, scientific, product and marketing roles. 30% of house recruiters reported it is harder to attract candidates. 

Coping in the coming weeks

  • Collaboration and building relationships was a strong message that came through as a coping mechanism - whether that be with internal teams, candidates, clients or industry suppliers. Requests were made to “keep each other informed”, “not to put rates down” and to “ keep the conversation going every day and ensure that everyone in the business is aware of all decisions”. Another simply rallied the call to “keep faith”.

Looking to the future

  • Building the candidate database was cited as a priority by 25%. Whilst hiring has been paused for many employers, once we move past this hiatus skills shortages will return for many sectors. Using this period to pipeline talent, communicate with candidates and improve methods of candidate engagement will pay dividends when the market bounces back.

  • Implementing new technology is another tactic that 12% of agencies are pursuing as a way to tackle the scenario and improve efficiencies. With more time to evaluate which technologies can help them work smarter, they are likely to be able to bounce back more quickly. 

For more insights about how your peers are responding watch our webinar

The Recruitment Pulse survey was conducted on 2nd and 3rd April, collecting responses from over 300 organisations.

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