With a record numbers of redundancies and an increase in unemployment figures recently announced by the Office of National statistics (ONS) – largely attributed to the coronavirus pandemic, it is undoubtedly a worrying time for many employees in the region.
In fact, the latest figures show that the number of people in work fell by 247,000 from July to September 2020. We’ve also seen how businesses are starting to lay off staff prior to the end of the furlough scheme that was scheduled for end of October but has now been extended until March 31st.
There is no doubt, that one of the sectors hit the hardest this year has been manufacturing, with over 230,000 jobs lost so far and it’s not over yet. This is despite Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s continual and very welcomed financial injection.
No, not really. Having said that, there’s no getting away from the fact that some sectors are struggling in the current climate. For example, it’s unquestionably tough for the Hospitality and Catering sectors at the moment, as lockdown starts to bite deeper.
However, some sectors are showing a resilience to the current uncertainty and experiencing buoyant recruitment activity. Building Services is one example that is responding to government initiative to kick start the economy.
In recent months, we have seen over £1.3 billion committed by the government to build tens of thousands of new homes and infrastructure as part of the shovel ready ‘getting building’ funding that will inevitably see increased job opportunities across the board.
This shot in the arm for the construction industry is already encouraging an unparalleled demand for both contract and permanent positions of both M&E and building trades staff throughout the UK, according to our technical and trades recruitment team.
There is no doubt, these are challenging times and with it an ever changing jobs market. Unlike ‘normal’ times, there is little opportunity to network or attend external business events. This means there is less chance of putting yourself personally in front of potential employers.
In addition to this lack of visibility, it is clear that the coronavirus pandemic and enforced self-isolation is having a massive impact on our wellbeing. This is even more pronounced for those who were (or still are) furloughed, estimated to be around 22% of the UK’s working-age population.
The knock on effect of this is now being seen, with substantial job losses and increased uncertainty for those currently retained in employment. In fact, according to the London School of Economics, this air of negativity is a shared concern with family and friends with 40% of those interviewed saying their work has been affected.
So, as we enter the next phase of the pandemic and, hopefully, a return to some sort of normality is there light at the end of the tunnel in so far as the jobs market is concerned? Very much so, and we can help.
As we experience the country’s worst economic slump on record, we believe there are a number of pro-active strategies we can all take to prepare us for the future ‘normal’. We all accept that things will never be the same for both employers and employees. The way we do things is changing. More people are choosing to work from home, and this means many businesses are facing major strategic implications as they frame their recovery stage.
However, we believe one of the more positive effects of the pandemic firebreak is a re-assessment of the UK labour market. For example, we are now experiencing a major shift in customer facing roles such as sales and marketing, customer services, and administration.
This is, naturally, having an impact on traditional roles. The way things have been done in the past may not be the way things are going to be done in the future. Here is an opportunity for businesses to re-configure their employment roles in response to this.
For employees, this could be the perfect time to re-consider their current position or if not currently working, identify and prioritise their employability skills set.
We’re a recruitment company, so you would probably expect us to say, ‘use a recruitment consultancy’ and you’d be right. No matter where you are in your career stage, having a team of time-served specialist recruiters on your side will, undoubtedly, give a massive boost to your recruitment prospects.
The first step is to sit down and plan your future career path. In these challenging times, your job role may have changed, your employer may be looking to expand or downsize, or you may have been made redundant and are now looking for a new opportunity.
This is where a recruitment consultancy really comes into its own. They can help you focus your skills set, identify the roles that match them and, thanks to their contacts and business connections, offer opportunities that may not be generally advertised elsewhere.
Recruitment consultancies, like us, can also help you find short term or temporary positions while job hunting, and even offer a ‘temp to perm’ service. This gives you the flexibility to work for a company on a trial basis to ensure the role and organisation are right for you.
Being ‘right for you’ is an important part of the recruitment process, starting right at the beginning with the choice of recruitment consultancy. We also suggest that you take time to look at their website and see if they have the experience and expertise that fits your requirements.
When you search ours, for example, you will see our team has over 30 years’ experience in the placing of blue collar, white collar and support staff across a wide range of businesses to fulfil their temporary, permanent and contract recruitment.
In fact, we have three specialist teams dealing with technical and trade (including building services and construction), office and field support services, such as customer services, facilities management and sales and marketing, as well as white collar professional /management staff working in specialist sectors including facilities management, M&E and Fire & Security.
In these highly confusing conditions, they can most certainly help sort the wheat from the chaff. Our friendly recruiters will get to know you and understand what you want to achieve from your future employment (of course, this is also the same for our business partners when recruiting staff).
We will also advise you on what support material, such as your CV and employment record etc. you need to provide in order to help leverage your employment prospects. We will also give you honest feedback and advice on any changes we feel will improve your chances.
We know that this is a nerve wracking moment so it’s important that you understand how a recruitment consultancy works. At the end of the day, we have two masters, the employer looking to fill a vacancy, and a job seeker who is looking for the ‘right’ position. By acting as broker, we effectively act as a matchmaker. We can introduce you to employers, many of whom use us exclusively, who pay us a fee to find the perfect fit.
When we find the perfect fit, our services don’t stop there. We take care of all the admin, including contracts of employment and salary negotiations to make sure you get a first rate employment package.
Finally, we know that job seeking, at any time, can be a lonely and disheartening task but is even more of a challenge in these difficult times. Signing up with a recruitment consultancy that understands your requirements, has experienced staff who know the specific industry, and make time to get to know you as a person, are undoubtedly going to make the job hunting process more effective and less stressful.
In our next blog we will take you inside a recruitment consultancy and look at the ‘match making’ process in more detail. You will also discover how to locate those seemingly elusive vacancies, understand how to create a persuasive CV, prepare for an interview, and how to respond to feedback and knockbacks.