How has the pandemic changed recruitment?

Posted on 01 December 2021

It is now a year and a half since the start of the pandemic andmany industries - including recruitment - are still trying to overcome its impact and adjust to the ‘new normal’. The recruitment industry took a big hit during the pandemic and we saw around 1 million redundancies in the first 15 months from April 2020 to June 2021. Working from home and zoom meetings also became a big part of our lives. But what has this meant for the industry? How has the pandemic changed recruitment?

The impact on recruitment during the pandemic

The recruitment industry plays a key role in mobilising the UK’s economy and workforce. Throughout the pandemic, all industries faced redundancies and significant job losses - the recruitment industry was no different. Companies were affected in different ways and for many, recruitment was put on complete hold during the crisis. For others, immediate campaigns were launched in order to cope with the demands - especially the recruitment of key workers. For some, it was a desperate time with job seekers competing for what was available to continue earning a living. The pandemic forced businesses to adapt to new strategies in order to survive and led companies to rethink the way that they operate. Recruitment needs will always change so part of our role is to help our clients continuously adapt. As we start to come out of the other side, there are noticeable changes within the industry that have impacted the recruitment process, the way people approach recruitment and businesses as a whole.

Virtual hiring

Moving to virtual hiring has been a significant change for the industry. As lockdowns and social distancing were put in place, companies had to embrace the virtual interview process. This became a ‘go to’ method in order to keep the process moving but protect employers and candidates. In fact, for many companies it saved them time and money - making it a musthave. However, as we start to move away from restrictions, the hiring process has evolved again into a hybrid combination of in-person and virtual interviews. While it is just as easy to assess someone's body language, enthusiasm and engagement online as it is in-person, it appears employers still value that personal touch, especially for important strategic hires. Of course, using video also helps to support your businesses reputation as you are demonstrating that measures have been put in place to keep everyone safe.

A shift in mindset

Being at home for such a long period of time leaves a lot of time to think - especially about your career. It led many people to rethink what they were doing, their purpose and whether or not their job was adding value to their lives. The pandemic meant there was an increase in the amount of professionals wanting to change their jobs and start anew. This also led to a change in how employers were with staff, causing more meaningful work relationships to be formed as the need for good communication and collaboration was critical in the absence of the office environment. In fact, with the number of open vacancies in the UK having surpassed one million in August, many have called the aftereffects of Covid-10 on the employment market as the “Great Resignation”.

Internal hiring

As a result of the pandemic, companies are turning to internal hiring and the training of employees to help keep a strong workforce due to the shortage in talent. This is being done to help improve retention and save costs. Organisations want - and need - to ensure they can support their existing team and business in the long term before any additional hiring.

Location is no longer a limit

Although the industry has been affected, this wasn’t all bad. As most companies were forced to go online it meant projects, meetings and work could be completed from home - showing that location no longer needs to be a barrier. Companies have now been given the chance to look deeper into a much bigger talent pool than they had before.

So, how has the pandemic changed recruitment? It is easy to see that the industry has been impacted with redundancies and the fear that companies would lose business. Yes, the pandemic has changed the way recruitment is set out and how people think about work, however it has also opened up new hiring opportunities for businesses and - in some ways - helped to save time and money. The industry is now in a place where they can implement safety measures but still ensure they are productive in the hiring and recruiting process.

We are proud to offer high quality, bespoke recruitment solutions here at GMP Recruitment. Our expert team is always on hand to answer any questions or discuss the opportunities we have available. Contact us today on 01905 958333 or drop us an email at to discuss how we can help you.

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