As the covid vaccine continues to be rolled out across the UK, with a fair number of people receiving their second dose, the end of this strange situation we find ourselves in appears to be in sight. A lot of the restrictions are due to be lifted, and many employees will shortly be returning to their workplaces. 

While this may be a phased return for a lot of businesses, things may return to normal before too long. Of course there has been some speculation as to whether some employees will continue to work from home on a part time basis - this could potentially save a lot of costs in terms of fuel, not to mention make the commute time nonexistent! Another benefit of people working remotely is the reduction of their carbon footprint - NASA have undertaken studies which show how much covid has reduced air pollution. 

But perhaps the bigger question for employees is whether there will be a lot of moving from one employer to another. Throughout the global pandemic, unemployment rates obviously rose, with so many businesses having to close down or downsize, and few companies have been hiring. So will any of this change?

What Happened to Recruitment During the Pandemic?

While the job market has certainly changed during lockdown, it’s important to note that this is not like the crash in 2008. The current job ‘crisis’ is not so much about a lack of jobs, it’s more about a structural change, and disequilibrium across different industries. Some sectors have thrived during covid, while others have been almost obliterated. Many companies have not been affected at all, or have bounced back quickly. 

Some of the most obvious rises in demand include supermarket staff, from people working in store to delivery drivers and warehouse workers. Delivery drivers in general are in great demand, with so many people ordering things online. 

Anyone working in the care industry will also be aware of the need for more staff - from care home employees to NHS roles, there are many jobs being advertised. And it’s not just about requiring more hands on deck - there also has to be staff on hand in case other employees need to self isolate. 

Overall though, recruitment during covid has been fairly low. The majority of companies, even if they are not seeing a loss in revenue, aren’t keen to expand during uncertain times. They are waiting for the world to get back to normal before hiring new employees.

woman looking through a magnifying glass at wooden blocks, which represent candidates

Will Recruitment Pick Back Up With the Covid Vaccine? 

While it’s impossible to predict the future, it does seem likely that as businesses reopen, there will be a surge in recruitment. As the covid vaccine is rolled out, there should be a positive correlation between recruitment and people being vaccinated. 

And as the nation’s confidence in meeting up with other people begins to rebuild, people should start returning to work, which will undoubtedly cause a rise in the economy and need for further staff. We’re already starting to see some companies hiring again, and with time, this will almost certainly become a larger trend. 

Will There Be a Lot of Vacancies as Restrictions Lift?

In terms of vacancies, many people have been reluctant to leave their jobs during the pandemic, as they don’t want to add any more uncertainty to their situation. There has also been concern that if you move jobs at the moment, your new employer may need to downsize, and as the last in the door, you’d be the first to go. 

But this does not mean people don’t want to move jobs - with furlough and remote working, a lot of strain has been placed on employer and employee relationships. Even the government has been uncertain at times, so it’s no surprise that company leaders have often poorly communicated what measures have been put in place to their employees.

It’s also hard to feel as valued when you’re working from home - praise simply isn’t as natural over the phone or video conferencing! How flexible your employer has been during covid, and is prepared to be in future, will furthermore affect your attitude, and whether you want to move jobs. 

Who Will Be Hiring, and Which Companies Will Be Popular?

In terms of the industries that will be hiring again, many businesses that were forced to furlough their staff, such as those working in hospitality, will most likely start hiring again soon. A lot of furloughed employees will have found other work due to the uncertainty of their job still being there on the other side of furlough, so there should be plenty of positions available!

You could also argue that as the nation has been so restricted with holidays and travel, once these things become an option again, hotels and other tourism based businesses will be flooded with visitors, so extra staff will be needed. 

When it comes to finding a new role, most people want the same sorts of things from a company. One of the most important things a lot of employees are looking for is a good work-life balance. So any organisation willing to be flexible, allowing staff to work from home if they want to, is likely to be a popular choice for anyone looking for a job after the vaccine allows us to get back to normal. 

This is a good thing to bear in mind for businesses and candidates - flexibility can make a huge difference in terms of recruitment!

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