Recruitment Trends 2020/21 and the Impact on Employment

6 months ago

The governing body for the recruitment industry, the REC, has recently published an industry report, highlighting the direct and profound impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on employment in the UK and how recruitment agencies have supported their clients in these uncertain times.


The Pandemic Effect: 

The difficulties that came with COVID and the lockdowns, presented new obstacles for businesses, with many having to close. Those that remained open hardly had it easy, over 980,000 temps were out on placements every day, demonstrating the need for this kind of support across the country. If it hadn’t been for these workers many essential services may have had to close.

Although the number of temporary workers was slightly lower in 2020 due to the pandemic, if we fast-forward to Q3 2021, agency temping numbers were 35% higher than the same period in 2020.

To further evidence this, the forecast for 2022 states that there will be approximately 1,046,000 temporary workers on assignment each day. A year-on-year increase of 6.7%!

Changes During COVID:   

When asked what was the most important thing that they’ve learnt from the pandemic, 41% of recruitment businesses (versus 38% last year) said investing in technology.


*Graph represents How UK businesses think their use of temporary workers will change after COVID

Here at Cummins Mellor, we definitely agree, having invested heavily in our technology over the last 18 months, from upgrading our hardware to introducing a shiny new video interview software, and a brand-new CRM system which has made a massive positive impact on our customer experience.

43% said that the most important thing they learned from COVID was embracing new ways of working (e.g., hybrid working) and reducing office costs.

At Cummins Mellor, we have found that our new hybrid working schedule of a minimum of 2 days in the office has provided a huge amount of flexibility for our team without impacting productivity.

“We didn’t know how it would work but everyone just got on with it and was brilliant!”

Richard Mellor, Cummins Mellor Co-Founder commenting on our shift to hybrid working.

After COVID: 

It’s the worst recession in 300 years. It helps put it into perspective, doesn’t it?

COVID-19 has had an unprecedented effect on the UK and employers which will take some time to recover from. The remaining presence of COVID leaves us with a lot of uncertainty about what the future holds.

However, on the bright side, forecasts show that permanent placements made by the recruitment industry in 2021will be around 524,000. A huge increase of 16.3%!

This, combined with the predicted 6.7% increase in temporary workers on assignment every day, highlights the growing confidence employers are showing around making new hires in the coming months.

* Graph represents The most important lessons from the pandemic for recruitment businesses

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