Recruitment activity falls due to Covid-19 pandemic

(3 minutes to read)

REC: ‘The Coronavirus pandemic has put the labour market on pause. It does mean massive disruption in the short term, but we need to remember that this has to be done in order to protect businesses and save lives’.

With everyday life disrupted, it’s unsurprising to learn that the outbreak of Coronavirus has had a detrimental impact on recruitment across the UK.

The latest KPMG and REC Report on Jobs shows that contract/temp billings and permanent placements both fell at the steepest rates since 2009 as firms cancelled or postponed plans to take on new staff.

Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the REC, said, “The coronavirus pandemic has put the labour market on pause. It does mean massive disruption in the short term, but we need to remember that this has to be done in order to protect businesses and save lives.

“What we should be concerned about is how we stop that short-term disruption becoming longer-term economic depression. To do that we need to maintain employment levels as much as possible. Businesses in high-cashflow sectors like recruitment and hospitality need to be able to access government support much more quickly than they currently can, or they will not be able to afford to furlough their workers. This and other measures like government covering statutory sick pay for all firms will help people and firms to stay afloat now, and help the economy bounce back once the crisis is over.”

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James Stewart, Vice Chair at KPMG, added, “Unsurprisingly, COVID-19 has already impacted the UK jobs market with recruitment activity falling away as uncertainty grips the nation.

“Firms are cancelling or postponing hiring decisions although, as you would expect, the demand for temporary healthcare professionals and manual labour workers saw a significant uptick.

“UK business needs to do what it can to adapt and survive this pandemic – and be able to emerge in the best position possible to ramp up once the crisis comes to an end.”

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