Lockdown Anniversary – What’s Changed for Recruiters?

Lockdown Anniversary – What’s Changed for Recruiters?

Mar 08, 2022

It’s been two years since the outbreak of Covid-19 and nearly every sector has seen a significant shift in its working culture, not least the recruitment sector.

In this article, Strategic Director Tim Hunt looks at key changes.

For many employers (and employees) the legal requirement to work from home that came into force in March 2020, was a huge transition from the working ‘norm.’  Over the two-year period, many organisations and employees began embracing a flexible working approach, with many employers adapting their approach to hybrid working and fully remote models.

So, what benefits have we seen in the flexible working approach?

Many businesses have found that they don’t need to physically ‘see’ staff to trust that they are being productive. In a recent survey by The Office of National Statistics, 48.3% of businesses intended to use home working as a permanent business model due to increased productivity.

Improved staff wellbeing has also been apparent, with four out of five businesses in the same survey citing it as a reason to encourage fully home-based and hybrid working models. Similarly, reduced sickness levels have been associated with the productivity of businesses. The sickness absence rate for workers doing any work from home was 0.9% on average in 2021, compared with 2.2% for those who never worked from home.

One of the biggest benefits that both employees and employers have seen as a result of this working culture shift is cost savings. Overheads like travel and accommodation expenses, client entertainment, etc. have significantly reduced.

With Zoom and Teams becoming a norm in working life, employees have also seen a decrease in their day-to-day outgoings. A reduction in commuting has seen savings across a myriad of costs including fuel, parking, and travel fares.

Returning to the office

Although there has been a substantial and unsurprising rise in working from home in the last two years, for some it has bought its challenges. For many, face-to-face and the buzz of an office-based environment is a big contributing factor to job satisfaction. Workers who are physically able to see and talk to each other, will find it easier to engage and streamline their communications, collectively innovate, and develop new ideas. Office-based work helps teams stay functional and aligned, and now more than ever, individuals and teams are making better use of face-to-face contact and meetings.

Adapting your business practices to a new working culture

There will be many challenges ahead for both employers and employees with the recent removal of restrictions in England (which included the working from home guidance).

The impact on the recruitment sector

We all know that back in Spring 2020, the recruitment industry suffered a big blow. Those that had invested in technology to fuel their back-end systems came out strongest. Those that had trailed behind have had to play catch-up..

The formal processes and administrative functions that support recruitment businesses will be fundamental moving forwards, particularly regarding digital hiring.

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is the importance of technology in communication, productivity, and efficiency.



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