Coronavirus will have ‘significant consequences’ for recruitment industry

Many employers are pausing hiring plans and recruiters must consider how fair and inclusive virtual assessment and selection methods are, say experts

Coronavirus is already having a significant impact on the jobs market, employers plans to hire and the recruitment industry as a whole, experts have warned.

Employment in Britain hit a record high in January before the outbreak of the virus, according to official figures, but the country is bracing for a wave of job losses and hiring freezes amid the crisis.

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics – which cover November 2019 to January 2020 – showed the number of people in work increased by 184,000 in the three months to January, reaching a record high of 33 million. The employment rate rose to a joint-record high of 76.5 per cent. 

Lee Biggins, CEO and founder of CV-Library, told People Management there was “no doubt that the coronavirus outbreak will have significant consequences for the recruitment industry as a whole”.

Many employers were worried about the virus’s impact on their hiring efforts, Biggins said, which placed recruiters in a precarious position. “This, combined with the fact that most UK businesses will incur serious costs from the outbreak and the recent volatility in the markets, means recruiters should expect business to slow in the coming months​,” he said.

“We’re already hearing feedback that employers​ are pausing their hiring plans while they wait for the worst to pass.”

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