2020 will be known for one thing only and that is COVID-19. The ‘new normal’ means many people are now facing financial challenges that otherwise they might never even have thought about. With some industries brought to their knees, businesses closing and unemployment rising.
As people start their job hunt or look for extra income during COVID-19, it’s more important than ever for recruiters and HR departments to understand the stress everyone is under. It has had – and will continue to have – a growing impact on the priorities of potential candidates. More than ever, candidates are placing greater value on being financially stable.
While the UK government has been working strategically to help businesses through this pandemic, the support on offer is not enough. Estimates suggest that the UK should expect in excess of 700,000 redundancies over the autumn.
There are already 4 million unemployed in the UK, meaning that 7% of the working population will have no stable income. Redundancy naturally changes your perspective on work and with a growing proportion of the working population going through this stressful process, it is clear that this will have a ripple impact. People who have been let go from their jobs are likely to prioritise finding new work in businesses they see as ‘stable’.
If a business wants to attract the best candidates, they need to reassure them about their ongoing ability to keep them employed. This can be done in a variety of ways, but one of the best ways is to show that they’ve been unaffected by COVID-19 or have weathered the storm with minimal impact. Simply explaining how a business aims to protect their new job can really help the way a company is viewed in the eyes of a potential candidate.
One of the biggest fears people report is not having enough stability in their life. As we grapple with increasing changes to our working environment, income and lifestyle, it is really important that businesses support their staff’s mental health.
Fears over losing work can be damaging to people’s mental health, which will have a knock-on impact on how they’re working. This could lead to them not being as productive or motivated as usual, or worse – be focused on searching for another job rather than the work they’re meant to be doing.
But It also matters on a human level. We are all in this pandemic together and we are all losing if a company shuts down, downsizes or needs to make people redundant. By investing in mental health support, businesses can help their current workforce to stay healthy and motivated, and show new candidates they care about their staff.
Financial challenges have forced many people to review their finances, assessing their outgoings against how much income they might have in the future. Checks on credit ratings are up, as people go online to find easy ways of managing or improving their credit.
Knowing this information, and seeing that the future might not be as stable as they thought it would be in January, means employees are taking a stronger interest in the stability of the company they work for – or might work for.
Knowing that financial stability is going to be a more important issue for candidates, recruiters need to adjust their approach to match these new priorities. Recruiters can and should be more open about finances, both in terms of salary and the stability of the company a candidate is applying for.
Being realistic and knowledgeable about the business you’re trying to find the right candidate for will only save your applicant time and alleviate some of their topline fears they may have during job hunting.
Recruitment has always adapted and changed with job seekers. The two go hand in hand and it is vital that you are aware of the priorities of the applicant so you can make the process of both finding them a job and filling a gap for the company as smooth as possible. How will you be adjusting your tactics now that you know candidates’ priorities have changed?
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