The UK recruitment industry has grown significantly over the last several years. Despite the uncertainty around Brexit, recruitment has been one of the most sought after sectors. Businesses and organisations are regularly turning to recruitment consultants to cope with substantial growing demands year-on-year.
However, COVID-19 caused a significant impact on the recruitment industry. The pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have affected cash flow management, financial planning, staff turnover and communications.
The pandemic’s impact on the education sector has also been widely-documented. Education recruitment agencies, such as Always Flourishing, have been feeling the effects of the pandemic from both angles, and we’ve seen first-hand how much it has affected teaching job applicants, as well as the schools who are looking to hire.
Has COVID-19 Changed the Recruitment Industry?
There are three primary ways in which coronavirus has affected the recruitment industry, including teaching recruitment. The pandemic has led to the following:
- Hiring needs
- Recruitment methods
- Job market
Changing Hiring Needs of Schools and Organisations
While some industries have seen a decline in hiring, others have seen their hiring needs soar. Before the pandemic, schools were regularly relying on local teaching agencies, which could source permanent and supply teachers to fill a wide range of short and long-term teaching vacancies. Partnering with numerous schools across the Thames Valley, Always Flourishing found candidates for full-time and supply teaching jobs in primary, secondary and independent schools, nurseries and SEN institutions.
Due to the lockdown, self-isolation and distancing policies that the government introduced, companies and schools had to close for a sizable time. As a result, their recruitment was put on hold, even as the country approached the beginning of a new term.
Unfortunately, both schools and businesses were forced to make thousands of people redundant due to growing uncertainty. There has been a massive reduction in working hours across some industries. While others, such as healthcare and food retail, saw their recruitment needs soar.
In September 2020, the government announced that all schools would reopen to accommodate children. While some schools could resume hiring teachers for vacant positions using a permanent and supply teaching agency like Always Flourishing, the resulting Tier 4 restrictions for the South East may mean that has to take another backseat come the start of the January 2021 term. It’s expected that schools will remain open amongst these restrictions in these areas.
Changing Recruitment Methods
During the first national lockdown, companies and schools were forced to adapt to how they recruit new staff. Many organisations have begun to recruit new people remotely, using video conferencing tools.
This shift was a challenge for many, but Always Flourishing adopted virtual recruitment strategies to help our clients fill teaching jobs. Whether this is for a short-term cover supervisor job or a long-term teaching assistant position, or anything in between, we still are working diligently to support our clients. We will continue to do so once the January 2021 term begins.
Companies that relied on old-school, face-to-face recruitment processes, were forced to switch to online recruitment. For schools, this would be especially difficult as they are often finding themselves lost in a sea of emails, spreadsheets, data and CVs to handle their own teaching recruitment in-house.
By using an education agency that utilises reliable technology to our advantage, virtual recruiting was more comfortable to adjust to. COVID-19 has posed challenges for teacher recruitment. However, it has helped organisations innovate and modernise their recruitment processes. As a recruitment agency, we are still primarily focused on putting wellbeing back into education and adopting the safest, most efficient way to recruit teachers (remotely for the time being, of course) for our schools.
Changing Job Markets
Before COVID-19, many industries were facing a talent shortage. The key challenge for some businesses and schools was attracting the right candidates.
The job market is undergoing a significant change, due to the growing presence of remote working, brought upon by COVID-19. The prevalence of working from home could shift the job market entirely, opening up many other doors.
This could also apply to schools, many of which heavily relied on remote teaching during the first lockdown. Adopting this might be the best solution to fighting the pandemic throughout the remainder of winter.
How Always Flourishing are Embracing Change
It will be interesting to see what 2021 brings, but here at Always Flourishing, we still want to help aspiring teachers find the right education vacancies for them. We also want our clients to know that we will continue to support them even if many of you are now facing Tier 4 restrictions in the South East.
Register a vacancy with us today or contact us if you have any questions.