Covid - Recruiting after Covid

The combination of a re-surging economy and the effects of Brexit on the availability of foreign workers has bought recruitment to the top of the problem pile again for UK businesses; particularly in the hospitality and leisure sectors. I read just last week how an award-winning restaurant in Devon re-opened for business following lockdown only to have several members of its previously furloughed staff promptly hand in their notices; presumably to seek better paid work elsewhere.

It seems ironic that our pent-up disposable income and desire to spend it is being stifled by a shortage of staff in the very industries that are fundamentally designed to accept it.

We should not underestimate the likely knock-on effects of these staff shortages and the potential struggles to find talent that is likely to be suffered across all business sectors.

We have discussed in previous posts how important it is for businesses to build a reputation as a good employer in order to recruit and retain the very best employees. Unsurprisingly, the challenges of the last 15 months have made it all but impossible for most organisations to achieve or even attempt this. In contrast, some have still managed to earn a reputation as a bad employer, as demonstrated by the recent story of the alleged toxic work environment at Brewdog.

In order to capitalise on the virulent economic bounce-back that has been forecast by the ONS, business will need to develop a recruitment strategy to attract the best candidates to help them grow. Before defaulting to the traditional temptations for new staff of a competitive salary, health care and generous pension provision, recruiting companies should take note of how the pandemic has changed the recruitment landscape.

For example, now that employees have had a taste of homeworking and so many companies have come under pressure to maintain at least a degree of it, we may find that its absence becomes a deal-breaker for many potential new recruits. As work-life balance and concerns over mental health issues have come to the fore during the pandemic, we may also expect to see more requests for part-time work, so options for job-sharing positions may also need to become part of the recruiting tactics.

Equally, environmental issues are resonating more amongst the population, and these are re-enforced by the Government’s own green agenda. There is already a requirement for larger business to report their greenhouse gas emissions and energy use and it is probably only a matter of time before that is extended to smaller organisations. Being ahead of the curve and making public your environmental policies and strategy is another way to attract the ecologically aware generation of talent.

Employees still want to be assured that they will be invested in and so a properly considered succession plan will mean that skills are available internally to meet growth plans and staff attrition will lessen as employees see their future development mapped out for them. If you haven’t signed up for one of our workforce planning meetings yet there are a few spaces still available.

Business in Worcestershire, Wiltshire and West of England LEP areas can also take advantage of our own programme of funded leadership training to offer potential employees as an added hook. As well as developing leadership skills, communication, and resilience, it’s like offering an added benefit that need not cost the company anything and generate immediate loyalty.

We’re here to help with all aspects of your recruitment strategy. From policy and contractual changes to accommodate new ways of working, to developing an organisational development plan, to the availability of fully funded and other training. contact us now on 01452 331331 or by e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.