Covid-19’ is all the world is talking about. But our collective preoccupation with the virus is justified as the effect it is having in the lives and livelihoods of people across the globe is terrifyingly tremendous, to say the least. Thousands have lost their lives and jobs. Business and economy have slackened to a sluggish pace. What will happen to recruitment in a post-COVID world? Is the recruitment industry heading for a slowdown in 2020?
An Overcast Sky
The sky over the recruitment landscape now does look gloomy and dark. The United Nations has predicted that the number of people facing job loss due to the pandemic this year could be anywhere between 5 Million to 25 Million. International Labour Organization’s Director-General, Guy Ryder calls the Covid-19 crisis, a labor market crisis. In his words, “this is no longer only a global health crisis, it is also a major labor market and economic crisis that is having a huge impact on people”.
While many big names in the engineering, manufacturing, hospitality, and travel & tourism space have already announced huge layoffs, sectors like banking and retail and logistics have slowed down hires. Technology Biggie Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai in a recent email communication sent to employees, has talked about a significant slowdown in the company’s hiring pace for the rest of 2020. When established companies are resorting to downsizing workforce as a cost-cutting measure to get them past this storm, small businesses that face bigger risks are more likely to follow suit. Bernard Baumohl, Chief Global Economist of the Economic Outlook Group estimates that the pandemic may slow average monthly job growth from about 185,000 to about 115,000 in the next few months.
The Silver Lining For IT staffing
But not all is lost. Even as we walk through this period of uncertainty we must remember that situations like these can bring positive changes. For the IT industry, this slowdown may only mean a change of direction. In his research on how digital technologies transform society, Arun Sundararajan, an NYU Stern School of Business professor says “Crisis can be sort of a catalyst or can speed up changes that are on the way — it almost can serve as an accelerant,”
The Covid-19 crisis may precipitate the faster growth of technology like AI and automation. Businesses are leaning more heavily on advanced technology to immunize themselves from unexpected shocks in the future. This may prove to be beneficial for tech companies that provide such advanced solutions. Job seekers with upgraded skills in futuristic technology will be in demand and hiring such specialized talent will become the focus of IT staffing firms in 2020.
Technology is also at the center of the pandemic-spurred changes that the recruitment industry is going to see in the coming months. Key elements of the recruitment process including interviews, appointments, and even onboarding have moved over completely to the virtual realm as remote working has become the new normal.
So even as the economic crises storm clouds unleash their fury, the outlook for IT staffing in 2020 is still bright. As new technologies and new modes of working emerge, what we as an industry need is more of readjustment than a complete overhaul. If we are ready to make these adjustments, we can surely survive or maybe even thrive in challenging times like now.
Rannsolve is a Texas-based IT staffing firm with a proven track record for providing flexible, cost-effective staffing solutions backed by its experienced professionals, versatility in technology, and a forward-looking approach. Contact us today to know more about how we can help you with staffing strategies and solutions that make your business future-ready.