Despite COVID-19 business confidence is neutral to positive

Over half of executives believe the COVID-19 pandemic has had a neutral-to-positive impact on business confidence.

This is according to specialist recruiter Robert Half, who found that 58 per cent of executives feel this way in regards to business confidence and the pandemic. However, 42 per cent feel as if COVID-19 had had a negative impact on business confidence.

Brazil is a nation that stated the consequences of the virus on business confidence was largely negative. France and Germany believe the pandemic’s effect on business confidence has been neutral.

Nearly all executives (92 per cent) are pushing forward opportunities post-lockdown, with 41 per cent of businesses saying digital transformation is their top priority.

Almost a fifth (16 per cent) do feel that tight business budgets are the greatest barrier to innovation right now.

Numerous companies are positive about recruitment for the remainder of the year, with 88 per cent planning to employ further full-time or temporary workers between now and December. Three-quarters (75 per cent) have hired and onboarded new employees remotely during the lockdown. Remote interviews now seem to be a big part of hiring strategies.

Companies are now more open to hire people from outside their usual market with 86 per cent saying this.

Matt Weston, managing director of Robert Half UK, said:

Commercial agility, use of new technologies, effective forward planning and risk management will remain vital to business recovery following the impact of COVID-19.

Businesses should determine which projects they want to prioritise over the remainder of the year and conduct a skills audit to ascertain if their current workforce is equipped with the capabilities needed to achieve their new-look goals. The essential competencies needed to grow their business may have shifted during the pandemic, so they may need to redesign job roles, upskill current employees or consider new combinations of permanent, temporary and project-based staff in order to build a smart, flexible staffing plan to power their post-lockdown recovery.

In order to obtain these results, Robert Half spoke to 1,500 executives across Brazil, Belgium, France, Germany and the UK.