June 2021: recruitment levels will return to pre-COVID-19 levels

Over half of employers believe the level of recruitment will return to normal pre-COVID-19 levels this time next year.

This is according to ManpowerGroup, the third-largest staffing firm in the world, latest Employment Outlook Survey which found that 57 per cent of employers hold the opinion that by June 2021, hiring levels will return to normal.

Recruitment intentions for Q3 of 2020, are down to -12 per cent. Businesses are reporting the “weakest outlook” since the company began its survey in 1992.

Various sectors have seen different levels of disruption due to COVID-19. Under half (40 per cent) of the financial and business services have reported significant levels of disruption compared to 72 per cent in the retail and hospitality sectors.

There are some sectors that are experiencing positive results for hiring in Q3 such as agriculture at +11 per cent and the public sector at +2 per cent. Still, hiring intentions are down across every major sector.

Mark Cahill, managing director, ManpowerGroup UK said:

While there’s no getting away from the challenges that lie ahead, the data underlines the resilience of UK employers.

It is worth reiterating that around three-quarters of employers we spoke to expect to retain current staffing levels in the coming quarter and just over half expect to return to pre-Covid-19 hiring levels during the beginning of next year. The level of disruption is unprecedented and many will be looking closely at what happens next with how Covid-19 progresses, how consumers respond and what all this means for their own operations.

Many employers have shown tremendous adaptability during these difficult times and often it’s the social distancing requirements rather than a fall in demand that is driving change.

The uniquely difficult circumstances will mean that some of us will do roles that have never existed before and others will never do the same role again. In the past few weeks we have seen thousands of requests globally for roles that have never existed before, such as contact tracers and temperature checkers. Covid-19 has also brought industry competitors closer together:  in our own industry, employment services, we are collaborating with other leading HR providers as well as government and business groups to help employers around the world get back to work in the new normal.

ManpowerGroup collated these results on the responses from 1,056 UK employers.