Over the past few months, as Furlough schemes have been scaled back I've seen a number of in-house, RPO and agency recruiters being made redundant. Some of them colleagues and close friends which is really disappointing but, at the same time, inevitable as the economy slowed down. I count myself grateful and fortunate to not be in the same situation. But it got me thinking.

The Bank of England has warned that UK unemployment will spike at 2.5m by the end of the year, as firms cut jobs due to the shock of Covid-19. In its latest forecasts, the Bank predicts the jobless rate will almost double to 7.5%, and only fall slowly in 2021. The bank predicts a ‘material’ jump in unemployment, with more than one million jobs expected to be lost in the second half of this year.

So, we can safely assume and predict the number of job seekers over the next two years is going to reach levels not seen, since 2007/8. So with shrinking in-house talent acquisition or RPO teams (or a hybrid of the two) how are we going to ensure a positive candidate (customer) experience when the number of applications is likely to double? And how are we going to maintain our employee value proposition and employer brand? Let's not forget that those areas where there are talent shortages still remain too. So HR & Talent leaders have some extremely tough budget and resource decisions to make as they start to finalise budgets and objectives for 2021.

Robert Peasnell, Deputy Managing Director for PeopleScout recently wrote "Why focussing on your employer brand as you downsize makes good business sense" where he makes the very valid point "Because with consumers viewing organisations more holistically, a less than authentic employer brand may lead to a customer backlash."

So, as you consider budgets for 2021 and potential cuts to those budgets or teams my recommendations are;

  • Think about the medium to long term impacts on your (Customer) employer brand - will it make the challenge of attracting niche talent in those areas of talent shortages tougher?
  • How you continue to deliver a positive, personalised candidate experience - attracting the right talent to your organisation
  • Check that your ‘deal’ is fit for purpose and reflects how you’re supporting & managing your (customers) people right now - having a positive impact on your companies future growth

As always, we are happy to share insights and expertise on how you and your organisation can achieve this, so feel free to drop me an email on simon.gomez@peoplescout.co.uk or call 07885 983539.