More than 1300% increase in applications for some job roles. How COVID-19 has shifted demand in the recruitment market

  1. 1300% shift in four-month period in certain sectors
  2. Year-on-year shift across all roles increases by average of 144%
  3. Candidates swapping sectors to find employment

Applicants are outweighing job vacancies, with increases as high as 1363% for certain roles in the four months from March to July, according to research from Search Consultancy.

The ratio of applicants applying for all available jobs has, on average, more than doubled during the pandemic when looking at year-on-year comparisons, with a major spike as the UK entered its fourth month of lockdown.

Search Consultancy is a provider of recruitment and executive search services to UK businesses. On analysing the market shift over the course of the year with huge increases in certain roles, pointing to a shift from a candidate-led job market to a client-led one.

Compared to the same period in 2019, the response-to-application ratio from March 2020 – July 2020, showed an increase of 144% year-on-year.

The picture is more stark when comparing like-for-like application data from pre-lockdown with those towards the end. Search looked at the number of people applying for the same roles in March and July of 2020 and the results show staggering increases, in some cases by over 1300 %

The top four roles seeing the biggest shift

 

Job title

 

Increase between March and July 2020 (%)

 

Administrator

 

1363%
Warehouse Loader

 

786%
Inbound Customer Service Advisor

 

353%
Customer Service Representative

 

329%

With demand shifting, Search has pivoted towards providing extra support for candidates with the provision of help and resources and in many instances helping them transition to completely new sectors.

From the start of the pandemic up until the end of June, Search’s specialist hospitality team placed more 400 temps into healthcare roles, and provided care homes and hospitals with kitchen staff, ward assistants and porters to meet the demand.

This was in addition to the 1,300+ health and social care temps that Search had also placed into key worker positions through its specialist healthcare division.

Dominic Starkey, Search Group Marketing Director, said:

“We are experiencing more than double the amount of applications to any job we post compared with last year. And for some roles, such as General Manager positions, the number of applications for advertised roles has jumped by over 1300%.

“This points to a UK job market that is drastically shifting from one where candidates enjoyed the balance of power, to one that now very much favours employers. It is a trend that look set to continue.

“Though Britain is slowly getting back to work, as restrictions ease, factors such as a second wave of the virus and an abrupt end to the Brexit transition period will likely see this ratio continue or even increase further.

“Employers are in a position now where they’re spoilt for choice when it comes to filling positions, but for candidates it’s an uncomfortably crowded marketplace. As a multi specialist recruiter we are well placed to help people understand their options and where they have transferable skills to explore other sectors where there are opportunities, seen by the pivoting within our hospitality team.”

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