2020 has been an incredibly tough year for the economy, and recruitment has been hit hard. What's the latest from the job market?
You're right, this has been an extremely challenging year for jobseekers and employers alike. Britain’s job market has been decimated by the Coronavirus crisis and the outlook isn't great. Hiring in industries like catering and hospitality has fallen by 80% and, since the start of the crisis, over 700,000 Britons have lost their jobs. With the government’s job retention scheme coming to a close next month, this looks set to jump well into the millions. Sobering stuff. But it's not all doom and gloom - since June, we've seen the first green shoot of recovery. Hiring activity has grown 10% from the April low point; there's a mountain to climb to get back to pre-pandemic levels, but it's a start.
Do you think the furlough scheme should be extended?
If we can keep the virus at bay and avoid a significant second wave, no, I don't think we should extend the furlough scheme. I'm sure most will agree with me that tax payers can't help to pay private firms' wages forever. Ending the scheme in October will result in more job losses and that is tragic, but my view is that we need to be looking forward, not back. The key question for this government is 'how do we create new opportunities and create them fast to avoid an unemployment crisis'?
On that note, what should the government be focussing on to avoid a jobs crisis?
First and foremost, keep the virus at bay. This is the biggest possible thing we can do to support the labour market. No Coronavirus means more people getting back to work and business confidence rising to the levels where employers are ready to take the lid off of hiring restrictions. The Chancellor's 'kickstart' for jobs will definitely help and I was pleased to see this announced. If I were a government minister (and i'm not!), I would be focussing funding and energy on providing good quality help to the newly unemployed, practical measures to improve employer confidence and making the most of the data and technology we have at our fingertips to get people into work, fast.
Tell us a bit more about your 'Get Britain Hiring' campaign?
These are tough and anxious times for jobseekers, workers and employers. Personally, I've never experienced an economy or a job market like this. As a business, we want to do our bit to get the country back to work and we feel like we're uniquely placed to do that. Adzuna has the data, the matching technology and the insights to help people in Britain find work faster.
Over the coming weeks, we’ll be doubling down our effort to stimulate hiring and help people into work. From the individual jobseeker looking for tips during the pandemic, to launching new hiring, data and content partnerships like those we’ve already kicked off with the NHS, the Office for National Statistics and the Financial Times. We believe that the job market recovery from this recession has the opportunity to be different to previous financial crises. Businesses like Adzuna have the technology to analyse data, help people make smarter decisions and tools to connect jobseekers to jobs like never before. The hiring landscape in Britain is changing so rapidly that this data and the need to embrace technology is more crucial than ever before. Our mission is to be part of this national comeback story and to serve our industry as best we can.
What would success look like to you?
Our goal is to help over 100,000 people get into work that wouldn't have done otherwise. That may take a while, but that's our north star goal.
Finally, It was recently reported that some companies are receiving 1000's of applications for a single job. Any tips for jobseekeers to stand out from the crowd?
My biggest piece of advice is to avoid 'spray and pray' tactics when applying for jobs. We've heard of jobseekers applying for thousands of different roles and still being unsuccessful. At this time of intense competition, it's important to be laser focussed with your search. Get a good understanding of your skills and how they might match different industries and jobs. Arm yourself with information around who's hiring in your local area and consider training courses to develop your CV and make you more employable. Finally, don't give up. Things are going to get easier and while the road ahead looks tough, eventually, Britain will get back to work.