After 12 weeks of lockdown, what does the tech recruitment market look like?
The initial impact of lockdown saw about 80% of our business wiped off the board in less than a week, as clients bolted in every direction. It was like someone had dropped the preverbal hand grenade and everyone scattered.
Clients who had 10, 20, 40+ live vacancies where suddenly pulling offers, cancelling interviews and even dropping new starters – it was carnage.
I’m renowned for the phrase, “What’s the key? Not to panic!”
Well, I needed a mini version of me sitting on my shoulder, because all I could hear in my head was PANIC, PANIC, PANIC!
The effect COVID-19 has had on the entertainment, travel, construction, manufacturing and retail industries has been catastrophic.
Unemployment will hit all time high, the UK economy is likely to suffer some of the worst damage ever recorded and the complete lack of an exit strategy means confidence is low. The chaotic miss-management of a trade deal with the EU also leaves us in a precarious position. This is before we even contemplate a second peak of infection, which feels all but inevitable.
But whatever lies ahead, there will be businesses who will thrive.
Once my blood pressure had dropped to bearable levels, I started thinking about who would be the likely beneficiaries in this environment.
More global trade is essential if the economy is to recover. It’s high time the UK, and more importantly the wider EU, loosened regulations, stopped flexing political ego and fully opened its doors to free trade. Free trade is the key to global prosperity; it encourages innovations, entrepreneurs and investment. It also lowers prices, increase choice and ultimately boosts economies. But I worry with every country tightening border controls how this will effect an economic recovery.
Gaming, gambling, streaming of all kinds, media, e-learning, pharmaceuticals, cyber security – all of these industries are thriving and crying out for top talent, strategic thinkers and charismatic leaders.
As long as the digital and technological world is not restrained by bureaucracy and unnecessary regulations, I think the UK and Europe have a great opportunity to compete with the power houses of China and the US. We have some of the brightest minds, the best talent and biggest businesses to succeed on the world stage.
We are by no means out the other side yet, but I think the light at the end of the tunnel is closer. We still have a lot of work to do before we feel the warmer winds of recovery and many other challenges to overcome, but I for one am up for the fight.