And just like that, it’s February. After much trepidation about 2020’s hangover (Can we say Covid? Brexit? Everything in between?), there were murmurs that the New Year job rush wouldn’t eventuate. After all, we’re still in lockdown and will be for some weeks more.
The memories of Lockdown 1, where we saw a third of our job ads wiped and our lowest applicant numbers in two years, are very fresh in my mind.
So you can imagine that we were braced for impact when 2021 began - but we didn't need to be.
We have seen a huge uptick in hiring across all industries. In fact, this was the busiest January we’ve ever seen on Client Server’s website. The “New Year, New Job” mantra held strong.
That raises the question: What’s so different this time around? Covid is as devastating as ever, lockdown as tight, but yet businesses and technologists are eager to hire and be hired.
For everything that changed in 2020, one thing that stayed the same was the importance of technology to business success. In fact, that importance grew as organisations had to quickly restructure their operations in order to support a remote workforce and improve flexibility and resiliency.
Despite mass redundancies, furlough and major upheaval across all industries, the most adaptable organisations are now starting to benefit from new opportunities and greater connections with their staff and customers, something that is fuelling the recruitment drive enormously in 2021, despite still being in lockdown.
After a chaotic year where most companies deprioritised their hiring plans and focused on survival amid an uncertain economic outlook and the global pandemic, finding the best talent is now top of the agenda again. Specific industries like travel, hospitality, retail, aviation and real estate continue to struggle after being hit most severely, Technology has a sense of real optimism and a bullish outlook seems to be seeping back into the market.
This optimism, which is shared among most of our clients, is being reflected in their recruitment plans for 2021. Budgets seem to be no barrier and with the adoption of remote teams, office space will certainly not be an issue either, the sheer volume they are planning on hiring is staggering and extremely exciting.
There are three big reasons why this is happening in early 2021:
Fresh Investment: Now fully adapted to the hybrid model of remote working, most businesses are comfortable to plan for the future and new product development, innovation and investment in growth are top priorities, backed by cash injections and a need to gain market share on their competitors. More investment in product development as well as creating additional products to cater to the growing needs of their customers means a need for a further headcount.
New Opportunity: Out of every downturn or recession new companies are born, new ideas are formed and numerous start-ups graduate to being the next big thing. These companies are now on the prowl to ramp up headcounts across product, tech, engineering, operations, and data sciences teams. These companies are looking to scale up teams by 50-100% in a very short space of time, all in a bid to drive market expansion and invest in product development.
Increasing the “Bottom Line”: Many of the habits that we have formed over the last 12 months will carry into 2021 and beyond, contributing to long-term revenue growth for the companies that excelled during the pandemic. The acceleration of technology adoption had a corresponding effect on the revenues and profits of those companies with more people turning to more online solutions for their work and home lives. Increased profits = faster growth.
In short, businesses are getting on with things, and we’re ready for it.