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How Has COVID-19 Impacted the Hiring Process?

  • Publish Date: Posted over 2 years ago
  • Author:by Xcede

​Gone are the days in which ‘flexible working’ is featured as a perk on an employee benefits list. So what has this meant for the UK recruitment sector?

We have spoken to Xcede’s Associate Director of Data Matthew Jones, our Sales Manager and Head of Tech Freddie De Metz, and our Commercial Director Kimberley Wardle to hear more about how COVID-19 has impacted the interview process, for the jobseekers themselves and for the companies hiring.

COVID-19’s Impact on the Data Recruitment Market

With the arrival of COVID-19, many businesses up and down the country had to rapidly calculate where to cut costs in the short term, as well as reassess their long-term growth plans. In line with this diversion from ‘business as usual’, UK recruitment companies had to swiftly adjust their working practices to cope with the new uncertainties that their clients faced.

Yet from the arrival of the pandemic to the present day, the data sector has remained resilient. Companies are scaling back their workforces, undergoing digital transformations, and cutting costs, but each of these business decisions are being made from a data-driven perspective more than ever before. In light of this, data specialists have remained in high demand across all sectors.

Speaking to our Associate Director of Data Science Matthew Jones about how the data recruitment hiring process has evolved during COVID-19, he notes that overall, the interview process has been sped up. The surge in Coronavirus remote working has meant that it is now a lot easier to get interviews booked in and fast-track the whole interview process.

“On average, the ‘time to hire’ has decreased for most new placements across Xcede. Generally, the start to finish period for placing a candidate has been dramatically reduced alongside the surge in remote working.”

The Pandemic’s Effect on Technology Recruitment

Remote working has become the new norm for many of those working in the technology sector. This has meant that ‘flexible working options’ are now much less likely to be seen as an additional benefit for employees. Having the choice to work remotely or not is now often assumed to be simply part of the package.

Speaking to our Sales Manager and Head of Technology Recruitment Freddie De Metz on the shift, he notes:

“Pre-COVID, ‘flexible’ or ‘remote working options’ were a top priority for many candidates in the technology sector looking for a new role. Now, it is also about giving candidates interesting enough problems to solve as well as competitive financial compensation and flexible working options as a given.”

Learn more about how COVID-19 has impacted the UK’s technology recruitment space.

Looking Ahead: COVID-19’s Impact on UK Digital Recruitment Then, Now, and Going Forwards

To say that companies who are not yet harnessing their own data as a business tool are missing out is an understatement. This is why the use of data across companies large and small continues to expand.

As companies now understand the importance of making data-driven business decisions alongside the significance of digital transformation in general, Xcede has seen a constant demand for the roles we specialize in throughout the pandemic.

Speaking to our Commercial Director of Xcede Kimberley Wardle about the buoyancy of the market right now, she notes:

“The data industry in general is booming right now and has been throughout the pandemic. Our product space has also been very busy, perhaps due to the critical demand for product candidates across the thriving ecommerce space. The market is, and has remained, very buoyant throughout COVID-19. There is simply so much opportunity out there right now even in the middle of the pandemic.”

Speaking to Kim about how digital recruitment companies can plan for recovery, she notes:

“I would say that it has been important for recruitment businesses to remember that we will bounce back, and the market will start moving again. Businesses must do everything they can to retain the talent that will get them through this stage. They must also ensure that they have a contingency plan in place for when the market starts moving again.”