Macstaff MD Anthony McCormack finds response rates to job applications are going sky high as the UK’s furlough scheme starts to wind down
I said at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic that I expected the public health crisis to degenerate into an economic crisis.
That has been delayed somewhat by a well-delivered and generous furlough scheme by the UK Government that was both generous and comprehensive. But as that scheme begins to edge towards an end, the economic issues it has been hiding are starting to show through.
This week, companies have had to decide whether they are going to start chipping in to pay a percentage of wages towards an extended furlough scheme, or whether they are going to make previously furloughed staff redundant.
They face tough choices and some employees face some horrible phone calls and letters.
Myself and other members of TEAM are now finding that our response rates to jobs are going sky high. There have been several hundred applications per job post in the last few days and that has flipped the market on its head.
It has been a ‘candidate short, job rich’ market for 10 years – but now it’s the other way around – and that has had a knock-on effect to wage rates.
Companies have tighter budgets as a rule and that means that positions are generally paying less. The construction industry has been hit the hardest and, on average, weekly pay seems to be down by around a third.
The situation seems quite dire and the UK is being billed as having the deepest recession with -11% growth whereas a country like Germany is getting a -5% hit. I am not quite sure why that seems to be the case so we will have to wait and see how that plays out.
I strongly believe in the underlying strength of the UK economy and I believe there is still an underlying skills shortage as soon as we get past this bottoming out phase.
It will be interesting to see whether we get a V-shaped recovery with a quick upswing, a U-shaped recovery with a slower recovery or an L-shaped one if it takes time to get out of it.
While that may be uncertain, one thing that is for certain is that there is very little any business owner can do about that so always keep controlling the controllables. Keep yourself prepared and prepare for the worse – but definitely hope for the best.
Macstaff and Mosaic can help candidates out on an individual basis with CV guidance and cover letters, interview preparation and advice on how to work best with a recruiter.
There is also some great blog material on www.macstaff.co.uk across a wide range of business subjects and matters and there is great blog material on the website.
And, in these times especially, for a comprehensive success manual on finding a job that is right for you if you begin a job-search, I have written a book to help.
‘Job Search? Job Done!’ is a great investment and talks you through 12 chapters from planning a job search, right towards looking at your career in the bigger picture.
Also keep your eye out for content on our social media pages, stay positive and be kind. We can, and we will, get through this.
WATCH: Why Anthony’s book ‘Job Search? Job Done!’ could help you…