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82% of UK businesses have laid off some of their workforce

More than half (56%) of recruiting professionals expect the economy to improve by the end of the year, and just 2% predict a sustained depression, according to research conducted by Bullhorn.

Whilst globally, 42% say they haven’t reduced their internal workforce, in the UK, 82% of businesses have laid off at least some of their workforce. This compares to just 46% in North America.  

Most recruiters (81%) have faced a reduction in job requests and 55% reported a difficulty in winning new customers. A fifth (21%) said clients were unable to make payments. When it comes to acquiring new customers, the top challenges were hiring freezes (72%) and a lack of budget (10%).

Looking to the future, 44% of recruiting professionals are focused on improving the management of client relationships and 36% believe improving the candidate experience needs to be a priority.

Almost two thirds (64%) think remote working will become common post-COVID-19 and 57% think contactless recruiting will rise. Over a quarter of agencies have increased their use of analytics since the beginning of the pandemic.

Gordon Burnes, chief marketing officer at Bullhorn, said, “The recruiting industry has always been brave and resilient. The impact of COVID-19 has been profound, but as always, optimism and opportunity abound amidst challenges. While respondents expect permanent changes to the industry, such as the rise of remote jobs, staffing and recruiting is still fundamentally about people, and the top priorities for agencies—improving client and candidate engagement—demonstrate that the path to success is through relationships.”

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