Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional, and skilled people, today published a report that analyses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global skilled labour market and sets out its potential longer-term effects on the skilled labour markets, globally.
Hays CEO Alistair Cox says, “The world is struggling with acute skills shortages. One potential solution is for businesses to tap into labour forces further away from home, giving them access to a larger global talent pool.
“Remote working is here to stay and it will likely accelerate as businesses become more comfortable hiring people from further afield and their structures and technology allow it.
“There are potential barriers to this that organisations will need to overcome, such as cyber security. But if these can be navigated, then the potential for accessing talent pools that encompass the globe is huge.”
Hays’ analysis found employers should expect certain long-term changes in the way the global labour market operates, suggesting employers and skilled workers alike will need to adapt to the longer-term implications of these structural shifts.
The pandemic has acted as a catalyst for remote working, with borderless jobs and the ‘telemigration phenomenon’ offering the potential to unlock additional skilled workers for employers who are facing skills shortages.
The global technology sector, which is experiencing significant skills shortages, is a likely beneficiary.
A high proportion of workers have become accustomed to working from home and will expect some form of hybrid working going forward, that said, 30% of the UK workforce would prefer to spend more time in the office than at home.
Of 1,000 company directors surveyed, 74% of respondents plan to keep increased working from home.
The survey synthesised research from the global market and identified the following key trends that emerged throughout the pandemic.
Social policies attempting to contain the spread of Covid-19 and changing consumer spending habits had a big impact, across the markets in which Hays operates, employment fell by 3.8% between 2019Q4 and 2020Q4.
Across the 34 markets Hays operates, the unemployment rate rose throughout 2020, meanwhile, across all markets, unemployment rose from 4.3% in 2019Q4 to 5.5% in 2020Q4.
With younger people aged between 15to 24 experiencing unemployment at a higher rate than older generations and across all regions, the unemployment rate rose by more than the rest of the labour force.
For the 26 Hays markets where data are available, employment among those aged 15 to 24 years old fell by 17.4% between Q4 2019 and Q2 2020, although this recovered by 5% by the end of 2020.
However, female employment fell by a higher percentage point than for males, which women were more significantly negatively impacted by the crisis.
“Across 24 of the 34 markets for which data are available, female employment fell by 3.4% between 2019Q4 and 2020Q4 – a 0.4 percentage point larger decline than the fall in male employment,” it says.