After nearly 18 months, the UK Government’s coronavirus job retention scheme (furlough) is finally coming to an end.
So what will happen in the recruitment industry? We’ve put together some predictions and in this post, we’ll explain what it could mean for your advertising.
The 30th of September will be the last day where the government will pay 60% of furloughed staff’s salaries, leaving employers with a choice. Either make redundancies or bring staff fully back to work.
With 1.6 million people still on furlough at the end of July 2021 (according to the HMRC data), a surge in redundancies and unemployment is looking likely for the start of October.
Exactly how much is still uncertain, with various industry bodies making very different predictions. (1)
Whatever happens, we’re not expecting any groundbreaking changes to the day-to-day recruitment industry. There’s a record-breaking number of UK vacancies at the moment, so any unemployment surge is almost certainly going to be balanced out pretty quickly again.
Depending on your sector and where you’re recruiting in the UK, you might see a rise in the number of applications you receive. More significantly, you may start to see more qualified candidates applying who were previously unavailable due to being tied up on furlough.
We’re not expecting any of these application increases to be monumental, and it certainly won’t be a silver bullet to solve your candidate shortage overnight.
On job aggregator sites, candidate behaviours have already started to shift in the run-up to the start of October.
Some of the job aggregators that we work with at Talent Nexus, have told us that there’s already been a rise in the number of people browsing their sites.
Candidates appear to be ‘window shopping’ ahead of the end of the furlough scheme, leading to an increase in impressions and clicks for advertisers.
In the immediate future, this means lower conversion rates - ie. more impressions and clicks per application generated, But it could suggest that an increase in applications could be on the way once these candidates are released from the scheme in October.
There are some simple actions that recruitment teams can take. Here’s a quick checklist to make sure you’re ready to take full advantage of this moment.
(1) Unemployment forecasts
The treasury forecast shows a predicted unemployment rate of 5.5% in Q4 2021
The Bank of England expects unemployment to be 4.75% by the end of 2021
ING are predicting a rise to 5.5% once furlough ends