New data published by the Office for National Statistics on the economic impact of Covid-19. It shows that 94% of businesses are seeking to access support from government, around 27% of the working population have been furloughed and 49% of those working were working from home.
The following insights are based on ISE’s interactions with employers during the period covered by this briefing.
Qualifications. Firms are concerned about how academic qualifications (at school and university) are going to be awarded and on what timescale. Even if everything goes according to plan there are likely to be increased issues with appeals and mitigating circumstances.
Summer interns. Some firms are cancelling summer interns. Other delaying start dates or moving the internship online.
New starters. Many firms are still in the process of making decisions about the number of new hires they are going to induct in August/September. Some have decided to go ahead and are generally planning for online induction for summer or autumn starters. Others are looking to delay start dates until January. Most recruitment that is not already in process has been paused, but, so far, no one is talking about reneging on offers.
Compensation. Some employers report that new hires’ salaries are likely to be frozen or even cut in comparison with last year.
Virtual induction. Firms emphasised the importance of ensuring that online/virtual inductions were not just a transmission information about the firm. They also need to engage new hires with each other and support them to build connections in the firm. Key to this is involving line managers.
Placement students. Most firms have been able to keep existing placement students on, but were keen to clarify expectations with universities about what the requirements were for current and future placement students.
Existing hires. In some cases firms are reporting furloughing existing staff and considering redundancies and pay freezes or cuts.
New recruitment campaign. Most firms report that they are unlikely to be back on campus in the autumn. This would be addressed by shifting to more online recruitment and marketing approaches. Some firms feel that with a sufficiently imaginative approach this shift might be permanent. Others are less sure and feel that it is important to keep some face to face elements if possible. An important area of concern is around diversity and inclusion. Some firms fear that new solely online recruitment processes may disadvantage some candidates and it is not clear how best to address this.