COVID-19 sees boom in hires across healthcare, food processing and construction industries

Employment & Skills | Food & Drink | Healthcare | Property & Construction | Reports

New research from recruitment software firm Occupop has today revealed a significant surge in the number of job applications and hires across the healthcare, food processing and construction sectors across the UK between January 2019 and August of this year.

The Occupop Hiring Data Report 2020 also identified that a significant number of jobseekers have turned to social and professional networks to get noticed by hiring managers in the midst of the pandemic. Occupop is an all-in-one recruitment solution that enables companies to attract, manage and hire the highest quality job applicants. To date, Occupop has helped over 150 businesses manage their recruitment, including companies such as Hertz, B. Braun, DPS, Global Shares, Flo Gas and more.

According to figures from the ONS, an estimated 1.4 million people were unemployed from May to July 2020, up 104,000 on the year and up 62,000 on the quarter. The annual increase was the largest since February to April 2012. The Occupop Hiring Data Report 2020 indicates significant disruption across the jobs market and highlights emerging trends for the Future of Work across different sectors.

Key findings from Occupop’s Hiring Data Report reveal a surge in job applications across:
• Food processing (increase of 188%)
• Construction (increase of 94%)
• Healthcare (increase of 94%)
• Security (increase of 71%)
• IT (increase of 62%)

*Research was carried out between January 2019 – August 2020

The report also identified a drop in applications across previously popular sectors including transportation (-60%) marketing (-36%) hospitality (-33%) accounting and finance (-30%) and office support (28%).

In addition to this, the study revealed many applicants were turning to social and professional networks as a means of finding new employment and/or changing careers during lockdown.

Data from Occupop demonstrates a significant spike in job applications received through the platform through Facebook (up by 7,267%) and LinkedIn (up by 1,475%) since last year. It also found the best months for hiring were January, when the economy was still thriving, and February this year, with the worst months being May and August. Unsurprisingly, the best months for engagement between hiring managers and candidates were February (before coronavirus fully took hold in the UK) and July, when there was a surplus of available candidates due to redundancies and furloughing of staff.

The report also revealed Occupop reported a 26 percent increase in overall hires made through the platform which enables companies to screen and shortlist candidates using AI technology and manage entire recruitment processes remotely.

Commenting on the findings of the report, Occupop co-founder David Banaghan said: “It is excellent to see continued activity in the job market, and while some industries shifted from being highly active at the beginning of the year, others saw a large upswing in light of the pandemic such as healthcare and construction. However, the return from the dip in Q2 is starting to become evident with industries such as hospitality and retail starting to actively hire again.

“It is very encouraging that social & professional networks are bringing in not only more candidates but high quality candidates, as this reinforces the changing trend of candidates using social media more and more to find new roles. This data highlights the importance for companies to embrace new avenues to hire and invest in employer brand and employer branding to attract both passive and active candidates.”

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