The View: Neil Carberry

Recruiters have a key role in the post-Covid-19 recovery, says Neil Carberry, REC Chief Executive

As I write, May is getting under way. We’re well into the lockdown and the indicators from the government’s daily briefing cautiously suggest the peak of Covid-19 infections may be behind us.

We are turning our attention to what recovery looks like. Better days will come, but the shape of the recovery – and our new normal – are both up for debate. We explore that in the Big Talking Point.

The recovery might be more of a tick shape (the 'Nike Swoosh', as economist Rain Newton-Smith puts it) than a fast bounce-back. It is likely to be much more robust than after the Great Recession of 2008/9. Being ready, and getting close to clients’ changing needs, is the priority for many REC members now that cashflow planning is done.

“The pause caused by coronavirus is likely to amplify changes already happening”

When the dust settles, big commercial and government debates will continue. The pause caused by coronavirus is likely to amplify changes already happening, leading to a more digital, automated, dispersed and flexible workforce. Our industry has a major role in helping companies and workers to make that transition.

There are also powerful lessons for politicians and business leaders about security, sustainability and ethics. Chancellor Rishi Sunak has talked about tax changes and I expect to see shifts in regulation and welfare rules too. The idea of a new deal at work is likely to gain traction.

We shouldn’t fear that debate – our industry promotes prosperity and should be at the heart of this new deal. But we must set out why that is. As the crisis passes, this must be the longer-term mission of the REC. 

If you want to keep up to speed with all things recruitment then follow me on Twitter @RECNeil

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