I feel incredibly fortunate to recruit in the field I do; I have seen other markets within recruitment struggle to get off the ground, whereas Software Development has continued to gain momentum since the lull of the initial lockdown.
There’s no getting away from the detrimental effect that the first lockdown had on many businesses. When your industry is dependent on the success and expansion of other industries, recruitment was always likely to have it tough.
Uncertainty, over anything else, was the reason many companies we work with paused their hiring processes: close the shop, get past the worst of it and reopen when it feels safe. Whether it was wishful thinking or naivety, I believe many of us thought that it would last a couple of months and we would return to a sense of normality in time to enjoy some of the summer months. I initially moved a holiday to Florida from April to September; hindsight hey!
There wasn’t much time to prepare following the announcement of the second lockdown, but recruiting in the market I do (Software Development), I was confident that my workload would remain steady throughout the period. In fact, there isn’t a single company that I was working with prior to lockdown that have changed their recruitment plans – compare that to March when the vast majority put things on hold.
The distinct difference between the two lockdowns is preparation; after all, you can’t predict a global pandemic! The focus was getting staff from the office to work from home with minimal fuss and with as little disruption to business operations as possible. With those practices already in place this time around, there has been no mass panic from software houses to tighten the purse strings and put recruitment on the backburner.
I’ve spoken to candidates at previously stubborn companies where working from home was not an option. With their hand forced to adjust - and this proving successful for many - the flexibility that these companies can offer moving forward becomes much more attractive propositions for candidates. Those that don’t will fall behind.
Although you might get a better “feel” for a candidate face to face, remote interviews for software development positions has proved equally as effective when done remotely. It’s a discipline where the technical side takes more importance than the characteristics of a candidate (when compared to other careers), so remote interviewing was always going to flourish despite lockdown.
Week on week, we’re taking on new roles with companies both familiar and unfamiliar with The ONE Group, and I have seen a continued increasing number of Developer vacancies go live. Even if there is potential for lockdown to be extended, the news on possible vaccines has created a positive outlook for the foreseeable future.
This positive outlook is reflected in the development market, of which the second lockdown doesn’t appear to have taken its toll upon.