None of us would have predicted we would be in this position at the start of 2020 and sudden change can be very daunting. However, it is not all negative and it’s important we look towards the future with a positive attitude, after all, if we can get through this we can get through anything. 

We asked our recruiters what impacts the Covid-19 pandemic has had on hiring trends in their industry and what positives we can look forward to.

Emer Sexton, Allied Health Recruiter

“The Allied Health sector has, for the most part, remained hiring. For the areas that have slowed down or are seen as non-essential, staff have been redeployed to front line areas.

Employers have started installing online application systems that allow them to interview candidates remotely. This has proved to be a faster, more efficient way of interviewing.

There has been a surge in Irish expats wanting to returning home to help during the pandemic and work in the health service in Ireland.

From this pandemic the healthcare sector will see an increase in highly qualified and skilled healthcare professionals in the coming months. Employers will also start utilising technology more to make the recruitment process quicker.”

Maria Weafer, Team Manager, Commercial Division

“Many clients are expecting to reopen from the 18th May, those with multiple offices or branches will reopen on a phased basis. I expect all businesses to be fully open in August/ September. People working in open plan offices will need to make changes to ensure their space complies with new Covid- 19 regulations before recommencing their hiring processes. However, we hope to see earlier hires of new employees who can commence a flexible working week.

Companies will emerge from this more connected. Resilience will be on the agenda when discussing strategy and companies now know that agility will ensure competitiveness and an ability to respond to the unexpected. Going forward, companies will have to re-evaluate where they must be flexible. Employers who provide flexible working solutions to potential employees will open themselves to a wider candidate market.

As many of our clients have been successfully conducting interviews via Zoom and Skype this will greatly benefit candidates based overseas, as companies will be more open to continue with this form of interview.”

Leona Fawl, Head of Commercial Division

“Since the Government announcement of our phased plans to resume activity, conversations with our existing and prospective clients have increased in confidence. Businesses are preparing their plans for a safe return to work and we anticipate hiring will begin to take on a consistent and steady pattern come late August and September time. Whilst there is further adapting for us all, there will still be a requirement for experienced and skilled business support professionals across all.”

Miriam O’Hara and Cormac Molly, Construction Recruiters

“Reopening officially begins on the 18th of May but not all sites will reopen on this date. It will be in order of priority and where social distancing can be observed. CIF have provided an online induction course and everyone is required to complete it before projects resume. It will take a couple of weeks sorting out sites before they commence hiring again. We are currently working on some overseas roles with July start dates and there is considerable interest in those roles at present. People are now more comfortable going forward for overseas roles than immediate roles here in Ireland.”

Gerard Farrell, Agriculture Recruiter

“The food processing sector has gone quiet on the recruitment side (a result of the hospitality sector shutting down) and exports. However, there has been an increase in domestic demand in relation to primary purchasing from grocery stores.

The Agri Sector traditionally has been resilient during tough times. During the recession in 2007 unemployment only peaked at 10% within the Agri Sector. We are hopeful the sector will bounce back even stronger and quicker.

This pandemic has highlighted the importance of the Agri Sector globally. It has also shown the sector to be agile and adaptable to crisis.”

Cillian Twomey, Medical Device Recruiter

“A lot of medical device companies across Ireland are still recruiting for many different levels. For those who have halted production, I predict they will be back up and running after July 20th – once restrictions of 20km are lifted.

Medical device is a very important sector, if anything it may strengthen the sector over the coming years. The need for vaccines will mean new opportunities in R&D, Supply Chain and Manufacturing.”

Mandy Devlin, Tech Eng Recruiter

“Production to support food, beverage and agriculture currently has the most hiring activity. Hiring of new employees had slowed down in April however, it has started to pick up again in May”

Felicity Farrell, Life Science Recruiter

Recruitment activity continues in the pharmaceutical industry as many pharma companies have begun to fast track their processes for testing of potential vaccines with the permission of the government and regulatory authorities. I also predicting an increase of new roles in August/ September time.

Ireland is now home to all 10 of the top 10 global pharma companies. This sector will play a crucial role in the development and manufacture of the drugs needed to treat and overcome Covid-19. Pharma is one of our main sectors of economic activity in Ireland earning €60bn and employing 50,000 people, so this sector will remain strong.”

Laura McInerney, Temporary Recruiter

Temporary recruiting in food production and logistics has remained throughout this pandemic. As an essential service, the Industrial sector has seen an overall increase in manufacturing and logistics. Due to the high demand for food and products, there is an increase of vacancies in factories to help meet these demands.”

Anna Podgorska, Temporary Recruiter

"While some businesses are experiencing disruption, there are sectors who are experiencing increased demand for staff. Supply Chain & Logistics, Medical & Science & Pharma are the industries with most hiring activity at the moment. In commercial sector we expect businesses to re-open in phases. It will take some time to return to a “normal” hiring process however, this will be a new “normal” and businesses will have to adapt to new ways of hiring. In this unprecedented times we needed to use our ability to adapt more than ever."

Niamh Kavanagh, Head of Temporary Division

“Our clients have rescheduled their rosters, timetables and arranged for remote working rather than lay off temporary staff. This 30% across the board is encouraging as it reinforces how the temporary workforce is an integral part and contribution to businesses. There are many benefits to choosing Temporary work but now the flexibility along with an opportunity to work from home will offer more benefits for both candidates and clients.

Overall, recruiters are expecting all sectors that have slowed down or seized in recruitment to pick up again in late August or early September. Although many sectors have been impacted negatively by the Covid – 19 pandemic, Recruiters are predicting that many of these businesses will come out of this better than before. Businesses who had to adapt quickly and change their strategies will be more ready for any future threats. Sudden changes to flexible working will allow businesses to become more flexible with future hires, meaning they can attract more talented individuals who are seeking flexible roles. The usage of new technologies has shown employers how easy it is to conduct online interviews, meaning employers will now be more inclined to hire overseas candidates before they relocate.