COVID is here to stay and impact our lives in many new ways that we are yet to experience. The World Health Organisation also mentioned recently that COVID may never leave us. Few researchers have come with scary warnings that COVID is manmade and it is not possible for us to tame it easily.
After initial shock and fear, the world is getting used to this virus, more mentally tough. In true human spirit, COVID dashboards are seeing fewer hits with every passing day and discussions on how to restart life are taking over, even though the virus is continuing its mayhem. The worst effect of COVID is not only the human lives lost, but the economic impact that will continue to take a toll on jobs globally. SCIKEY Research team analysed how this impact will unfold on the Future of Work & Jobs in coming times and shares 5 changes in the trend –
Full time hiring will reduce by 46 to 55 percent. COVID will take away a lot of jobs. Some estimates say the loss of jobs will be more than 30% of the total jobs as the situation unfolds. This will certainly impact the hiring market with immediate reduction of the total number of jobs open for full time hiring. This hypothesis is supported by trends of reduced funding in startups, retrenchments in funded and growing startups and shrinking of established companies.
The initial impact of COVID will drive down hiring numbers by more than 75% for the remainder of 2020, but will increase eventually to near 50% of pre-COVID levels. We have to recall the great depression in the USA that started with the stock market crash in 1929 that lasted almost ten years. If not for US participation in the second world war, the impact would have continued much longer. This time we hope that there will be no world war like situation and that means we have to settle down with lesser full time jobs.
Employers will increasingly shift their recruitment process towards ‘Try & Hire’ models. Not only will jobs reduce significantly, the method of hiring will also see a big change. This change will be primarily to bring in the best talent for the companies. Many companies will start resorting to the ‘Try and Buy’ technique whereby they may have a person as an intern or a contractor for a period of time and only after being assured of the right hire, may extend the offer to join as a full-time employee. SCIKEY analysts feel that it is only a matter of time that the ‘Try and Buy’ technique will become the most popular model of hiring while full time hiring will continue for proven and much needed openings. In a welcome change, COVID will also reduce the attrition levels in companies significantly.
Contract jobs will grow as full time jobs plummet. While full time jobs will reduce significantly, a large share of the gap will be made up with contract and short-term work opportunities. The increase of contract opportunities will be fueled by two key factors; the time to hire, and lack of visibility of the roles by the hiring companies. Job seekers will have to come to terms with the insecurity of contract jobs and upgrade themselves to a level where they can demand a premium that may be more than what they would have earned in a full time job. SCIKEY research in its previous report has already predicted that people with low ‘hands on skills’ including fresh graduates will be hit adversely as very few companies will spend time and money to train them for a job.
More companies will go for managed workforce solutions that reduce their cost and risk. Contracting a complete work has been an established practice since ages, however such a practice was largely restricted to the project environment. Infrastructure work, seasonal demands, low value work and specialised jobs were always done mostly through managed workforce solutions. This time, the ambit of managed workforce solutions will increase to areas that were reserved for full time jobs traditionally.
Companies will have core full time teams that will focus on business and growth, and may find having lesser performance management overheads and cost that can be easily controlled, an attractive proposition for moving to a more third party managed workforce model. Such models may not necessarily be based upon headcount, but may take a more assured route of outcome guarantee.
Surge in work opportunities that can be effectively done from home or anywhere remotely. More and more companies and even the government would find working from home a cost effective and beneficial proposition. Many companies, including the likes of Twitter have already announced their intent to make extended work from home as a part of their model, but more than the benefit of cost, it would be a wider availability of talent & an extended reach to the alternative talent streams that will drive this model for most of the companies. While the traditionally controlling minded executives always disliked the idea of people working away from their watchful eyes, COVID has broken this barrier. This model will certainly have its positive effect on environment, health and family life to add to the list of benefits that companies have started realising.
As we continue to analyse the impact of COVID, it is certain that our lives will change eventually for better; and the positive human spirit will ensure that our next generation remembers this defining time in a more positive way than what we are able to see today.