Hays UK jobs and employment blog


31% of employers are recruiting – so here’s why you should stay open-minded about your career

By Gaelle Blake, Director, Hays Permanent Appointments, UK and Ireland

As lockdown gradually eases and our way of working continues to adjust, even those who are the most comfortable in their jobs may be questioning what this means for them and their career. While it’s difficult to realistically predict exactly what will happen in the near future, we do know one thing – recruitment is on the agenda for organisations across the country.

Keeping an open mind about the course of your career therefore is a professional’s biggest asset right now, so here’s why you should adopt this mindset as we enter a new era of work.

Opportunities are there

For many business leaders, their primary objective is to keep their organisation afloat during what has been a period of complete turmoil. To do this, they recognise they need strong talent and a robust workforce in place. Recruitment is therefore very much on the agenda – in fact, nearly a third (31%) of employers are still actively recruiting according to our latest Market Insights Report, based on a recent survey of over 16,000 professionals we carried out.

In terms of the skills employers need, specialist skills topping the list are:

  • Managerial & leadership skills
  • Operations skills
  • Project & change management skills

As always employers are looking for the whole package when it comes to a strong candidate, so soft skills like communications, problem-solving and flexibility are also in demand.

If any of these resonate with your own skills profile, then it’s likely that your CV will stand out to those hiring - so staying open-minded about your career options might lead you to an exciting new opportunity before you know it.

Career prospects are a priority

Our survey found that one of the biggest impacts coronavirus has had was on professionals’ career prospects. A fifth (20%) describe their career prospects as poor or very poor and professionals now feel less confident in their ability to progress their career since the coronavirus outbreak.

If you are in this camp, you’re not alone. Career progression is increasingly important for professionals in this day and age and it’s frustrating not to be guaranteed a clear direction in your role. Harness your hunger for a new challenge by seeing how you might be able to step up the ladder in a new role. If you let your recruiter know that this is a priority for you, they’ll be able to hand pick potential roles which satisfy this.

Your skill profile has shifted

Since entering lockdown, many of us have been afforded some extra time, perhaps as a result of eliminating a lengthy commute from our routines or being placed on furlough leave. This has led lots to commit to upskilling personally and professionally, which might have opened doors to new opportunities which weren’t available previously.

As our social distancing restrictions look set to be in place for some time yet, there’s still plenty of time to acquire new expertise if you haven’t already. Consider areas like these which will be of benefit to your work and career:

  • Coding: the infiltration of new technologies into jobs at every level means that digital skills are increasingly under the spotlight. A great place to look at honing your skills could be coding, with Codeacademy an excellent place to start
  • Microsoft Excel: it’s is one of the most important office programs used across the world of work and no matter what industry you work in, it’s likely that you’ll find yourself using it at some point. YouTube is a helpful place to start if you are looking for free online resources
  • Writing: OpenLearn, the Open University’s free learning arm, can help you brush up on your writing skills which will continue to be of value throughout your entire professional life

Make sure that any new skills you acquire are highlighted on your CV. Not only does this show your commitment to independent learning but also demonstrates initiative in terms of using your free time productively.

Supporting your job hunt in the corona-era

If you think it would be worth exploring your career options, you don’t have to go it alone. It’s an unsettling time for all of us, so consider enlisting the support of someone who can guide you through your job search. It’s the job of a recruitment consultant to be an expert in their field and navigate the job market no matter what the conditions are, so make contacting your recruiter the first step to what could be an exciting new opportunity for your career.

Download the Market Insights Report for more insights into employer and employee sentiment right now. For additional resources on topics including video interviews, looking after your wellbeing whilst working remotely or how to stay professionally productive whilst on furlough leave, visit our Inspire Me in the New Era of Work hub.

About this author

Gaelle joined Hays in 1999, and in her time with the business, she has led dedicated teams providing expert recruitment services for a wide range of sectors and professions. In 2018, Gaelle started her current role as UK&I Director of Hays Permanent Appointments, where she works with 800 Permanent Appointments consultants across the UK and Ireland. She helps organisations to find the talent they need to achieve their goals, and help customers to find the roles they need to move their careers forwards. In July 2020, Gaelle was also appointed as UKI Director of Hays Construction & Property, leading the 300+ recruitment consultants in the largest specialist Construction & Property recruiter in the UK.


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