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How COVID-19 Has Affected the Recruitment Industry | Current Job Seeker Trends

Recruiting Lindsay Rutz

Everyone has felt the effects of COVID-19 – especially job seekers that were searching before the pandemic hit and employees in industries that were hit the hardest. So what does this mean for your association’s members and job seekers?

Let’s take a look at the current hiring disruptions and how this has affected job seeker trends in several industries.

Current Hiring Disruptions

COVID-19 was preceded by a two year period where the number of job postings outnumbered the number of unemployed workers, meaning there were not enough unemployed people to fill open jobs. However, the unemployment rate shot up in just a matter of weeks once COVID-19 hit the United States and businesses were shut down. 

In April, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) released a study that surveyed many companies and their findings were concerning. 

How the Pandemic is Challenging and Changing Employers

  1. Half of the companies they surveyed said they were no longer hiring at all or they decided to delay the start date of employees they had already given offers to
  2. Almost 40% of employers decreased hours for their employees and another 28% were considering it 
  3. 1 in 5 employers decreased employees pay and another 1 in 5 were considering
  4. 3 out of 10 employers laid people off and 15% of those were permanent cuts 

COVID-19 had a very immediate and severe impact on many people, companies and industries disproportionately. Let’s take a look at current job seeker trends by industry.

Want to learn more about COVID-19’s effects on the recruitment industry? Download the replay of our webinar here – The Impact of COVID-19 on the Recruitment Industry: Current Analysis and Future Opportunities.

Current Job Seeker Trends

As stated, many industries were affected disproportionately by the outbreak of COVID-19. Since many employees or job seekers were out of work or concerned about losing their jobs, there were specific industries that saw an increase in views-per-job (according to LinkedIn):

Industries with the biggest increase in view per jobs

  1. Education – 32% 
  2. Hardware & Networking – 26%
  3. Wellness & Fitness – 26%
  4. Entertainment – 23%
  5. Legal – 23%
  6. Corporate Services – 18%
  7. Software & IT Services – 17%

However, there was a decrease in the number of jobs posted in these industries, with a greater decrease in jobs in the entertainment and legal industries compared to the others.

Conversely, there were also industries that saw a significant decrease in views-per-job (according to LinkedIn) due to the fact many of these employers simply were not hiring:

Industries with a decrease in views per job

  1. Nonprofit – 38%
  2. Recreation & Travel – 32%
  3. Public Administration – 27%
  4. Health Care – 23%
  5. Public Safety – 22%
  6. Transportation & Logistics – 22%
  7. Retail – 14%

In the Public Administration, Health Care and Public Safety industries however, there was an increase in the change in number of jobs posted, which can be attributed to the need for more assistance in combating COVID-19 in these industries. Retail and Recreation & Travel saw greater decreases in change in job views, mostly due to the fact these businesses were deemed non-essential and had to shut down. 

To gain more perspective on job seeker trends, ZipRecruiter released information in April that surveyed all of their job seekers and asked these two questions:

  1. How likely are you to apply for a job given the current health and economic climate?
  2. How immediate is your need for a new job?

From the first question, almost 90% of respondents said they were either “Very Likely” (66%) or “Likely” (21%), which tells us how important it is for job seekers to find employment. 

From the second question, almost 80% of respondents said “Urgent” (39%) or “Extremely Urgent” (23%). 


Based on this information gathered, it is clear that your association members need you now more than ever to help guide them through this trying time. Using your resources, like career centers, career fairs, learning management systems and more are going to be critical career resources for your members that can help them find companies that are resuming hiring efforts, or build up their resume to find other career opportunities. 

Stay tuned for more information on job posting trends, economists predictions on recovery time and the impact of COVID-19 on jobs boards. 

For more information on this topic and how to support your association members during this time, be sure to watch the replay of our webinar, The Impact of COVID-19 on the Recruitment Industry: Current Analysis & Future Opportunities

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