We are lockdowned again. While for many sectors this is bad news, rather than take the gloomy view, I think that for our industry there are substantial differences compared to last March.
Firstly, we now have the light at the end of the tunnel offered by the vaccines, Any forward-thinking business (I like to think Peace is one) will be taking the medium-term view that by Easter we'll have millions of people vaccninated and by the summer, when construction is traditionally booming, we'll be in a far better place. We have already (as posted yesterday on LinkedIn) taken our first requests to help firms recruit the talent they will need as the economy rebounds in 2021.
Secondly, governments across the UK have sensibly allowed construction sites to keep going this time. Moreover, governments recognised - and will spend to ensure - that infrastucture projects and more housing will help us out of our current situation. That makes a huge difference.
Thirdly, despite the gloom many will be feeling, a major study has shown that across most industries people are actually happier in their work than they were pre-pandemic. WorkL, a workplace specialist firm, has run a survey over the last two years, covering over 100,000 people, which shows clearly that since Covid hit us, there has been a noticeable increase in overall satisfaction with many aspects of work. Pre-pandemic, around 64% said they were happy at their work. Now, for construction, the results show a 70% level of work satisfaction while for architecture and engineering it's at 68% - both well above that previous 64% benchmark. That said, our evidence from Scotland (see video links here and here) is that there are quite a lot of people who are dissatisfied and keen to move on. So yes, it's not good news that we're in lockdown, but we are going to come out of it and the fact that, unlike the last time in Scotland, sites are able to keep open will make a huge difference. This means you need to be planning now for the spring/summer, making sure you have the right people in the right roles to position your firm to pull away from the competition as the economy (as it will) comes roaring back. Sure, recruitment is but one piece of the jigsaw, but it's a vital piece and requires specialist advice from experienced people. I can recommend some...
Chris Peace, MD, Peace Recruitment