WITH the end of the furlough scheme fast approaching one Aberdeen recruitment agency is reporting a 300% increase in candidate applications.
AAA (Aberdeen Appointments Agency) has received hundreds of CVs from people in recent weeks eager to find a job.
Many have offered to take wage cuts if it means gaining employment.
Mark Lints, AAA key accounts manager, believes the recruitment sector is heading into the “unknown” as the Government furlough scheme comes to a close in October.
He said: “The imminent problem is the furlough funding finishing at the end of the month.
“There is a little bit of the unknown at the moment as to what October might hold.
“It’s going to be very interesting.
“I think there will be a lot of difficult conversations happening in organisations with regards to planning for October 1st. Who is going to be necessary and who’s not?
“Companies will be looking to be as lean as possible given the uncertainties going forward. The ones I’ve spoken to are telling me they are being cautious at the moment. That seems to be the key. They are just trying to get by.”
AAA has received a massive spike in applications – but the job opportunities available are far from normal.
Mark said: “We’ve already noticed an increase in candidate applications and I think that is understandable. They are not immediately available but saying they are uncertain about their future employment.
“I’ve seen quite a few applications from people who have said they are on x amount but could go down to y amount. People are looking at what they can afford just to survive and get over this next period of time.
“We are finding that new opportunities are less than we would typically see at this time of year. A lot of that is down to companies being nervous about what the future holds in the short term.
“The marketplace is suffering. There’s no question of that. Opportunities are far below what we’d expect to see at this time of the year.”
Working from home has become the new normal for many with some businesses telling employees they are likely to be there into 2021.
Mark said: “What we’ve found is that opportunities are still coming in and people are taking roles but the expectations is that their training and induction may have to be completed online and it could be a month or so before they are actually in the office.
“They are not necessarily saying it’s a work from home opportunity but they are gearing up. It could become the norm going forward but we haven’t really seen that in any major sense just yet. But a lot of that is because the volume of roles, in general, is reduced.
“I do think there will be more flexibility being offered going forward. There’s no question. People are having to look at home working and flexible working now.
“Whether that will remain the case over the next two years until a vaccination or people are more comfortable. It’s difficult to tell. At this stage, everyone is positive about working from home but as time goes on there will be things that people haven’t experienced yet.
“Suddenly it gets to a harsh winter and dark months and it’s not so joyous. Over time they suddenly miss being in the office and the social interaction. These are some of the things that are missed working from home.”
Looking ahead Mark is hopeful of the market picking up.
He said: “I’m hearing there’s an expectation that 2021, all things being equal, and no global pandemics coming our way the expectation is there will be an increase in activity. Especially in the oil and gas sector leading towards 2022. I would expect there still to be positives ahead.”