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Lockdown is Lifting: What Now?  

For the last two months, there have been discussions and debates regarding what will constitute the ‘new normal’ once the COVID-19 lockdown fully lifts. However, with the economic impact of the pandemic still being felt across the globe, is talk of normality a tad hasty? 

At the end of April, the International Labour Organization (ILO) reported that lockdown measures had impacted 68 per cent of the world’s workforce. It also stated that global working hours had declined in the first quarter of 2020 by an estimated 4.5 per cent, equivalent to approximately 130 million full-time jobs. In the second quarter, working hours are predicted to be 10.5 per cent lower than the last pre-crisis quarter, equating to an eye-watering 305 million full-time jobs. 


The Big Recruitment Split 

Despite the UK government arranging unprecedented economic support measures for companies and workers alike, businesses across a range of sectors still face significant financial uncertainty. One of the main areas to be affected is recruitment, with companies grappling to control costs and forced to make difficult decisions regarding furloughing staff and making redundancies. 

While lockdown saw hiring grind to a halt in some sectors, in others it flourished. The NHS and private care sector, along with food retail and the grocery supply chain, for example, saw unprecedented demand for permanent and contingent labour. Additionally, forward-thinking companies in a robust financial position were able to take advantage of the lockdown to engage the best talent and get ahead of the competition. 

Moving forward, the only certainty we have is that talent management is going to look different in every business. Those inundated with applications from candidates looking to return to work must implement processes that can effectively handle this activity, so they don’t miss out on top talent. On the other hand, companies facing a more uncertain future due to budget cuts, redeployment and redundancies require in-depth strategising to ensure employee wellbeing and, crucially, secure business survival. 


Support For The Next Steps 

To help HR and Talent Acquisition professionals adapt to the changing needs of modern businesses, Omni RMS is launching our Life After Lockdown series. 

Each week, our team of resourcing transformation specialists will provide practical advice on the critical areas of Talent Acquisition that require immediate attention. 

In addition, you can download Life After Lockdown: A practical guide to Workforce Planning and Talent Management, which takes a deep dive into the: 


  • Need for improved workforce planning to help strike a balance between the short-term bottom line and a return to growth. 


  • Importance of internal mobility and how changing business requirements throughout the pandemic have seen a skills redeployment of epic proportions.


  • Focus of Talent Acquisition teams and how it will change in line with the impact of COVID-19 on the industry and sector. 

For more information on Workforce Planning & Talent Management in the age of COVID-19 download our practical guide to  Life After Lockdown.