If you were following us over lockdown, you may have seen our Industry Barometer Survey we ran throughout March, April and June to get a sense check of how businesses were feeling and adapting. We published all the results in July but we were keen to dig a little deeper into the findings.

That’s why, over the last two months, we’ve been running a series of polls on LinkedIn to get a temperature check of how our followers are feeling about the next few months. Whether it’s office re-openings, holidays, re-hiring or diversity, our aim was to understand the wider picture and share the results with you. Here’s what we found…

Changes to the business landscape

There is no doubt March to June was a considerably tough time for businesses across the spectrum. We felt it, our clients felt it and almost all of the businesses across the globe felt the hit. Yet, by July things were beginning to look up and it was great to see 47% of you voted that you were feeling cautiously optimistic about the next three months.

 

 

 

 

That being said, it was clear everyone’s hard work over lockdown was creating a need for a break with 43% telling us they had a holiday or time off booked in August. In fact, when we asked our following how their output was affected by the transition to remote work, the majority (a considerable 46%) said it had stayed the same.

 

 

 

 

When it came to returning to the office, the results were interesting – only 22% said they were planning to go back between October and December, while 46% said they planned to return in 2021. With the BBC publishing a story headlined fifty of the biggest UK employers have said they have no plans to return all staff to the office in the new future, this is clearly in line with the wider picture.

With our barometer and polls suggesting a feeling of cautious optimism, we wanted to dig deeper into why. There’s been much debate around the government’s support for the tech sector, especially in light of predictions of a digitally-led recovery, but when we asked our following whether they felt it was adequate, 48% voted the government’s support measures were not enough.

Re-hiring patterns

As recruiters, something we were particularly interested in measuring was how the pandemic had affected businesses’ hiring patterns. From our barometer, we could tell rehiring was on the up, but there was understandable cautiousness. What was interesting is that 43% voted that they were already recruiting, but on the other hand, 39% also voted next year. It would seem that, while things are on the up and jobs are certainly still out there, it’s unlikely rehiring levels will return to normal for a long while.

We were also keen to measure how the pandemic had impacted the type of candidates businesses were hiring. Our prediction was that sourcing senior talent would be easier due to a larger talent pool but only 37% voted that it was much or little easier to fill senior roles than before. 63% voted that finding senior talent had not changed and was still difficult.

Perhaps the most positive finding was the change in attitude towards hiring remote candidates. In response to the question ‘Would you hire fully remote candidates’ a huge 68% said they already did or were looking to. This is a huge shift – increasing both opportunities for remote workers and widening the talent pool for employers in the tech scene.

Is diversity a top priority?

With businesses increasingly occupied by survival during lockdown, there were fears across the board that organisations would slack when it came to diversity. This, alongside the BLM protests, pushed diversity concerns higher up the agenda. To get a closer look at how businesses were approaching diversity in our industry, we took to LinkedIn.

What we found was that half said they felt their organisation were committed to diversity, however only 33% said their hiring process promotes diversity. A truly diverse organisation will always start with diverse hiring practices, so it’s clear there is still work to be done here.

In good news, 80% said they were already evaluating their diverse hiring practices or were looking to do so in the next months.

Some real changes

Overall, our series of polls revealed an air of cautious optimism. Hard work across the board has meant a lot of businesses are surviving despite big challenges, yet effective support from the government is still paramount for recovery.

On the flip side, the last six months have seen some real changes to the way we work. The office is no longer a necessity and employers are increasingly looking to remote work as a means of widening the talent pool. Diversity as a top priority is clearly not changing fast enough – we hope as more businesses look to evaluate their diverse hiring practices, we will see some real change in the near future.

We love hearing from our followers and sharing the insight we find so let us know what you think on LinkedIn or twitter.

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