A post-COVID Britain and the effect on the recruitment market

Sarah Barham, Head of Major Accounts at ACS Recruitment
Sarah Barham, Head of Major Accounts at ACS Recruitment

Sarah Barham joined ACS Recruitment in March as Head of Major Accounts, with responsibility for large clients mainly onsite accounts. ACS Recruitment currently works with a selection of major retail brands.

Sarah has been in recruitment for 12 years, covering Apprenticeships, Driving and Logistics and Industrial and has experience in large organisations such as Key Training, Driver Hire and most recently Single Resource. A resident of Northamptonshire, Sarah has an in-depth knowledge of the local market. Here, she takes a look at the current situation as the region emerges from lockdown.

The UK unemployment rate looks set to be the highest level since the 1980s as a direct result of the coronavirus crisis. Recruitment has changed significantly with the worldwide pandemic, revealing talent gaps which will have longer-term effects on the recruitment industry.

As a direct result, the number of candidates applying for each role increases, making it harder to be first in line.

But there are some industries which are benefiting from the shift in people’s lifestyles meaning some sectors are booming. The REC reported that the rise in people looking for temporary work through this pandemic have increased by 40% from February 2020.

So, if you find yourself out of work, where should you look for a job?

Retail – but not as we know it!

Although the high street has been hit with the demise of some longstanding brands, some parts of the retail sector have emerged from the pandemic in an even stronger position.

Warehouse workers are in high demand due to an increase in online shopping while people have been at home.

And the large supermarkets have had to increase their delivery services to keep up with customers who no longer want to visit the shops meaning a surge in delivery drivers needed to get these goods to people.

This is part of a longer-term structural change in the retail sector. ACS Recruitment have experienced a huge surge in clients where the ecommerce part of their business has jumped by 300%. It looks like online shopping will be a preferred method for a long time to come.

If you are looking for work in this sector, contact Lauren Dobrowski, Regional Manager for Onsite Division on laurend@acsrecruitment.co.uk

Customer Service

This sector has seen a massive rise in temporary vacancies, with 3,119 vacancies in Northamptonshire and surrounding areas being advertised on Indeed.

With the increase in online shopping, the need for call centre staff and virtual online chat staff is also seeing a boom. ACS Recruitment are seeing a rise in the need for home workers as well as office staff, showing that this pandemic has caused a much-needed shift in flexi-working.

ACS Recruitment have been extremely fortunate to be involved in the Government’s Track and Trace service in Northamptonshire, where they offer vacancies with flexi-working.

If you are looking for work in this sector, contact Charlotte Bone, Senior Recruitment Consultant on charlottea@acsrecruitment.co.uk


With the coronavirus pandemic changing the face of how we purchase goods and the surge in requirements for certain essential goods the need for warehouse operatives is greater than ever. Warehouses have changed how they operate to allow for more space to withhold goods for a longer period to accommodate the threat of a second wave. ACS Recruitment have seen that clients are already planning for peak requirements leading to a greater need for temporary warehouse operatives. Indeed are currently advertising 1,162 roles within Northamptonshire and the surrounding areas.

If you are looking for work in this sector, contact Simone Stanbra, Industrial Manager on simones@acsrecruitment.co.uk.

Only time will tell the true impact of COVID-19. The nature of employment and the recruitment sector has changed forever and when recovery happens it will be in a very different world to the one we left behind.

ACS Recruitment specialise in these sectors in the Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire area. We operate a COVID-friendly online registration system allowing for a smoother and faster entry to work. We look forward to assisting you back into work.

For more information, visit www.acsrecruitment.co.uk.