COVID-19: 'Smart' employers will capitalise from the aftermath

EXCLUSIVE: Marcus Taylor, founder of recruitment firm FifthEdge, says, despite panic, the construction industry will keep moving

'Smart' employers will capitalise from the aftermath
'Smart' employers will capitalise from the aftermath

With the COVID-19 outbreak impacting sectors globally, the recruitment industry has taken a major hit as well, leading to much discussion about companies implementing hiring freezes in response to the phenomenon. 

Speaking to Construction Week, founder of construction and engineering recruitment firm FifthEdge, Marcus Taylor, said: "Employers need to put a plan in place to control the current situation and have a 'plan B' in reserve. The smart ones will take this opportunity to ensure they capitalise from the aftermath.

"While some companies learnt from the aftermath of 2008, those who are unwilling to do things different, will go through the same costly actions they did before, until they find out that the database of candidates they have built up is out of date and worthless."

FifthEdge, which was launched in February 2020, matches companies to candidates, and allows companies to select candidates from a live talent pool, using an artificial intelligence-driven recruitment platform.

"COVID-19 isn’t exactly what we had in mind when we designed the platform, but if there was ever a scenario where FithEdge could have the biggest impact for employers and candidates, this is it.

"While we are seeing and witnessing an understandable slow down on active recruitment across the whole sector as companies freeze hires and are taking time to consolidate, this is an ideal time for organisations to be proud of what they have overcome with a ‘hopefully’ once in a lifetime scenario," Taylor said, emphasising that employers must understand how to capitalise on the situation, without burdening oneself with vast amounts of work "when the employer is not in a position to actually recruit, yet."

Basing its recruitment mantra on timeliness, FifthEdge is focusing its energies on ensuring that candidates are engaged with companies, to avoid a demand lag at a later point. 

While there is a lot of fear and panic currently surrounding the construction industry, "companies — supported by the government’s initiatives — will keep the region's industry moving.

"Some of the projects may be shelved, but there will still be substantial portfolios that need to be delivered, including Saudi Arabia’s ambitious mega and gigaprojects. Even if only half of these projects were to proceed, that would still be a massive requirement for qualified, experienced construction professionals," Taylor concluded.

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