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Mar 22,2021

Covid-19: One Year On

Reflecting on how we navigated through one of the worst crises the recruitment industry has faced.

The Covid-19 pandemic has been repeatedly referred to as undoubtably one of the harshest adversities the recruitment industry has faced in living memory. The lowest drop in permanent placements and temporary billings was experienced in April 2020. This was subsequent to two-thirds of recruitment firms stating that in the third week of March 2020, permanent hiring within their sector was completely on hold. In addition to this, during 2020 over 80% of recruitment firms felt they needed to consider redundancies of their own staff due to continued uncertainty within the wider jobs market.

One year on, on the 18th March 2021, the ONS reported that online job adverts were at their “highest weekly level since March 2020” (, 2021). The UK jobs market is finally beginning to pick up again in anticipation of a resurgence in the economy as restrictions begin to ease with the mass-vaccine roll out. With this in mind, we’re reflecting on the past year at Kevin Edward Executive Search and celebrating pulling through the hardest year we’ve faced.

Below is an account of reflections from some our team looking back on the past year:

Jessica Barnes, Business Manager, Kevin Edward Executive Search:

“Guiding clients through the process of online interviewing and onboarding has been a real success. I’ve managed to place three people into an organisation within the sales and marketing team and one year on they’ve still only met virtually and are working together successfully.

As a team, we’ve adapted to support each other which has really brought out everyone’s strengths in working well as a team and collaborating to think outside of the box for solutions. We’ve worked hard and I’ve managed to score my biggest fee in the US, determined to avoid letting Covid-19 get in the way of our success.”

Dominic Gorsden, Recruitment Consultant, Kevin Edward Executive Search:

“Keeping in touch with both clients and candidates to maintain relationships long-term throughout the year has been essential. This has been beneficial towards the end of 2020 as clients reached back out to me when they reopened roles, or recruitment in general. Keeping up the communication was everything!”.

Marc Rayner, Operations and Finance Director, Kevin Edward Group:

“The past 12 months have been the most turbulent I’ve ever experienced. We went from a busy, thriving recruitment business with candidates about to begin jobs and therefore invoices going out, to pretty much all those offers being pulled, all recruitment put on hold, and the majority of staff furloughed overnight!

My role the past year has been the busiest in my career in working to keep the business going and ensuring no one was made redundant. I was used to working from home one to two days a week anyway, but with a wife and child at home I had some adjusting to do. I found that having a routine kept me focused; maintaining my start/finish times, taking a walk at lunch time, regular phone/Microsoft Teams calls with colleagues, and creating daily to-do lists. I have continued with the latter to keep myself organised moving forwards!

I ensured that we got the funding we were entitled to which contributed to us not having to make a single person across the group redundant. I was also able to fill 3 roles during the November lockdown, one of which was a candidate who should have started back when Covid-19 first hit; we managed to keep the space ‘live’ for over 6 months.

Despite the difficulties with Covid-19, our two main businesses should actually turnover slightly more than in the previous year! In addition, the creation of multiple new businesses (all of which are doing very well) is really something to be proud of.”

Johnathan Chapman, Data Analyst, Kevin Edward Executive Search:

“I found myself being made redundant from my previous firm as Covid-19 hit, with a wife roughly two months pregnant! I ate my savings for about six months while job hunting and secured my position with the Kevin Edward Group in July 2020. Since then, I have been much happier and the atmosphere in the team has really kept me going. Kevin Edward have given me a lot of flexibility in my work while dealing with a new child which myself and my wife have really appreciated. And to top it off, I have had lots of new spreadsheets and data to play with *thumbs up*”.

We are immensely proud of our team for their dedication to success and positive attitude during the past year. As we begin to see a path out of lockdown we endeavour to make 2021 a year to remember, with plans to grow the team internally and contribute towards economic recovery as recruitment grows once again.

References: 2021. Coronavirus (COVID-19) roundup - Office for National Statistics. [online]  Available at: : healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/articles/coronaviruscovid19roundup/2020-03-26#economy> [Accessed 19 March 2021].

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