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Job hunting in a pandemic

Kate Allen, Executive Chair and Marketing Director, Allen Associates

Covid-19 has shaken and divided our economy, with some industry sectors decimated by three national lockdowns in short succession while others have flourished and experienced unprecedented growth. The pandemic, together with Brexit and numerous other challenges, has understandably had a direct impact on jobs. In 2020 there were far fewer vacancies being advertised and significantly more people unemployed than in previous years… but as we progress into 2021, there are signs that this is changing!

The good news is that things are definitely looking up for job-seekers in Oxfordshire and London. The success of the UK-wide vaccination programme and the gradual relaxation of restrictions, has generated a real air of optimism and a renewed sense of confidence among employers. This is reflected in the steady increase in the number of vacancies that we are being asked to fill, particularly in Oxford and Oxfordshire's market towns, including Abingdon, Banbury,  Bicester, Wallingford, Wantage and Whitney.  There are encouraging signs that the market in central and greater London is picking up too.

Supporting you in changing times

While the fluctuating jobs market is not something that you can control, there are other changes brought about by Covid-19 that you may need to adapt to. The world of work has evolved at a speed most of us couldn't have imagined – with home working, flexible working patterns and video meetings just three of the many measures now considered to be 'normal'. While a return to the workplace is increasingly likely for some, there are strong suggestions that working environments of the future will offer a combination of pre and post Covid practices – and workers will have to adjust.

All of this has a direct impact on recruitment. Roles have had to morph. Behaviours have had to change. Employers are looking for different skills and capabilities. Candidates are having to become more flexible, more adaptable and more resilient. They are also having to demonstrate skills that were previously seen as less important, such as the ability to work autonomously, be self-motivated, manage remotely,  think innovatively and creatively, take on more responsibilities, and become more technologically savvy.

We are here to help! Established in 1998, Allen Associates has developed an excellent reputation for getting to know its Candidates and successfully matching their skills and aspirations with great roles and the best employers in Oxfordshire, and more recently, in London. One of our key points of difference as a recruitment agency is that we interview every single Candidate that we register, regardless of whether they are looking for a Permanent or a Temporary role. This pays real dividends in that we get to know you, your motivations, career aspirations and strengths so that we can find the right opportunities for you.

Your designated recruitment consultant will talk to you about the current jobs market. They will  advise you of any changes that may be needed to your CV and will make sure that you have been fully briefed ahead of any interview. There are lots of useful tutorials available online and our News and Advice Centre is full of 'how to' guides and blogs that we hope you will find useful. We are always at the end of the phone or email if you want to chat things through.

About the Author

Kate Allen is the founder and Managing Director of Oxfordshire and London-based recruitment agency Allen Associates and can be contacted at