The labor market in the Czech Republic and other countries has changed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As elsewhere, mistakes can be good if we learn from them!
Labor market before Covid-19 pandemic
The unemployment rate in the Czech Republic reached in a long-term 2%. The labor market was oversaturated and finding suitable employees became increasingly difficult for companies. All sectors were affected – including production, services, transport or trade. Wages rose up to extreme heights, often unbearable for companies, so the candidates chose their employers rather than employers their employees. And companies raced in benefits to be attractive for candidates.
The unemployment rate in April 2021 is 4.1%. The loss of the security, emphasis on new skills, the need of modern technologies and new challenges – these are the strongest impacts of covid-19 on the Czech labor market. Some people now choose stability and pragmatically stick with their current job rather than “going for the better”. The oversaturated labor market, with candidates dictating conditions in many sectors, is now a thing of the past.
According to a survey lead by the AMI communications agency, 60% of employees in the Czech Republic have concerns related to the coronavirus crisis. This situation affected the work of every second employee (56%), in some cases the workload or work conditions. Other employees encountered greater or lesser work and income restrictions. One-fifth are afraid of a fall of revenues, and one in ten is afraid of losing their jobs or lack of resources designated for salaries. Due to the coronavirus, a quarter of respondents switched to a partial or complete home office, and one in six employees cannot work at all. However, those not yet affected by the crisis fear the future too.
The pandemic will affect the field of HR for a long time to come. It led us to improvisation, ingenuity and the willingness to accept the changes we have been preparing for a long time.
What are the challenges for the labor market?
- The skills of the future are moving to the forefront, including the ability of quick adaptation, learning new things, critical thinking and mastering technology.
- While working from home was a welcome benefit before the pandemic, it has now become a necessity. The challenge is the ability to work effectively remotely or the ability to lead a team in a distance mode.
- Protective equipment and employee testing are the additional expenses awaiting companies in the coming period. The health of employees will become a priority.
- The salary level is no longer dictated by employees but is again decided by employers.
- Many people who considered “going for the better” before the pandemic pragmatically decided to stick with their current employer. An important factor in recruitment will be an even more suitable motivation for the candidate, consisting more in job stability rather than salary level or enumeration of benefits.
- Recruitment for highly qualified and key positions has not changed. However, companies are suspending recruitment for certain back-office positions.
- Recruitment will be more digitized.
Article written by Jitka Jarosova, CFR Global Executive Search Czech Republic
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