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IoD: Pandemic will lead to long-term shifts in recruitment and workplace practices

25 May 2021

In a recent survey of nearly 600 business leaders that have had to adopt new practices during the pandemic, many are looking to make longer-term changes to how they operate.

59% indicated that they plan to use virtual interviews for hiring beyond the pandemic. Around 1 in 3 intended to cut back on office space, while roughly 1 in 4 planned to hire more staff under flexible contracts, and 1 in 5 would make more use of co-working spaces and hotdesking. Reflecting reports of increased remote working over the long-term, around 80% of business leaders said they would use working from home arrangements more in the future.  

Joe Fitzsimons, Senior Policy Advisor commented: 

“Business leaders have had to adapt quickly during the pandemic. Recruitment and workplace behaviour have had to change to adjust to restrictions and uncertainty. Many organisations are now looking to see which pandemic practices may be advantageous for them to keep well into the future. 

“While there are many benefits to virtual interviews in levelling the playing field for applicants and increasing diversity and inclusion, these practices also place greater demands on the broader skillset of Directors. Recruiting and onboarding employees at a distance, particularly for less experienced individuals at the early stages of their career, can prove challenging. 

“Organisations will need access to individuals with technical know-how, leadership and management skills and an ability to quickly adapt to changing workplace norms over the coming months.” 

Full Survey Results – 583 respondents, conducted between 11th - 29th of March 

The following recruitment and workplace trends have became more common during the pandemic; which do you plan to use more over the long-term, relative to before the pandemic?  

Virtual interviews


Remote working options


Hiring under more flexible contracts (e.g.part time)


Use of co-working space




Reduced office space


Re-purposed workspace space (e.g. open plan, social spaces)


Other (please specify)


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