The global economy is in considerable turmoil. Uncertainty is now the prevailing condition in the business world, and this will undoubtedly affect recruitment and jobs.
In fact, the downward trend in recruitment (all sectors) is already clearly evident and cross-sector job losses will be considerable.
Whilst much of the payments sector has characteristics that make it comparatively resilient to this crisis, no business will be immune in the difficult times that lie ahead. Major disruption will be caused to critical projects; travel-related businesses will be severely affected; and consequences will be felt in markets worldwide.
Additionally, many in the sector will be called upon to deliver critical digital infrastructure and support massive payments challenges that this crisis will throw down. This will create significant additional strain on businesses and individuals.
Payments jobs will, in many situations, be in jeopardy. And sadly, despite all best efforts, many of these losses will be unavoidable.
And yet, it is the talented people who work in our sector that will be needed most if we are to find a way out of this crisis. People are the critical component of every business. It is absolutely critical that we work tirelessly to protect every job that we can.
In fact, if we are to grow out of these terrible events, the retention and – yes – even acquisition of new staff will be vital.
It has been truly heartening, then, to witness already the signs of continued confidence and commitment to our talented workforces in this difficult time. Headcount’s consultants are in continuous consultation with employers and have heard positive signs already in the past few days.
Positive potential does exist for the payments sector, with areas like crowdfunding, payment gateways and contactless technologies well placed to sustain or increase business in the coming months. In these areas, demand for skilled talent will remain high.
Many employers who recently were taking tentative steps towards embracing remote working, have now begun accelerating work-from-home plans by necessity. In some cases, the conditions we find ourselves in will even open new opportunities to hire talented candidates whose location was previously a barrier.
We have, even since the crisis has escalated, taken numerous new briefings from employers hiring staff for positions in tech, marketing, sales and other roles. There is so much that can be done, even in the face of adverse conditions.
Wherever possible, individuals’ skills should be put to the best possible use to ensure continuity. This may require new ways of working, new modes of employment and never-before-seen approaches to staff management.
The payments sector, we know, has the creativity, skill and determination to find a path through – one that retains as much of its talented workforce as possible and ensures strength for the future.
Of course, for many in the sector, there will absolutely be difficult times ahead. Such an enormous shock to society and the economy will certainly create impossible decisions for many companies. Job losses are never desirable but may become inevitable.
As a consultancy who truly cares about the prosperity of our industry and its professional community, Headcount is committed to doing all we can to assist both businesses and individuals at this hugely challenging time.
We will be inviting professionals newly seeking employment to register with us here at head-count.com and will advocate strongly where we feel valuable skills can be put to good use.
Video interviews are already a widely-used format, and we will be supporting businesses to ensure that these can be utilised to conduct meaningful and effective recruitment processes. (We are putting together a full guide on this, which will be published soon.)
Confidence and optimism will be key for getting through this, both as individuals, as businesses and as an industry. We truly hope that by coming together and supporting our talented professional community, we will emerge from the crisis still strong.
Further information and advice for those with concerns about employment can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/support-for-those-affected-by-covid-19/support-for-those-affected-by-covid-19 (UK),https://www.nytimes.com/article/coronavirus-money-unemployment.html (USA) and via government resources worldwide.