How the pandemic has shifted in-demand skills—and which are on the rise

by | Jun 18, 2020 | Covid-19, Public Relations

As pharmaceutical manufacturers work to develop a coronavirus vaccine, the demand for clinical research associates and trial managers has risen by 46 percent—making it one of the few industries to increase hiring since the start of the pandemic, according to a COVID-19 impact analysis report from global talent mobility firm Randstad Sourceright.

The new report, How is key talent in the US impacted by COVID-19?, examines how various industries have been impacted, what key jobs and skills profiles have grown in demand during the crisis, and how the candidates who possess those skills are behaving in the current job market.

Key findings include a 38-percent spike in demand for assistant store managers, highlighting the increased pressure retailers face to keep essential goods stocked amid the pandemic, and the trend towards stores reopening their doors as governments lift social distancing restrictions.

Financial consultants and insurance underwriters have also seen a 50 percent increase in demand, and demand for software developers has remained steady despite the economic slowdown. Conversely, customer service representatives, engineers and automotive workers have all seen double-digit decreases in demand.

How the pandemic has shifted in-demand skills—and which are on the rise

“The economic slowdown brought about by the pandemic has forced companies to focus on what jobs and skills are truly essential and most valuable to their businesses,” said Sue Marcus, regional president at Randstad North America. “With this analysis, organizations can gain a detailed, data driven picture of the skills landscape during the pandemic. We’ve also taken a qualitative look at the mindsets and behaviors of candidates working in these job families to provide companies with a more complete talent picture and help them shape their recruitment strategies.”

The research analyzes data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, World Health Organization, job boards, career sites and social media postings to map the demand for customer service, engineering, finance, pharma R&D, sales and software development roles. Randstad Sourceright combined quantitative demand data and qualitative supply information to provide organizations with a clear outline of which skills to safeguard in the future. This data can also inform what additional recruitment efforts may be needed to manage competition.

How the pandemic has shifted in-demand skills—and which are on the rise

The report identifies the changes in demand for key jobs across six job families between January 2019 and April 2020.  It also highlights what specific skills have become most valuable during the pandemic, breaks down job demand in by state, and provides an assessment of risk and “remoteability,” which is the ability to move a specific job into a remote work arrangement.

The shift in demand for certain skills will inform how employers hire once they begin to reopen and could signal longer-term trends that recruiters must be aware of. Some sectors with increased demand will become candidate’s markets, which will make engagement and attraction plans critical. Other sectors may face less competition for talent, but have trouble recruiting for specific skills. With the right information, employers will be more prepared to recruit as things begin to return to normal.

Download the full report here.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter