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Covid-19 effects on the job market from a recruiter perspective

As recruiting specialists focusing on the food industry, we have experienced some tendencies on the labor market in the industry that we are convinced are caused by the situation with Covid-19.

People need food and as somewhat expected the food industry seems to be doing comparatively well. No doubt hotels, restaurants, and catering are heavily negatively affected with just a fragile hope now that society slowly reopens. However the majority of producing companies are benefitting from having more sales channels (often both food service and retail), and as retailers are busy servicing a market with increasing home consumption, big parts of the producing food industry are doing well.

At the beginning of 2020 – when Covid-19 was still breaking news -, the effects on recruitment activity were significant. Companies delayed recruitments and waited to fill organizational gaps. However, this approach did not seem to be a possibility in the long run and companies started recruiting again. Recruiting for a well-defined and apparent need was back, as especially specialist positions needed to be filled to keep the wheels spinning.


Covid-19 has had some behavioral effects on the job market.


On the candidate side, the situation also reflects the tendency that a big part of the industry continues to have orders in the books in the short term. There might be some uncertainty about the future of the current employer but the uncertainty about the future of other companies is there as well. It seems that the grass does not look greener on the other side to the extent that it may have in the past. Candidates are less willing to exchange their current job with a new and likely more uncertain job in another company. “A Bird in the Hand is Worth Two in the Bush” seems to describe how many candidates think at the moment. Our experience is backed up by a survey conducted by AS3 showing that fewer people are planning to change their job compared to earlier years (AS3 Job Survey 2021).

Overall we tend to conclude that Covid-19 has had some behavioral effects on the job market making both employers and candidates more aware of current needs and less willing to invest in future opportunities. This effect seems to be mainly related to the uncertainty about the future rather than to the current effects of Covid-19. Now that vaccination is progressing there might be room for more optimism, and a ketchup effect on job shifts might be coming. Numbers from the Danish Jobindex (a strong indicator for the number of job vacancies in Denmark) indicate a shift here in April 2021, where the number of jobs is on the highest level since the Financial Crisis (Dansk Jobindex).

At Foodjob Nordic we have been feeling the impacts of Covid-19 on our customers. However we have been having a relatively high activity through the later part of 2020 and here in 2021, we are quite busy recruiting for customers – both in the industry and in food service. We hope that this trend will continue through 2021 and we are ready for a potential ketchup effect on the job market.