According to an expert on supporting employees through redundancy, HR needs to be aware that employee concerns about finding a new role have shifted significantly because of COVID-19.

Chris Parker, managing director of Renovo, leading outplacement support for employers and employees, said: “Lockdown 3.0 is worsening the employment landscape and is driving new concerns for employees faced with redundancy. It’s creating enormous uncertainty and stress for employees, particularly when there is so much urgency to regain security.

“HR leaders need to be aware of these changing concerns when supporting their staff through restructures or considering how best to support departing employees. Indeed, HR will be feeling immense strain, wanting to support their colleagues and manage business needs, all while the situation and priorities shift.”

The 5 major concerns employment coaches hear from employees every day:

  1. “With unemployment rising and tough competition for jobs, I’m never going to find anything.” 

The typical anxieties and worries about finding new opportunities post-redundancy have been exacerbated significantly during the pandemic. With the employment market continuing to deteriorate as we enter 2021, employees may need to prepare for it to take longer than before to find a new role. However, they also need assurance that with the right support and approach, there will be opportunities for them. Understanding how to find those opportunities is key.

  1. “My industry has been badly impacted and I need to change career direction, but I don’t know where to start.” 

The hugely damaging impact of Covid-19 on many industries has meant that many more people are finding themselves having to consider moving sector or chart a completely new direction for their career. This is a very daunting prospect for employees moving through a redundancy process in the industries most badly affected by the pandemic. They may need the HR team to signpost them to specialist support to help navigate that journey.

  1. “I don’t have the skills and knowledge to search for new roles effectively in this kind of market.” 

Rising unemployment through 2020 and an increasingly challenging recruitment market has meant that some of the more established channels for finding new roles, such as online job boards or recruiters, are not providing the volume and quality of opportunities that jobseekers need. Increasingly, employees post redundancy need to become adept at driving their own research to identify opportunities directly, utilising important professional networking tools such as LinkedIn and navigating the ‘hidden job market’ in order to be successful. Yet many employees lack the confidence and knowledge to use these channels effectively.

  1. “I’m struggling to cope with virtual recruitment processes and video interviewing.” 

The recruitment market is constantly evolving but enforced remote working for large portions of the working population has meant that employer recruitment processes had to adapt rapidly during the pandemic – changing the nature of recruitment processes for the foreseeable future. Not only do prospective candidates need to understand the nuances and complexities of tailoring CVs and applications for Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), but to build expertise in video interviewing or virtual assessment centres, all of which can be very intimidating without the right support in place.

  1. “I can’t see how I can settle into a new role while working remotely.”

The impact of lockdown and the continuation of remote working practices for many have meant that concerns and challenges do not simply end once a new role has been secured. Beyond the challenges of the recruitment market itself, jobseekers are becoming increasingly worried about how they will make an impact and settle into their new role while working in a remote setting. Making a good impression during induction, developing peer and manager relationships effectively and getting ‘connected’ to their new employer are all things that now need a fresh approach in the light of the global pandemic.


Renovo is the UK’s leading outplacement services specialist.