Almost 80 percent of job applicant in Belgium think the recent Covid crisis will have an impact on their career in the next 2 years.

This is the conclusion of recent survey of Michael Page among their job applicant. Most of applicants (63 %) said that because of the crisis they will most likely accept different employment conditions in their new job, then they would before the Covid outbreak. One of the reasons might be that applicants expect they can´t have the same demands when they apply for a new job as before, because there are less opportunities one the job market.

Personal priorities will become more important

But the Covid crisis also gave many employees time to think about their work life balance. That´s why 57 percent of employees say they will focus more on their personal priorities in their next job.

Michael Page surveyed all job applicants through our website over this period, from June 5th to July 15th, to try and understand the support they got from their company, their feelings about the return to work, what they did with their time and other aspects of lockdown. 

One third of employees felt there was a lack of communication

The crisis and the changes that came with it had a big impact on some of the employees. More than 33 percent said they were dissatisfied with how leadership communicated change, and 38 said they were satisfied.  

However, when it came to facilitating working from home, [76 %], a clear majority, were satisfied with how they were assisted. 

What about the communication about the future after the lockdown? Here it also showed the uncertainty that people, including the leadership, must have felt.  More than 33% felt there was a lack of vision, were 43% was satisfied with the communication about the future.

Overall the overwhelming response by our job applicants was that their employers did support them well throughout the crisis – (60,5 %) agreed that they were looked after. 

People are happy to return to the office

We asked the job applicants on the Michael Page website how they felt about certain aspects of the return to work, and overall, people are excited about it. 

In general, most people (49%) are looking forward to the return to their workplace, with 19 percent feeling more neutral about the prospect of returning. Most people (30%) say they are not nervous about commuting to work, although little less than 15 percent say they are not looking forward to it.

And most applicants are very existed to socialize with colleagues again (52%) and have lunch with colleagues again (28,6 %) highlighting the positive social aspect of workplaces, highlighting that working from home full time is not for the entire workforce. 

Employees used the lockdown to develop skills

During the early stages of COVID-19 crisis many employees were placed on a type of furlough, or job freeze scheme. This meant people had time they would have normally been at work free, and those still working often had hours reduced, or flexible start and finish times. 

As part of our job applicant survey, we asked all respondents if they thought about their careers, and if they tried to improve their skills. In Belgium, (37%) took part in webinars, and (37%) took a training course to boost existing skills. Some (29,6%] also took courses to develop new skills. 

Most applicants (69.4%) took time to refresh their CV and a further [64.8%] thought about career plans, with (39,8%) also trying to find a better work / life balance. These numbers highlight that the current marketplace for jobs is full of engaged applicants with new or improved skills, ready to take on the challenges of the current situation. 

If you’d like help finding top talent, please reach out to our expert consultants today. You can also submit a job description here.