Assessing the impact of COVID-19 on the hiring landscape

Various industries have experienced seismic shifts in business demand during COVID-19. In particular, COVID-19 has drastically affected the hiring landscape. According to Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA)38% of global companies temporarily paused their talent acquisition. Similarly, a further 17% of companies decreased the number of planned hires in 2020. Hiring activity has continued to fluctuate, with data revealing that demand for permanent staff fell at a sharper pace than for temporary workers (see graph below)

As a result of additional uncertainty due to Brexit, rising COVID-19 cases and reduced budgets, there has been a marked preference towards hiring temporary workers. Following this, REC data indicates that UK demand for short-term staff has risen at the fastest pace in over two years for six months in a row.

Demand for permanent and temporary staff – Data from REC

Successfully navigating through uncertainty with temporary staffing

The use of temporary staff has increased sharply over recent years. Temporary workers now make up 5.2% of the professional workforce in the UK. This percentage represents a total of 1.45 million workers, with research by Coople revealing that 1 in 6 firms (15%) rely on flexible staff. Businesses use temporary staff to reshape and respond to a COVID-19 economy where customer behavior and demand varies drastically day by day. Throughout extended lockdowns and changing guidelines, temporary staffing provides a clear solution for overcoming hiring risk and last-minute operational gaps. A temporary workforce also affords flexibility to allow for ease of scaling. In an uncertain market where ramping up and down with demand is essential to protect budgets and maximise profits, responsive staffing is not only critical for recovery, but growth too.  

“Economic uncertainty is weighing on employers’ minds even where they see potential for their own firm to grow, so it’s no surprise that temporary work is leading the jobs recovery” – Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of REC

How businesses such as Deliveroo navigated COVID-19 with Coople’s flexible staff

On demand staffing platforms, such as Coople, match flexible, temporary workers with employers in need of skilled temporary staff. Throughout the pandemic, Coople has supported hiring companies such as Deliveroo in finding quality staff across the Retail & Logistics, Office and Cleaning sectors.     

  • Deliveroo, an online food delivery company, worked with Coople to overcome an unprecedented surge in demand as a result of COVID-19. Using Coople’s unique algorithm, Deliveroo were able to quickly find skilled kitchen porters and dispatchers to support their team within an hour of posting their jobs. Thanks to the flexibility of Coople’s platform, Deliveroo were also able to instantly scale down once measures were relaxed. Read here about how Deliveroo benefitted from flexible, crisis-proof staffing with Coople.  

  • Due to the COVID 19 crisis, one of the biggest supermarket discounters approached Coople to find the professional staff they needed to ensure the safety of their customers. Thanks to Coople, they were able to instantly tap into thousands of skilled workers via the platform, allowing them to recruit over 600 skilled workers in less than 48 hours. Read to find out how this leading supermarket chain hired skilled flexible staff to fulfill their urgent business needs. 

Ready to set your business on the right track for 2021 and beyond? Click to find out how you can lead your COVID-19 exit plan with Coople’s flexible staffing 

Coople Digital Staffing

Coople Overview





Case Studies

Workforce Management

Workforce Management

Avoid Over-/Understaffing


WFM for High Growth

WFM for Enterprise