You should never let a crisis go to waste, and Covid is no different say Jonathan Golden and Wyn Lewis
The economic fallout from the coronavirus has hit UK businesses and people hard. But it is also an opportunity to review and evolve. Here at Gunnercooke we have noticed that three business areas are particularly buoyant: insurance turnarounds, big-brand retail looking to move online and tech. These exemplify a larger trend for the need (and willingness) to adapt, and a flight to quality.
The insurance sector is experiencing a hardened market after 10 years of falling prices, leaving some firms struggling to find reinsurance, meaning they need to remodel to adapt. That means hiring new people with different skills. Big brands face the realisation that online retail has become the primary form of consumption, leaving them with no choice but to turbo-charge their move online and get an international foothold. To do this, they must hire new talent in order to future-proof their businesses.
Tech and tech training companies are using WFH (working from home) and WFA (working from anywhere) as an opportunity to source tech-savvy individuals and unleash a tsunami of innovative products capable of turning members of the workforce into tech-ready individuals equipped to thrive in our post-Covid world.
For the right candidates, the market is full of opportunities. There is a clear trend of individuals using their generic and specialist skills to move between different business sectors. But why now? And what does any of this have to do with employment lawyers?
As companies look for something new, they are cherrypicking talent from non-competing sectors. In one sense this eases transitions because post-termination restrictions don’t have the same bite. But as companies look beyond their own industries to find the skills that will give them the post-Covid boost, they will also have to persuade candidates to step into the unknown.
To do that, employers must demonstrate what value they can add and that they are able to provide a sufficiently attractive package.
The real work for employment lawyers is creating a set of principles and actionable objectives which show candidates how they fit into the strategy. Ultimately, this is the value-add of the business-savvy employment lawyer: coaching our clients on either side of the table. A well-thought-out structure also creates gaps to be filled by new talent with fresh perspectives – this is why a reorganisation can always be a force for good.
But, at this stage in the crisis, it is no longer optional to have the right talent and advisers around: it is essential.