COVID has actually been a challenging time for a lot of companies and also below at Checkback, we’re no exception.
Along with coping with the closing of our workplace and adjusting to remote working we have likewise had some significant changes in recruitment and vetting activity with our many clients.
In this article, we wanted to offer you a little update on the last few chaotic months and also explore some of the themes that we have been seeing in the vetting industry.
Some clients vanished totally. It won’t come as any shock to a lot of you that a good deal of our normal employee check clients have shut down completely.
Usually, they are in the sectors that dealt with face to face activities such as security guards or door men. Our travel-related customers, in particular, were terribly impacted.
A report by the Accessibility Group shows that airline ticket sales were down 95% throughout the lockdown which is no shock when we think about all the photos of aircraft parked up at airports. This implied that employment (and certainly the background checks that go with that) for things like Airside Passes are especially affected. A few of our safety and security customers were badly impacted as well by the cancellation of events.
When we started to see the downturn in orders hitting our workbenches it is reasonable to say that we were more than a bit worried!
The primary shock was short-lived.
One of the things that stunned us in the vetting industry was that often a total shutdown was just short-term. Actually, what we saw was that when a few of our customers had got over the preliminary shock of lockdown they began to hire once more.
Gradually some of our regular clients began to open up as well.
One of the best unexpected elements of lockdown was that much of our ultra-professional human resources contacts unexpectedly became mums and also fathers in our eyes as we got to know them on a new level via zoom talks while they were at home.
Basically, April was a substantial shock but in May things started to improve.
Working at full capacity
As May wore on among things that we saw was a return of annual vetting clients such as the education sector. As institutions, schools started to hire and prepare for the new academic year it ended up being clear that they required to have staff in place in spite of the unpredictability.
It was really encouraging when we discovered that many of our customers were purchasing a bit much more this year and we believe that some were over-staffing. This we understood was based on the possibility that schools would need extra staff due to COVID illness.
In particular we where delighted to see a surge in need for bpss security clearance services.
As you would appreciate, across Europe there was an urgent requirement for far more medical personnel. This meant that a large number of individuals needed to be vetted really promptly, indeed, and this trend is still going on now.
By the end of May, we were pleased to see that our workbenches in the UK, Ireland, and Spain were all operating at full capacity.
We’ve also seen lots of brand-new customers come on board. Some appear to have come from competitors of ours who themselves have gone out of business.
Brexit hasn’t vanished
All of the talks in June and July was around COVID. Our workbenches continued to be full and also our staff did an exceptional job of keeping on top of this. Once firms got on top of COVID issues their attention returned to Brexit.
We have actually seen an uptick in work with both sides of the Irish sea and from business in Europe for Brexit related issues. Some of the work is with firms that are transferring operating desks from the UK to Ireland or Germany.
We know that we’re not out of the woods yet, and are expecting a few more bumps in the road but with the help of our suppliers and loyal customers we have actually had the ability to come out of COVID pandemic in good shape.