Recruitment Zeitgeist – Silver Linings

Published by Millie Goadby on

Time for some silver linings. 

It’s easy, and I think justifiable, to be a little pessimistic these days. In fact, I am generally feeling like I have to be cautious about being optimistic because I don’t want to invalidate anybody’s suffering.

This probably isn’t an entirely healthy way to think though; you definitely have the right to be happy and should take the opportunity to find a bit of joy wherever you can, so long as you don’t actively dismiss or ignore the pain that many people are currently dismissing. Sometimes it feels surreal to me to be reading stories about companies that have managed to succeed through the pandemic – it seems such a stark contrast to the majority of the news I read. But the way I’m trying to look at it is this: those companies are run by people too and when they do well that at least means that those people have some good to cling to right now. Then, when I share these stories with recruiters, I’m helping someone else find the opportunity that might get them through a difficult period.

Not sure if you noticed but it’s been quite hot recently.

Climate change is the universal issue that impacts us all, no matter class or creed. Not everyone is paying attention to this and not everyone believes it to be true (which is fine – honestly I envy you that optimism) but it is true.

Sorry, it just is.

Covid-19 has reduced humanity’s ecological footprint by 9.3% compared to the same period last year. This has led to Earth Overshoot Day, the date every year when human consumption of natural resources exceeds what the Earth can generate in that year, being pushed back by three weeks from the 29th of July to the 22nd of August. This is the greatest single-year shift since overshoot began in the 1970’s, with the general trend seeing the day come earlier every year, hitting July for the first time in 2019.

At this rate though, we’re still consuming the equivalent of 1.6 Earths.

And we’ve only got the one. The people at Earth Overshoot want it to be clear that ‘true sustainability’ can only be achieved ‘by design, not disaster’. Mathis Wackernagel, leader of the Global Footprint Network, described our excessive consumption as a “Ponzi scheme”, claiming that “we’re using up the future to pay for the present.” He pointed out that “most countries have pretty strict laws about businesses running Ponzi schemes but somehow in the ecological domain we think it’s okay. We’ve only got one planet and that’s not going to change. We’ve got a very simple choice, one planet prosperity or one planet misery” 

Hopefully, we’ll be able to use this as a jumping off point to continue reducing our ecological footprint and view this as an opportunity to keep pushing that overshoot date back, rather than striving to return to “normal” and bring it forward again. Many finance companies have made pledges to reduce their footprint, cut their ties with non-renewable energy, and increase their ESG investment in recent years. It seems likely that this is a niche that’s going to continue to grow and certainly one ripe for recruiters to make a name for themselves in.

TT’s top story

While we’re on the topic, CoGo – previously known as Conscious Consumers – an ethical living app that promises to match your spending with your values, for people and planet, just raised £4m. No word on if your values are just a desire for wide-spread destruction.

Have you heard?

Your boss threatening to make you come back into the office when you know it’s not safe or necessary?

You could sue. Well, you could try but it might take you a little while. The employment tribunal services are currently ‘overwhelmed’ with a backlog of around 40,000 cases. Apparently, the coronavirus has led to a significant increase in the backlog, which was already rising by 1% a week. This is expected to rise even further when the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ends. They argue that this is due to a lack of funding for the courts and tribunal service in recent years, which has just now been brought to a head.

Lockdown has a lot of us reevaluating our career choices.

For anyone feeling unsatisfied with their role before, the monotony of work from home/do everything at home is extremely likely to have made that feeling much worse. So, it’s not just those who have lost their jobs who are going to be scouring the market for a new opportunity. In fact, over half of workers have spent time during lockdown looking for a new job – with 54 percent saying they are considering leaving their role as a result of current circumstances. There’s nothing like a deadly pandemic to put your life into perspective and over 80 percent of people have said they ‘want their work to have meaning, with almost two thirds of people (65 percent) currently on the lookout for a new position that gives them a greater sense of purpose’.

About a ⅓ of your life is spent at work on average. That’s around 90,000 hours. More than half of UK workers are unhappy in their job and ⅔ dread going back in after the weekend. We’re generally socialised to believe this is an acceptable and necessary part of life – one that can’t be changed. 90,000 hours is a long time to spend miserable.

So, maybe we are about to hit the next golden age for recruitment?  

App of the Week

Headway: Headway lets you read 15 minute summaries of non-fiction novels. They bring you the best books on business, love, and self-help. No matter how wonderful you are (and I’m sure you’re very wonderful) there’s always room for improvement. Go improve. Do it now.

Word of the Week



to strongly encourage or urge someone to do something

The recruiter exhorted their candidate to reconsider the offer. One might say ‘begged’ even, but exhorted is slightly more dignified.

Dog of the Week

This is Dash. Dash looks smart because his parents got married last weekend and because he is a gentleman. Dash is very pleased that his parents are no longer living in sin.

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