Project & Change Recruitment Market Update – April 2020

Project & Change Recruitment Market Update – April 2020

The PMO (employment related to Change and Transformation projects) market would appear to have come to a halt for the most part currently. However, some sectors will remain afloat, such as Healthcare and Regulatory projects within Financial services, whereby certain regulations must be in place by a certain date. For example, IFRS17, we expect many insurance companies will be focused on implementation despite COVID-19. We also hope and anticipate our clients will adapt to this new remote working world and recommence some of the hiring and even some of their projects as we enter May/June.

At Lincoln, we currently partner with some of the leading Consultancies, supplying Project Managers for example, and even these stable businesses have pressed pause on recruitment for the moment. In the case of high-profile projects within Ireland that would have required experience with System/ERP Migrations or IT Infrastructure, we’re finding that these projects are on hold until COVID-19 has been dealt with. Whilst uncertainty in the economy and financial markets is a major causal factor, another issue is the absence of certain skill sets, and not having those persons on site, and in offices on client sites. Working from home may suit a large portion of businesses right now, but in some cases, our clients will just need boots on the ground.

From a skill set perspective, COVID-19 has reduced our ability to access the UK market. In general, we often look to the London market for Financial and Technical expertise, that can be difficult to source in Ireland. For example, with the likes of the NHS, we would source healthcare-specific IT consultants for several of our clients, in both the private and public sectors. As mentioned earlier (above), we see that both the Healthcare and Financial Services (Regulatory projects) are still in need of assistance, and in most cases we expect our clients to adapt and offer candidates daily rate contracts or fixed-term contracts (instead of permanency), due to the uncertainty in the market. Given the drop in demand in terms of hiring and the sudden surge in supply regarding contracting staff, we expect daily rates and even in some cases wage demands to drop. What was up until recently a tight labour market, has now become a loose labour market. In other words, the market now favours the client.

In general, we anticipate that once this devastating pandemic has been dealt with, our clients will reboot swiftly and recommence where they left off. We’ve spent the last few days/weeks speaking with Heads of Departments and Human Resources teams. From their perspective, projects are just on hold, not cancelled. Also, we expect some sectors to rebound better than others, including Consultancy, Financial services, anything related to Insolvency and Restructuring. We expect many businesses will need consultancy in adjusting as we move forward. Besides, MedTech is obviously experiencing an increase in demand and the same with Pharmaceutical and Telecommunications sectors.

However, some sectors we anticipate will find it hard to reboot, the Airline sector, of course, Manufacturing in some cases, and many start-ups that had banked on outside investment. We expect that these sectors will find it hard to source the necessary investment capital. In short, any project that was underway, in vulnerable sectors, will naturally be on ice until sustainable cash flows return to the business.

Lastly, as mentioned already, Healthcare is the one sector that is already under pressure to source key skilled workers. COVID-19 has exasperated that need. Recruitment of Healthcare professionals is only going to get busier as we move further into 2020 and 2021. The devastating COVID-19 crisis aside, both publicly and privately, the sector is embracing new technologies such as digital health records and migrating hospitals systems from paper-based records to the cloud.


Lincoln Recruitment is a specialist recruitment consultancy offering recruitment services to SME and Multi-National consulting firms all across Ireland. Please feel free to contact Darren at to discuss your, or your organisation’s recruitment needs in this space.

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