Coronavirus Crisis And Its Impacts On Recruitment & Employment In Czech Republic

The Czech Ministry of Labor expects a possible 5% rise in unemployment due to the coronavirus outbreak. The southern European economies had been struggling with high unemployment long before the coronavirus emergency. So how is the recruiting process working now? Will coronavirus lead to even more people moving around Europe for work than ever before? Title image: Stock picture / Freepik.

Czech Rep., Apr 3 (JS) – “Recruitment is currently partially subdued, but if it is still going on, it is mainly online, as is the case at our company,” said Jana Kohoutová of CzechInvest. 

Recruitment From Abroad On Hold

Angelo Casadei of Jobspin said: “Now that our clients, typically large international companies, have managed to transfer their operations online and move their employees to work from home, they are starting to think about what will happen next, when the quarantine is over. Many are waiting for the measures to loosen, especially for the borders to open, before fully restarting their international recruitment procedures.”

Many companies are looking for ways to tap into Czech and locally-resident expat talent pools, and are continuing to advertise new vacancies. Many recruiters retain the CVs of prospective candidates for future job openings. Jana Kohoutová of CzechInvest gave a nice example of a creative way of finding jobs for foreign employees in the Czech Republic, via their “aftercare service” program. “We succeeded in arranging the successful transfer of approximately 100 foreign staff from a company in North Bohemia operating in the automotive industry (interior design – sewing) to the sewing machines of a smaller textile company that is now sewing face masks.

For international recruiting, companies are fully resorting to virtual tools these days, advertising and interviewing candidates online, and are waiting to take on their new employees in the next few months. 

“Home office” is no longer a perk of the job. Many international corporations have implemented crisis plans allowing large numbers of their employees to work from home. On the other hand, for many businesses working remotely is not an option due to the nature of their operation, typically companies in manufacturing or production.

Casadei said that many companies are critically dependent on foreign employees and are not expecting this to change because of the coronavirus outbreak. “On the other hand, it is possible that once the crisis and short-term decrease in employment here is over, the international demand for jobs in the Czech Republic will even increase. Imagine the possible influx of employees from those southern European and other economies which have had problems and high unemployment rates even before the coronavirus outbreak,” he added.

Long-term Unemployment To Rise

Mass layoffs are not currently expected, as most companies believe they will resume operations within two months,” said Jiří Halbrštát of ManpowerGroup in March. Dismissal is a very expensive process for employers, because of severance pay and notice periods.

Despite all the economic measures announced, however, the long-term economic prognosis is of an overall decrease in performance in both the global and local economies, possibly accompanied by a worldwide increase in unemployment. The Ministry of Labor anticipates a possible 5% increase in unemployment this year due to the outbreak, according to its latest report for employers on the emergency measures. As an average of estimates given to Bloomberg by various analysts, unemployment in the Czech Republic rose by 0.6% between February and March, according to economist Lukáš Kovanda, who added that this is only the beginning.

Before the economic slowdown, unemployment stood at 2% in the Czech Republic, 3% in Germany, 4% in the UK (2019), 4% in Romania, 8% in France, 10% in Italy, 14% in Spain, and 16% in Greece, according to February 2020 figures from Eurostat:

Prepared by Katerina Kukrechtova