New research reveals how inequalities in the workplace have been brought to the forefront through the patterns of hiring during the pandemic.

Research from LinkedIn, the professional networking service, reveals that certain demographics have been hired at a slower rate during COVID-19.

In particular, during the pandemic, women over the age of 30 and candidates without a university degree have been less likely to find a new job.

The data shows that the hiring rate for women that are aged 30 and over fell to its lowest point in May of this year, reaching lows of 37 per cent. This occurred at a time when men over 30s’s hiring rates were peaking at around 63 per cent. However, the hiring rate for women over 30 improved by September when schools began to open up again, hitting 43 per cent.

Predictably, this slower rate of hiring was also influenced by the industries badly affected by COVID-19 which employ a high proportion of women. In October 2020, the Recreation and Travel industry reported a decrease in hiring of 43 per cent year-on-year whilst Retail also saw a drop of around a fifth (20 per cent) in hiring rates.

However, another demographic which was badly hit by COVID-19 was candidates without a university degree. During April and May of this year, the share of hiring fell to lows of 49 and 39.9 respectively. This compares to figures at the start of the year where the share of hiring for candidates who did not have a university degree stood at 129.6, suggesting COVID-19 has taken a large toll on this group.

Although the hiring rate has since improved for those without a degree, peaking at 142.3 per cent during September, the research suggests that this may not be enough to offset the rate of redundancies. In the three months to September, ONS data reveals that redundancies had reached 314,000 in the UK which was a 181,000 rise from the previous quarter.

Janine Chamberlin, Senior Director at LinkedIn, said:

COVID-19 is exacerbating existing inequalities in the workplace and threatens to send us backwards. If employers act now, they will have access to a breadth of diverse talent which can bring fresh thinking to their businesses, while also ensuring a fair recovery.

Giving people the opportunity to develop new skills or retrain entirely, regardless of their background, and offering women and working parents the flexibility they need to manage their work and family commitments, is crucial to building diverse workforces where everyone has opportunity and can thrive.





Monica Sharma is an English Literature graduate from the University of Warwick. As Editor for HRreview, her particular interests in HR include issues concerning diversity, employment law and wellbeing in the workplace. Alongside this, she has written for student publications in both England and Canada. Monica has also presented her academic work concerning the relationship between legal systems, sexual harassment and racism at a university conference at the University of Western Ontario, Canada.