How Covid-19 is affecting projects and supply.

28th August 2020

Peter Cordner, Senior Manager for Business Systems and Change gives us his take on the roller-coaster ride that has been the last 6 months.


So Peter…. How have things been for you since March?


 Interesting to say the least! As many people know I have been recruiting in the IT & Business Change arena for the last 19 years and have battled through some extremely tough times, most notably the financial crisis back in 2008. Seeing countless ups and downs over the past two decades has given me a degree of optimism throughout this whole ordeal, which I don’t think I would have if I hadn’t seen things come back from the brink numerous times.


 As with any difficult situation if you approach it with a high degree of positivity and ingenuity, the likelihood is that everything will be ok and COVID-19 is no different… it has given me an opportunity to evaluate my working practice and evolve the service that I offer to my clients.  


What would you say the feeling is like in the markets you cover?


 I’ve found that the organisations that keep pushing for a competitive edge even in the face of uncertainty are the ones that are benefiting most. I have clients that have completely shut up shop, slashed their contractor numbers and frozen any upcoming project work. Unfortunately for them, there are companies that have realised that now is actually a rare opportunity to pick up talent that would never usually be available, whether that is taking advantage of reduced rates which can slash project staffing costs by up to 30% or hiring career contractors at the top of their game who are now willing to accept permanent roles meaning you can bolster your talent roster with individuals that they would never usually be able to attract….. However, this will only be a temporary perk as once the labour market starts to recover things may go back to normal very quickly.    


Is it all doom and gloom?


 If you had asked me that back in May I would have probably said yes! We were seeing project after project getting canned, I was receiving calls from contractors who have been continuously working for over a decade saying their projects had been cancelled and they had no future pipeline of work at all. It was genuinely a scary time for all involved, but then it was almost like a switch had been flipped, I’m guessing senior managers were sensing opportunity and I was being told about countless large-scale projects that were being revived from the ashes. Since the turn of June I have been placing Business Analysts, Project Managers and technical resource on to ERP and other enterprise scale projects in industries such as manufacturing and FMCG all the way through to Councils and Public Sector organisations.


 September’s pipeline also seems healthy with a number offices reopening. This last week alone, I have been discussing major ERP projects in SAP, Oracle, Dynamics Business Central, e-Commerce, new Distribution Centres, Salesforce and Digital enhancements.


 It’s finally looking like we are seeing a genuine bounce back across some industries.     


Have there been limitations to traditional hiring methods?


 Most definitely! The problem with advertising roles through traditional methods such as online job boards when there is a surplus of available labour, means that hiring managers are being flooded with applicants. Having hundreds of applications per role is impossible for clients to manage, especially when you factor in that lots of internal recruitment teams find themselves still on furlough.


How can you help with that?


 It’s quite simple really, I have always taken an extremely proactive approach to finding the right candidates for my clients. I go out to the comprehensive and ever-growing network of suppliers that I have built up during my time in recruitment. From sifting through those hundreds of available options, I earmark roughly 5 or 6 candidates I feel are the perfect fit for the vacancy and from there I will video call them and effectively conduct a first stage interview and carry out reference checks on similar work they have carried out in the past. From there I will shortlist the best 2 or 3 candidates ready to present to the hiring manager and I aim to turn this around within 24 to 48 hours.


Thank you Peter, is there anything else you would like to add?


 Certainly, if anyone, client or candidate would like to talk through any issues that they are having from a hiring or job seeking perspective I am always happy to take the time to speak with them to see if there’s anything I can draw on from my experience that will help solve their problems then I will be more than happy to take the time to speak with them. You can contact me on 01892 771 447 or email me at


Vector Resourcing supplies niche resources for IT, Transformation and Change (ERP, Technology and more).