Redundant workers’ search for new job six weeks longer on average
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Redundant workers’ search for new job six weeks longer on average

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The average period that it takes redundant people in Belgium to find a new job increased last year by 1.5 months on average, according to an analysis by HR service provider Acerta of 2,400 employees who had been laid off.

It found that the period during which employees were between two contracts increased from 4.5 months to 5.9 months, as they took more time in 2020 to process their dismissal, and job application procedures in companies overall took longer than in previous years, mainly due to the coronavirus crisis.

“During the crisis, it was psychologically more difficult than ever to deal with a dismissal. We notice that dismissals weigh more heavily and that it takes more time before people are ready to look for a new job,” Magda Duerinckx, manager of outplacement and career guidance at Acerta, said in a press release. 

She added that the uncertain economic situation of the crisis is also a decisive factor, as it has made working in some sectors less attractive, whilst jobs in IT and healthcare were in demand, but a certain level of education is needed for these jobs, meaning a “quick transition to those jobs was not always possible.”

Overall, the percentage of people who found another job within a year after dismissal was also 5% lower in 2020 than in the previous year.

Companies, in general, were hesitant to hire new employees due to this economic situation, and the fact that physical interviews were often not possible created an additional barrier.

Acerta also found that job seekers were much more critical about the direction they wanted to take with their career, and about the opportunities which were presented.

“People are now thinking more carefully about what they want to do. They also have more time for this. What used to be obvious career choices are now being questioned. People are thinking more about the social relevance of their job and dare to consider a completely different career path,” said Duerinckx.

According to the analysis, more companies made an effort to help dismissed employees find a new job elsewhere, as there was a 170 % increase in the number of projects for voluntary redundancy assistance in 2020.

The Brussels Times