• “Warehouse”, “Picker” and “Delivery driver” searches surged on wave of online shopping 
  • E-commerce now accounts for 36% of all retail spending 
  • Employers boosting their temporary workforce to cope with customer orders 
  • Indeed Flex launches in the UK with more than 5,000 temporary roles 

London, 1st April: Britain’s online spending boom sparked huge rises in job searches for roles related to e-commerce, according to research by flexible work platform Indeed Flex.

The staffing and workforce management platform – which was formerly Syft – analysed the fastest rising job search terms on Indeed between 1 February 2020 and 1 March 2021 and found there were significant increases in interest in jobs related to e-commerce. 

Searches on Indeed for “picker” jobs — which involve picking items and preparing them for delivery — more than doubled (+103%) while “picker packer” searches grew by +57%. Similar gains were made by “warehouse associate” (+82%) and “warehouse operative” (+55%) searches while “delivery drivers” recorded a +79% increase.

The soaring interest came as Britain’s online spending reached unprecedented levels. In February 2020 internet shopping accounted for 19.1% of retail spending but lockdown and changing consumer behaviour has driven that to a record high 36.3%*1

The easing of Covid-19 restrictions has also led to rising jobseeker interest in other industries. 

Shops, restaurants and pubs and other close-contact services will reopen on April 12 and jobseeker interest has started to grow in sectors that are set to reopen in the coming weeks and months. 

Interest in bar and waitressing jobs has grown by +98% and +60% respectively in the past two weeks*2. Retail and other customer-facing roles have also attracted significant rises in interest in recent weeks. 

The change in search behaviour comes as job postings in the UK rose to their highest level since April 2020*3 with hiring in hard hit and resilient sectors ticking up ahead of restrictions being eased. 

Food & preparation occupations jumped by 21% in the three weeks to 12 March while retail recorded a 23% increase over the same period. Loading & stocking occupations increased by one third (33%) while driving roles have risen by 39% *2.

Employers have also boosted their temporary workforces as consumer demand changed after the first lockdown. Many of them now use hiring platform Indeed Flex for their industrial, facilities management and retail staffing needs.

Indeed Flex — which has been rebranded after flexible recruitment platform Syft was acquired by the global job site Indeed in 2019 – has seen a dramatic increase for its industrial and facilities management workforce during the pandemic and is predicting demand for flexible workers to soar as the economy opens up and people seek work opportunities that fit around their priorities. In March, the most in demand roles on the platform for both employers and jobseekers is Warehouse Operative.

Resurgent recruitment will mean more employers lean towards technology to help fill vacancies quickly and Indeed Flex provides businesses with the tools to manage their recruitment and staffing needs in one place.  

Jack Beaman, CEO and co-founder at Indeed Flex, said:

“Covid-19 slammed the brakes on the UK jobs market and left many people wondering where to turn to next but as the vaccination programme continues apace and the economy slowly reopens, there is light at the end of the tunnel and thousands of new roles are becoming available every week.

“We know people were increasingly seeking flexible working options before the pandemic and our research shows there has been a rise in searches for part-time work since the first lockdown. 

“About one third of our Flexers – verified workers on the platform – have switched their career from hospitality industry to industrial or facilities management and with approximately one third of the UK workforce working part-time, Indeed Flex helps match this significant contingent of the workforce — as well as those seeking to balance work-life priorities — to actively hiring employers.”

He added: “With many people looking to find work quickly and as employers ramp up their hiring, Indeed Flex not only gives people the choice and control over their working schedule but  also offers benefits such as pensions, holiday pay and sick pay, as well as a range of perks. For employers, Indeed Flex is a complete workforce management solution incorporating vendor management system (VMS) and a fully managed service for their recruitment and staffing needs.”


Notes for editor
*1 ONS, Internet sales as a % of total retail
*2 Indeed, ‘A Year Into The Pandemic UK Labour Market Shows Signs Of Life’
*3 Indeed, Percentage change in seasonally-adjusted job postings since 1 February, 2020, using a 7-day trailing average (Indeed job postings analysis)


About Indeed Flex:
Formerly known as Syft, Indeed Flex is a market-leading flexible recruitment platform. UK-based, the company works with jobseekers and employers in the hospitality, industry, retail, care, and facilities management sectors, smoothing the recruitment process of part-time and temporary employees. The platform currently works with more than 5,000 employers, and 44,000 jobseekers
For more information, visit www.indeedflex-co-uk.indeedflex.com

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