Technology, professional services and pharma top for developing skills during the pandemic

Retail and utilities demonstrate need for pre-hire testing

TRUMBULL, CT USA — June 10, 2020 — Many firms have used the lockdown to help their people develop new skills, according to new figures from Questionmark, the online assessment provider. Technology (up 74%), professional services (up 42%) and pharmaceuticals (up 26%) workers have led the way with highest year-on-year increase in learning and development training.

Remote online assessments were also up 60% on last year in the education sector.  This reflects the increase in testing students at home, using remote exam techniques, while physical testing centers in schools, colleges and university have been closed.

In retail (down 28%), utilities (down 30%) and in the public sector (down 90%), there has been a fall in the amount of learning and development training given to employees. 

Lars Pedersen, CEO of Questionmark, said: “Many businesses have been getting their people up to speed with their training while they’ve been at home during the lockdown.  In other areas, such as retail and utilities, where key workers have continued to keep vital services going there has been less opportunity to focus on training.

“Instead, essential retailers and utilities will have put more emphasis on pre-hire screening.  This helps manage the extra volume of staff needed to keep services going and helps ensure that they take on people with the right skills.  This has been especially important in retail as large supermarkets, for instance, have had to redeploy their people to deliver more online and click and collect.”

Sector Change
Technology +74%
Education +60%
Professional services +42%
Pharma +26%
Financial services +1%
Retail -28%
Utilities -30%
Public sector -92%

The analysis is based on the use of remote online testing in March, April and May 2020 with the same period last year in the US, UK and EU.  The overall total number of tests remains fairly constant but there have been significant shifts between sectors.

Questionmark provides a range of assessment services to help employers make better informed people-based decisions. Assessments play a critical role in pre-hire decisions and post-hire learning and development. 

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