These are challenging times for all of us, in different ways, and I thought you might be interested in hearing how the lockdown is affecting recruitment, as we are experiencing it.
Most of our clients have put permanent recruitment on hold for the time being while they’re trying to work out how to navigate through this crisis period, but they still have the intention to recruit again once the way forward is clearer. As of today (6th May) we are hearing some positive indications, but no firm plans.
Some of our clients are still recruiting, mainly for contract roles.
A couple of our clients are not optimistic about making it through this period at all, but most are confident that they will come out the other side without too much long-term damage.
- Tip 1: if you anticipate needing extra people in the next few weeks or months, now is a good time to start thinking about building a pipeline of candidates.
- Tip 2: IT people are more used to working from home than most other types, and are usually set up for it. Don’t let the lockdown period put you off recruiting in this area, if you have a need.
Candidates appear to be outnumbering jobs at the moment, so anyone who IS recruiting is likely to be able to attract applicants. The usual recruitment challenges still apply, though, and people who are in secure jobs appear reluctant to change, so there may not be quite as much competition as you think.
- Tip 1: If you’re not working, consider using this time to improve your skills / adding a qualification. There are plenty of online resources out there, some of which are free.
- Tip 2: Now is a good time to brush up your LinkedIn profile – and also to build your network. People seem more receptive to connection requests at the moment, if pitched appropriately.
Every single recruitment company I know has put people on furlough – and so have we. But we have enough capacity to continue recruiting as and when the need arises, and we can always pull people back. We’re all working from home, and doing our interviews remotely, using a combination of telephone and Hinterview, a video interviewing tool that makes the contactless recruitment process much easier. We’ve been using this product for about a year, in fact, and I can see it (or rival offerings) becoming much more mainstream in the very near future.
Our staff have been set up for remote working for a long time now, but we haven’t done it very often – partly, perhaps, because we weren’t used to it. Well, we are now! And if it wasn’t for the simultaneous home-schooling going on, I think we might be almost as productive as we are in the office.
- Tip 1: if you’re a recruiter, keep in touch with your clients and candidates but be sensitive to people’s situations.
- Tip 2: if you’re a recruiter trying to work AND look after children at home, accept that you will be less than 100% productive.
So that’s the situation as we see it, and I know we are fortunate to be able to carry on trading during this period, to be healthy, and to be able to spend time with our families while others on the front line are putting themselves at risk.
How will this all pan out? We don’t know. But whatever the ‘new normal’ is, we’ll need to be ready.