It’s Friday the 13th – the unluckiest day in the year. For a ‘day-in-the-life’ of a recruiter, what does that mean exactly? Well, candidates accept roles last minute – trains go on strike and therefore people can’t attend an interview, your dog eats your homework, and your cousin's best friend's grandma's fish needs an emergency vet appointment.
But today was a little different, today things ACTUALLY went wrong. It has been reported 798 people have been confirmed with Coronavirus in the UK alone, and the toll is expected to rise heavily. Offices are closing, the stock market is plummeting, and I haven’t been able to buy a packet of loo roll for the last 7 days.
About 10% of my clients have closed their offices completely, another 20% are working from home and have ceased hiring, and the last 70% are ploughing on, doing what they can, and trying to make things work.
I wanted to write a piece to my network, around how we can push forward and still achieve the strict growth and hiring plans everyone had put in place at the beginning of 2020. This is a crisis, and let’s not sugar coat it, but after we’ve got through this (which we will) we can still be in a situation where we don’t wipe off 2020 for good.
It’s an obvious thing guys, but let’s actually use it. Yes, I appreciate the importance of F2F interaction - of being a room with someone you’re going to work with and taking in their body language and energy. But this is the 21st century, video calls are better than they’ve ever been if you spend an hour with someone in person - try spending 90 mins with them on a video call - if you love them F2F, you’ll love them then too. If they need to do a presentation, there’s an app for that as well! - watching how someone adapts in a high-pressured situation and learning to use a new piece of tech will give you more insight into their dedication and character than having a coffee with them in your local Pret.
People are still unemployed
The sad truth is, people still need jobs. We are speaking to candidates on a daily basis who have been made redundant and who have left other roles and aren’t working – yes, things are slow but there are still hundreds of candidates in the UK alone who are doing everything they can to secure that perfect position.
People can work from home
We’ve placed people in the last few weeks who are due to start on Monday, these people have already resigned and are currently without a monthly income. The worst thing to do would be to holt their start dates – the world has changed, and people can and will work remotely – in a sense we need to carry on with ‘business as usual’ even if it’s not.
Diaries are wide open
Sorry to point out the obvious, but your top candidate who has been too busy to interview for the last 6 months is probably pretty flexible right now. Sat at home watching ‘homes under the hammer’ meaning a 30 min call, might not be out the question. It also leaves time for self-reflection and redirection. Why not take the call? Why not speak to that hiring manager? You have an opportunity here to have open calls with people who may not have made it into your diary 6 months ago.
Things will be ok
Things are pretty s**t right now, but they will get better. Normality will return. And with that, the stresses and demands of your day to day job will come flooding back. Why make a bad situation worse, by not preparing for Q3 & Q4. If you need an SDR, get one now - spend the next 3 weeks onboarding them and then you’ll be ready for Q2 with a great team in place. The world isn’t going to end and if we all work together, we can get through this with as little damage as possible.
Please reach out to me for any advice/ guidance during this time. We are working with our clients closely on the best ways to move forward and help them achieve their goals, we are all in this together.
Having weathered every business downturn for nearly fifty years, we’ve learned an important lesson — nobody ever regrets making fast and decisive adjustments to changing circumstances. In downturns, revenue and cash levels always fall faster than expenses. In some ways, business mirrors biology. As Darwin surmised, those who survive “are not the strongest or the most intelligent, but the most adaptable to change.”