COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – our advice for business owners currently recruiting or thinking about recruiting.
Coronavirus is sweeping the globe at an exponential rate – and that includes us here in the UK. We’re all aware of the potential economic impact of the spread of the virus – and whilst the health of the nation, particularly the most vulnerable – remains of paramount importance, a thriving economy is part of an individual’s health and well-being too. Business owners should take this time to consider how we protect the future growth of our businesses.
The natural reaction may be to ‘batten down the hatches’, suspending growth and spending plans.
But let me ask you to consider the following. This will pass. It may not feel like it right now, with certain news channels and media delivering not only the facts, alongside a large dose of speculation and opinion – but we will see an end to this. This is a crucial period to ensure the survival of your business now and to invest in your future.
How should we tackle recruitment within different industries?
This will differ from industry to industry, with travel, hospitality, leisure and retail being among the most hard hit. For those who have started to wonder what you will do with any extra pairs of hands, and how you’ll manage the additional heads on payroll. It may be that the right response is to announce a temporary recruitment freeze. The important thing is to take a long term view on this, it may be your only option or it may not.
Right now, I understand that if suddenly business decreases exponentially and being a customer facing industry the prospect of working from home isn’t an option. A priority is keeping your current trained workforce loyal by supporting them and making sure that when business does improve, you have the perfect team ready to serve all your loyal customers again. Seek as much advice as you can from specialists in their field now and for when business picks up. It will ensure once recruitment does take precedent again, you can do so quickly with low costs.
How about the rest of us?
Those working in the B2B industries, we have never been more prepared. Technology is so advanced and the nation has already been thinking innovatively to promote flexible and remote working. Prospective customers may be telling you that they are pausing on making an order until the impact of the virus ceases – but not all of them. Providers are already creating new and innovative ways to continue business growth and development through the technological tools available to us.
Here’s our advice for the owners of scaling businesses, wanting to continue to grow, but are unsure about how Coronavirus will play out:
Ultimately the decision comes down to asking the following questions:
‘What is the potential impact of making the hire(s)?’
‘What is the potential impact of not making the hire(s)?’
Consider the short term and long-term implications of both responses.
Of course, this is a developing situation, changing by the hour – and we must react in the best interest of our business and our existing team. But if you have ambitious growth plans and are bursting at the seams to deliver your services, it may be worth considering the bigger picture, before implementing short term reactions.
Want to know why recruiters receive a bad reputation? Take a look at my previous blog: When did recruitment become a dirty word?
Recruitment's bad reputation
I wanted to start this discussion as a follow up on the blog mentioned above. I understand when you have 450 odd CV’s to work through you won’t spend large amounts of time consoling those candidates who didn’t make it to the top 10. Even getting to the top 10 requires some elements of being cut-throat. On the other hand, there are ways you can maintain the human approach and that is through
networking and building a solid, organised bank of CV’s that can be utilised for the right purpose. When you network, you want people to put their faith into your service, be it the employer or candidate. No one wants to be sent useless applicants which aren’t suited to the role. Just as candidates don’t want their inbox full of irrelevant positions. A great recruiter understands both the employer and employee needs. Instead of simply disregarding a CV – keep it in mind. You never know, an opportunity could come up in the future which they may be perfect for.
Bring back kindness
Is it that hard to send out a simple: “we don’t have any appropriate positions but have kept your details on file and if anything appropriate comes up, your CV will be considered.” Of course to keep this balanced, there should be equal effort on the candidate’s behalf to make it very clear about what they want, which kind of company they are suited to and their skillset to make those demands. If someone has simply listed their roles and duties, that’s not putting in the leg work and a recruiter isn’t about to waste energy on that. It’s okay to be proud of what you do – just do it well. You know your services are useful for both employer and candidate.
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. No one is going to find you if you hide behind sales calls or rely on your social media. Go out there and talk to the general public and those you wish to work with.
Remember, there is a difference between networking and selling your product. Good
networking creates strong relationships, more importantly, it creates trust. Networking is about showing an interest in their business and building a friendship with potential clients and those who may become potential candidates. Connect with them on a human level and leave your mark. This could improve your sales, as with sales it’s all about trust. Trust in your competence as a recruiter and trust in you as a person. Stop hiding behind your phones and grab a microphone! Okay, we’re not expecting a song and dance from you, but have you ever thought about
volunteering to speak at an event?
Mployable got to where we are by putting ourselves out there at speaking events, during networking and we are not afraid to tell you Why your recruitment isn’t working. Why employers and candidates are getting frustrated with your service.
Show your thought leadership and connect. Networking is your opportunity to create lasting friendships, working relationships and ultimately, trust.
If people value you as a friend, colleague or your thought leadership, you can build a great network of referrals to keep the work coming in steady. Confidence is key.
If you’re not confident about your services or skills how is anyone else supposed to be? This isn’t about creating a fake persona, it’s showing your authentic self. If there is something in your profession you don’t agree with and want to do differently, argue that point with evidence and reason. Mployable came with a purpose to shake up the recruitment industry, creating new services that improve the lives of employers, the candidates and even fellow recruiters.
Find out more here:
How to find networking opportunities
Eventbrite is a great tool – get searching in your area and I bet you will find plenty of free events.
Local business groups on Facebook. For example Jo Richings created The Small Business Network and it gets 40-50 new followers a week. Stay involved in their conversations though, as these Facebook groups are not the place to spam, they are for communicating.