These are unprecedented times for us all existentially and for our sector commercially; the expected precipitous fall in GDP across the UK (and globally)is likely to be the steepest in a century. Policymakers are unveiling unprecedented social and economic tools to cope with Covid=19.
Speaking with numerous CEO’s across the sector here are 5 key strategies recruitment professionals are adopting to navigate these uncharted waters:
Focus On Your Own Wellbeing
Recruiters are quintessentially in the people business. Let us start there. Your first priority is your personal wellbeing; mind body and spirit. Not as a recruiter, that comes later. But as you, as the unique individual that you are.
Make time for you every day – even if it is just 15 minutes in the morning and evening – to contemplate, dream, give gratitude for your existence, for your loved ones and for the opportunities each new day brings.
Shut out the noise and myriad thoughts racing through your mind. If you have access to it, connect with nature, read uplifting texts or listen to music that lifts your soul and helps you to achieve your best you.
This practice can help to reduce anxiety, stimulate your creative imagination and add more value to your role as recruiter.
Communicate with all stakeholders
We live in a kaleidoscope of ever more brilliant virtual worlds and digital communication tools undreamed of a generation ago. Enabling us to connect with so many people in so many different ways.
A recruiter’s currency is connectivity with each other. Take time to talk and listen to your teams, colleagues, candidates and clients.
Ultimately recruitment as a sector will thrive on whether we are seen as trusted advisors, on the relationships we build, the knowledge and insights we share, the care we take. This is the time to show our passion for people,share our vulnerability as people and offer support and insight to those whom we lead, partner and serve.
Manage Working capital with courage and creativity
The de facto cessation of business in some sectors is presenting truly unique challenges for recruitment business from a working capital perspective.
Our trade bodies such as REC and APSCO are working tirelessly to advocate our needs with policymakers; whether that is greater clarity on support for temporary workers, self employed freelancers or the terms upon which emergency debt finance can be secured. Keep in close contact with them to get up to date information.
Engage empathetically and stridently with your finance providers and all your suppliers to determine the best way to reduce cash flow pressure in the immediate short term.
Utilise advice and support
This is not the time for hubris. You are not alone. No one has all the answers; witness the shifting and variegated policy responses globally and nationally to the containment of the virus!
One of the positives we have witnessed over recent weeks is the extent of co-operation and interaction between peers in the sector. Ours is a fiercely competitive one where the “animal spirits” redolent of the best of a market economy are unveiled each working day.
Yet , in addition to the resources and advice of our trade bodies, leaders from specific segments of the recruitment sector are co-operating in order to answer the call across the UK to meet the labour demands of regions and all the nations of the UK. This esprit de corps is being replicated “on the ground’ by individual recruitment business owners.
So post, share comment, like on social media platforms where our colleagues are gathering to brainstorm ideas and also simply pick up the phone or reach out to your peers to share experiences (whether sector specific, finance management related or “wellness’ focused )and forge our sense of community
Envision and plan for the future
The present may feel permanent; crises always feel this way in the eye of the storm. They always, thankfully, pass whether they are tech related (Y2K in 2000), general economic downturns (1989/92) or systemic financial ones(2008/9).
So NOW is also the time, however counter intuitive, to plan for the future when economic conditions become more benign and industry will once again seek the expertise of recruiters to find the very best talent.
Make time to work with your SMT to set out specific business development steps (building on the superb stakeholder communications you are currently undertaking)so you can “hit the floor” running and capitalise on the opportunity to grow your business when this happens.
And alsoperhaps most importantly, think more boldly and creatively – in the time afforded to us by the current “lockdown”- about your business, its purpose and its priorities.
So take pride in your unique individuality and the unique collection of talent that is your business. And let the world hear about it.