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Posted : 07 Apr 2020 at 14:51:10
Category: Team News

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These are the toughest of times.

We have been through many recessions, but this is different because of the health and isolation factors.

We can’t meet clients or candidates face to face, they can’t meet each other, and most recruiters are working from home, in some cases mandated by the government.

But we must be adaptable. And we must find a way to squeeze what we can out of what’s available. And one thing that is available right now for many of us, is ‘time‘. So I am kicking off a discussion on how to be productive in this environment.

I love a structured approach to a problem, so I have broken it into seven segments. My ideas, and tips I gleaned from other recruiters this week.

If you have ideas to add, please do in the comments section. This is just a start.

  1. Work ‘in play’.

These are our current open orders. Of course. It’s obvious, but we need intense attention to this right now. If the client is hiring, we must find candidates and arrange video interviewing. It’s all new to all of us, so you need to be the ‘encourager’ and the facilitator.

Feedback is that offers are being made, but start dates can’t be confirmed, because no one is at work. That’s OK. Work with the new normal. Never has the role of the recruiter as ‘consultant’ and ‘influencer’ been more needed. Talk all parties through this. The world does not stop. We can interview, we can second interview, we can reference-check, and we can deliver an offer.

Let’s negotiate a ‘conditional start date’. (I don’t know how employment law plays into this. Find out). So it’s an offer made and an offer accepted, and a ‘conditional start date’ of 1st June (for example) agreed. Both parties accept this may change. But tie it all in. Maybe negotiate a small part payment with your clients. Refundable if the person does not start. But the work has been done, has it not?

  1. Pump the pipe.

So job-openings are in free-fall, and all we read about is job losses. Can’t hide from that. But companies are hiring.

A quick scout around my client base and a bit of crowd-sourcing on the topic created a summary of industries where my clients have picked up fresh orders this week.

Call Centre, Logistics and Transport, Healthcare, Mining), IT Support, FMCG), Insurance. Other people jumped in on this post and mentioned Tech and SaaS companies, Health, E-commerce, Defence, Agriculture, Pharmaceuticals and Insurance.

This is just a thought-starter. A great topic for your next Zoom hook-up with colleagues. “Let’s go on a job-hunt”. If ever there was a time for ‘proactive hunting‘, this is it. We must track down where the need is and present our case.

Whatever you do, talk to clients.

Call clients to see if you can assist with ideas about how to manage the crisis. Not as a health expert. But how other clients are managing the workforce.

Start a conversation about when the recovery comes. OK, they are not hiring now, but this will pass. What skills will they need then? Offer to build a pipeline of talent for that day. They may even pay you to do it. But at least you are keeping engaged and when the wheel turns and they do need to hire, you will have a bank of pre-qualified talent to place there.

  1. Offer what’s needed.

Remember too that the employment dynamic has changed. Typically from a candidate-short one to one where more people are available. Indeed, some hirers might get flooded if they recruit now.

Think of service offerings you have not offered before.

  • Maybe a screening service.
  • Maybe a reference-checking offering.
  • Maybe managing the application process, including candidate communication.
  • Maybe the ‘pipeline build’ I mentioned above.

Some recruiters have talked about lowering fees and even free placements. I am not convinced. Look, do what you must, but maybe different payment terms is a better idea, where you get your fee upfront, but the client pays in five instalments. This might be attractive to a hesitant client.

  1. Now is the candidate hour!

I know you don’t need candidates now. But they need you!

  • Call candidates, whose options have dried up overnight, to reassure them they will not be forgotten when things recover.
  • Offer candidates a free, no-obligation, resume review, career planning or salary benchmarking chat. You are at home; they are at home. Why not?
  • Call every person on your ATS, that you have met or spoken with, and reconnect. Maybe start with the simple question, “Are you OK?”
  • Offer your candidates help to use any downtime to improve and work on their online brand. Writing content, tidying up profiles.
  1. Goodwill equity.

Everyone is scared, and many have lost jobs. Be generous. Not only out of pure humanity, but trust me, people will remember those recruiters who reached out when the chips were down.

  • Whenever you talk or email, whoever you talk to – spread calm. Be the voice of hope. “This too shall pass”.
  • Invite someone to a ‘virtual lunch‘. You and your sandwich, them with theirs. Skype or similar. Add wine if appropriate 🙂
  • Share ideas. Be visible.
  • Return messages. Try to help. At least offer a supportive word.
  1. Brengagement

The summary of all my tips regarding outgoing candidate and client contact can be summed up with my hybrid word ‘Brengagement’. Build your brand by useful and generous engagement. Even if the rewards are not there for now.

  1. Tidy shit up

You know how you were always too busy to do that thing? Do it now.

  • Invest in client and candidate research, ATS data cleansing, online learning.
  • Prepare marketing ideas for the recovery.
  • Write 10 blogs.
  • Fix up and maximise your social footprint.(LinkedIn profile etc)
  • Update files and clean out your drawers.
  • Improve your systems and processes.
  • Get that long-promised training material finished.
  • Clean up the CRM and your blog subscriber lists.
  • Check you are on top of all compliance in all areas.
  • You will have better ideas than this, but there is much we can do.


However, staying productive will be critical for business success, taking advantage of an eventual recovery, and your sanity right now.

Above all, be kind. Do the generous thing.

#StayStrong #ThisTooShallPass

Original Source - Greg Savage


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