Here at Futures, we’ve thought a lot about the Covid-19 crisis. From the significant changes to recruitment businesses to the more human impact of how people are coping during this uncertain time. We’ve extensively covered how to ensure a successful recruitment process during the lockdown… but what about after the nationwide lockdown? What recruitment practices will we keep from this, which ones will we ditch and how will open positions be filled by the top talent that is nervous to change jobs in such fraught times.
While some lockdown rules have been relaxed, there isn’t much of an expectation that the current situation will materially change for a long time. People are now allowed out of their properties more than once a day for exercise, commuting and shopping for supplies. In addition, people are now allowed to meet one other person from another household in a public space (e.g. park) as long as social distancing measures are in place. Key year groups at some schools are expected to return to some form of school from June and A-Level Students are scheduled to return to socially distanced learning a few weeks later.
The past 10 weeks (yes, it’s been 10 weeks!) since strict lockdown laws were implemented and if one thing has been proven is that working practices can be made much more flexible than people originally thought. Online communication tools like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts and RingCentral have been used to ensure dedicated time is set aside for interviews, it’s removed those dreaded unnecessary meetings. Hopefully, post-COVID, companies will embrace technology to improve efficiency and encourage effective collaboration. Below are a few other things that we think we’ll be seeing in the recruitment industry after the lockdown has been lifted.
The end of lockdown doesn’t mean we’re going back to normal. Agile and remote working will probably still be in effect for a long while and it’s important to think about that when looking at your recruitment process post lockdown. This agile working, while odd at first, has allowed people to work in ways that suit them. Parents can enjoy the freedom to look after children, employees can focus on tasks as opposed to time and relationships with clients can be adapted in some cases improved based on the fact, recruiters are in a more flexible position to answer calls, offer advice and refine the hiring process.
Video conferencing tools like Zoom, Google Hangouts and RingCentral have become the new norm. Once considered the last resort, video online communication tools and conference calls are now an integral part of the interview process during the current crisis. Online communication and video conference tools are sure to stick around after lockdown and for good reason. It’s improved the speed of communication, the hiring process, eased the difficulties of sorting out meeting logistics and that’s before we mention the positive impact on the environment that we’ve seen during lockdown.
This virus has been devastating but one of the highlights, a silver lining if you like, of this has been the recognition of just how incredible and vital key workers are from NHS nurses to care workers. Aside from the care sector we’ve seen incredible individuals across the public sector and manufacturing industry keeping the country going. Let’s hope that in future these key workers are never ever taken for granted again. As we’ve seen global recognition of how important these sectors are, we expect to see them viewed as higher priority moving forwards. Higher levels of recruitment in growth industries for key workers will be inevitable as companies look to move forward.
To ensure a successful recruitment process the needs and wants of your clients have never been more important. After months of furloughing or redundancy, there will be an incredible amount of nervousness about going back to work unless public health improves soon. Extra effort and a collaborative approach are needed to ensure the increased demand for jobs can be fulfilled safely whilst retaining a high level of quality candidates. A successful recruitment process in the recruitment sector today and after this Covid-19 crisis is about reassuring candidates that the role they are going into is absolutely compliant with current guidelines. This approach should be uniform, from interim workers to permanent roles. Strategies like PPE, reduced numbers on shifts, staggered break times and adjusted working days are all important elements of a successful recruitment and onboarding process.
If this pandemic hasn’t already made you think about future-proofing your recruitment process then we’re here to tell you that you should. Your recruitment process should cover every ‘What If’ scenario in the book if you’re to avoid another significant impact to your process should a 2nd wave of COVID hit (fingers crossed it doesn’t!). All permanent employees should have someone in their team that can delegate and make decisions for them if they are off sick to ensure business continuity. When something as important as your recruitment process is at risk you can’t afford to not have a backup plan. Especially for small businesses, missing out on the right talent can be expensive in the long run which is why having every stage of your process backed up and documented is so important.
Not having vital communication tools online and the right recruitment technology ready to use is not an excuse anymore. After months of remote working, a lot of people will expect to have video interviews so installing Zoom, RingCentral or understanding Google Hangouts is a must. It’s not just the interview questions that will be done online. Once you’ve made your critical hires you’re probably going to have to do the onboarding process via digital tools too. Once that person is onboarded and in the company, you’ll need to ensure any additional learning can be done virtually and that their performance can be tracked.
While this current moment is uncertain and scary it’s also completely unique and should be seen as an opportunity to find your next great hire. Everything is on pause so take this time now to undertake thorough candidate assessments, assess your employee benefits and work hard to find the right people for your company. Get a message that “You’re still looking to hire” out there into the world on all platforms. There is so much vital work that can be done now so that when normality does eventually strike, you’ll be ahead of your competitors with a team of employees that are eager and ready to work for you.
This period, where life has been put on hold, has given a lot of people time to reflect on the kind of work/life balance they want. Potential hires are going back to work or going to look for new opportunities with a very specific idea of what kind of benefits they want. This pandemic has highlighted how important benefits are to people so as a company you might want to consider the types of things you’re offering and be prepared to offer more.
Once considered a nice option for people with laptops, expect remote working to become extremely commonplace once we’re out of lockdown. A lot of people have been working at home for months now and most have come to the realisation that they’re just as productive at home as they are in an office. You should look to adapt your working practices to the digital world so that you can offer critical hires the option of remote working. Not only is it empowering to trust employees by allowing them to work in ways that suit them, but it’s also just a nice thing to do. Expect increased employee morale if they know they can work from home on Friday or take a week to work at home to see their children more.
This global issue has thrown all standard recruitment practices up in the air and what was once considered out of bounds is now completely normal. So, as a company don’t be afraid to find interims who can work for you for a set period of time. Deliberating and taking weeks to make a decision over one hire, in this climate, just isn’t a practical approach anymore. Once things get back to normal, there may be lots of roles that need to be filled and you shouldn’t look to take ages to find the perfect hire, find people who have the experience enabling them to come in immediately and keep things moving in your company. This low-risk recruitment approach might be the thing you need to ensure your business afloat and who knows, from our experience it’s often the people you hire on an interim basis that turn out to be the perfect hire.
To ensure everyone has still felt connected during this time, companies have made a concerted effort to keep internal communication high. These sorts of working practices and team chats should be maintained post lockdown either physically (e.g. a stand up meeting at the end or the start of the day) or take reasonable steps to do it online. When it comes to your recruitment process and filling open positions, a big selling point of your company should be that you are a group of people who do check in on each other and maintain a high level of communication. People aren’t robots, they want to feel a human connection and know the people they are working with.
Be sure to look at codifying any new policies that you’re looking to bring in as a result of lockdown. Make sure all employees know what you expect from them when they work from home, how they can communicate with other members of staff, how benefits will be handled and what software they will need to have in order to successfully work remotely.
To sum all this up, it’s just about making sure that your recruitment process and by proxy, your company culture, has adapted to the permanent changes we can expect to see when normality (eventually) returns for us. Get your company’s recruitment process in place today and you’ll find yourself succeeding in a few months’ time.
Hiring the best talent is tricky at the best of times but post lockdown people who have time to reflect will only be applying for jobs that offer truly outstanding benefits and have a package that is matched by very few. It can feel a bit daunting to try and reach for the top talent out there but you absolutely should. If you feel you have a company that can offer something truly unique then why not look for the best! We’ve got a few tips about how you can get the right people into your business, below.
For over 25 years, the people at Futures have been working hard for businesses and people across the UK to fulfil their recruitment needs. We know finding the right person for your organisation can be difficult which is why we’re with you every step of the way so you can flood your organisation with great people. From day one you can expect our team to strike up a great working relationship, we have a passion for people and really get under the skin of your business to understand what it is you want.
If you’re a business owner and are looking to refine your recruitment process after lockdown then get in touch with the team at Futures today.