Some likely not so good; others perhaps that made an unforeseen radical impact on your people, processes and performance. As we move forwards, what elements of your response to the pandemic do you want to hold on to, and what is best left in the past?
Here are some lasting legacies of Covid-19 we predict that will outlive lockdown.
Recruiters will continue to act as social ambassadors as part of their DNA
Expecting recruiters to focus entirely on new business development with a reported 84% drop in vacancies according to our survey in early April, would have been completely demoralising. Instead, many consultants were encouraged to adopt a marketing-led approach, focusing on building their personal branding and nurturing relationships with existing candidates and clients.
Recruiters have inadvertently become social ambassadors through regular content sharing, social media outreach (in the absence of being able to pick up the phone to people who were not in the office), and possibly even involved in content creation such as blog writing. For those businesses that elected to furlough or make their marketing resource redundant, this has helped them to sustain an online presence.
A shift from a sales-first culture to one where everyone embraces marketing as part of their day-to-day role can have a huge impact on your brand reach. Research from LinkedIn shows that, when employees share content, they typically see a click-through rate that is double that of their company. And given that marketing budgets are likely to be tight for the rest of the year, why would you not want your consultants to continue to be your best social ambassadors?
Remote-working and distributed teams are here to stay
Ironically, since everyone had been forced to work from their homes, the pandemic has created a more connected workforce. With daily stand-up calls, weekly team catch-ups, virtual drinks and social get togethers, a plethora of WhatsApp and other messenger groups, most of us are in meeting and communication melt-down.
As governments start to allow people back to work, your employees will want to have a voice about how, when and whether they return to an office, especially for those needing to travel by public transport. According to Gartner 48% of employees will likely work remotely at least part of the time after the COVID-19 pandemic, compared to just 30% pre-pandemic.
Heightened safety protocols and social distancing measures will be required for some time to come. Consequently the appeal of working in an office, even for those who are missing regular face-to-face contant with their colleagues, is less appealing. Most companies would be unable to accommodate their entire workforce within their office environment, even if they wanted to.
Of course this impacts hiring for clients too. Twitter, as an example, was one of the first tech giants to announce employees will be allowed to work from home ‘forever’. Covid has forced flexible working to the top of the agenda as people balance caring responsibilities and mental wellbeing alongside work commitments. There is no question remote-working, for those who are able, is here to stay.
A cloud-first approach for agility and efficiency
Recruitment businesses rely on front and back office technologies to successfully and efficiently run their day-to-day operations. But never before has cloud computing been more essential allowing companies and recruiters to have visibility of their candidates, clients and cashflow. Without it this unprecedented crisis could have easily ground business processes and productivity to a halt.
It is as simple as SaaS solutions allowing employees to work from home, using the same technologies as if they were in the office. Some companies have come to appreciate their tech stack more than ever, whilst others were forced to shift from on-premise to the cloud in a matter of days.
The pandemic has forced recruitment businesses to put technology in the spotlight whether this be virtual internal comms platforms, attracting candidates through an enhanced online presence and mobile-first website, or improved process efficiency. Moving forwards it will be a case of ensuring systems are robust and secure, and when selecting new technologies adopting a cloud-first approach to future-proof your business.
What will your lasting legacies of Covid-19 be? Our new Recruitment Recovery Guide has key insights about how the recruitment industry has responded to Covid-19, raising thought-provoking questions and outlining strategies for the next phase. Download a copy to discover survey findings, lessons learnt and how to plan for the new next normal.
Download the Recruitment Recovery Guide published by Access to help agencies address the changing market dynamics packed with strategic insights and tactical take-aways.