When The Going Gets Tough – Fight or Flight

We’re currently in the midst of a game changer – the invisible killer (this is not the theme for a Marvel movie) which has changed the working and indeed, the recruitment landscape. It feels that somewhat overnight businesses have been faced with a change that they would usually take time to plan, implement and change manage.

How businesses and people respond during this stressful time will be testament to their longevity and how prepared they will be when we finally kick this “Rona’s” (my pet name for Covid-19) derrière – The fight or flight response plays a critical role in how we deal with stress. Stress created by a situation can actually be helpful, and can help you perform better in situations where you’re under pressure.

As a recruiter, the industry has been hit hard with businesses putting their recruitment on ‘lockdown’ along with the rest of the nation and indeed the globe. My situation is slightly different in that I manage the recruitment delivery of an RPO; in a business that understands the worth of using this time to reflect and prepare for when we return to business as usual.

Time To Fight

I have therefore, come out fighting! I’ve rolled up my sleeves, put on my big boy pants and really looked at how I can best support the business in which I’m servicing. Initially there’s been some additional support for the wider HR team, liaising with candidates already in the pipeline, job offer documentation and communication of the newly devised induction process etc. And secondly, communicating information across internal stakeholders regarding the lockdown on their current vacancies and on how I can facilitate these vacancies for when they become live again.

After the initial knee-jerk reaction of freezing all recruitment, came the realisation that operationally the business actually still required additional resource, in some respects more so now than before the metaphorical excrement hit the fan. There then followed the opening of various additional vacancies which required rapid recruitment. Technology played a key role in this, video/conference call interviews helped to keep unnecessary face to face exposure! This facilitated an almost immediate interview from point of initial contact and a job offer which wasn’t far behind. My time to hire statistics are looking very healthy!

Selling our worth

I’m now using this time to speak to people. Those that unfortunately, have been hard hit by this and found themselves without a job. Those that have been furloughed and now have time to reflect on their future career and those that are now enjoying the benefits of working from home; revelling in their new work/life balance with no tedious need to commute to and from the office. In essence, potential talent that could benefit our future business.

So how can I continue to ensure my worth and service my client? Pipelining! Pipelining for the future can ensure that when Rona is well and truly destroyed, the business will be best positioned to help those looking for their next step, are ready and knowledgeable about the benefits we can offer them as an employer, understanding of our company environment, ethos and mind set and what value we can both offer each other.

Speaking to my network

So rather than taking flight in these uncertain times, taking cover under the duvet, waiting for the world to come crashing down around my ears – I’ve ensured that my client knows my worth, added value by helping them with additional tasks around this stressful time and communicated how this time can really benefit the business for their future recruitment. I’ve got lots more time to do the things that we recruiters as ‘people persons’ love – talking! I’ve managed to speak to some very talented people, finding out about them, letting them know the wonderful things that are our business are doing and what the future could look like for them. When we’re back to BAU I have a network of candidates ready and waiting.

There’s lots of negatives people and businesses can take from this current situation, but there are also positives – time to hit the pause button, reflect on your current situation and plan for the future. There IS a future and this time can help us to be firing on all cylinders when we finally get back to some sort of normality – businesses will thank us for our continued hard work and preparation in these times, when they reap the rewards after we’re finally back to BAU.