Being a recruiter you are used to being pro-active, building relationships, and assisting candidates and clients to make connections that benefit both parties.
Elliot Iredale - Consultant, Technical
Being a recruiter in 2020 has been what some might call a ‘rollercoaster of a ride’. Me? I’d call it the biggest learning curve I have been on in my entire career.
I worked in construction during the last recession and those were tough times - these are different. This time round we have simply been unable to see the same success from creating positive outcomes for individuals on a frequent basis that we are used to and instead, we have had to redefine success in a climate and setting none of us have been in before. As Recruiters we have had to adapt, we have had to grow, and - above all – we have needed to be there as much as we can for each and every individual we have come into contact with. Personally, I don’t think this is anything like being in a recession; this was – and is- a global economic shift spurred on by a pandemic that we are trying to navigate through.
Early on, colleagues were furloughed, workloads went up and the challenges mounted. The feeling of success came from someone merely saying ‘thank you’ or knowing that the conversation you just had with X-client or Z-candidate made an impact. Success has been seeing people access the database of useful links to free courses; it’s been webinars about our mental wellbeing and other topics, and then attendees reporting back to us about how beneficial they found these.
The placements we’ve made have quite simply been the most meaningful of our careers. I don’t know who’s been happier: the client, the candidate, or us. Knowing that we’ve been fortunate enough to assist that candidate in securing either a temporary or permanent role that has truly made such an impact on their life, has been beyond rewarding.
Through this whole time, many Recruiters have seen their earnings drop significantly. They’ve also been adjusting to working from home; working without the buzz of a busy office and the excitement that a sales atmosphere brings. It’s been a tough time - but, we are still standing!
Being part of the massive network of recruiters out there, I have to say, whilst I have heard some real horror stories, I have also heard about some fantastic acts of kindness from individuals who have simply gone above and beyond during this time.
Personally, I have seen my team return and I have never been so grateful for them. There are only so many hours in a day, a week, and a month and (it’s not rocket science to work out) the more there are of you, the more support you are able to offer. Teams give you support, confidence, accountability, and fun!
We have seen the market start to move in the right direction (*breathes a sigh of relief*) and with this comes innovation, opportunity and reward. Boris’s recent announcement regarding the next (potential) six months -for me- is a positive. In March we had no idea what would and could happen; we didn’t know when this would end or if many businesses could even afford to survive. The furlough scheme hadn’t been announced and what on earth was a bounce-back loan?
I’ve spoken to many clients who, like myself, are grateful to be in a position to plan for the next six months with the information we’ve been given. There is confidence in on-boarding from home now that the good, the bad and the ugly have all been trialled, and we could probably go so far as to say that, as a nation, we are now experts in this field. Projects that have been delayed are now drafting in interim support to get them across the line and individuals within workplaces who have been stretched in many settings, are now seeing support in light of the gaps being identified.
Whilst there are still many unknowns, some industries that will face their most challenging times over the next six months, and some that will just about manage to cover their costs to ensure they remain to fight another day. On a much brighter note, many industries continue to thrive, with some even growing, and many more pushing forward with a new flexible, rewarding, and innovative culture.
If you asked me now how I felt six months ago - upon reflection, I would say, “nervous, unsure, unequipped, and stressed”. If you asked me today how I feel, the answer is, “grateful, calm (that’s not a word I often use to describe myself!), and slightly nervous, but excited”.