As we return to some sort of normal, many companies have used their recent down time to re-appraise their future employment needs. For many, there are undoubtedly seismic changes ahead in how people work and how business will look in the ‘new normal’.
Clearly, the suddenness of the Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted working practices on a scale never seen in modern times. We are seeing a shift in workplace culture and methodology that is unprecedented and for most, presenting unchartered waters.
The rigidity of previous working is giving way to agile or flexible working, now considered the new paradigm for long term business success. Agile working is nothing new, but Covid-19 has encouraged employers to see if they can work smarter rather than harder, taking advantage of new technology and different processes.
As a local recruitment partner, working throughout the UK, we have many years’ experience in supporting businesses with their employment needs. This means we are well equipped to help employers ensure they are fully prepared for the way ahead.
Having the right people in place who can adapt to these changes is going to be the number one priority for businesses who want to not only stay afloat but come out of this stronger and more resilient.
After all, Covid-19 is going to have a lasting impact on our future working practices. There is no doubt, the uncertainty of the pandemic has created an employment environment that is causing anxiety and concern for many employees.
Prior to Covid-19, most roles were appraised largely on critical skills. Today that’s all changing with employers focussing on multiple opportunities for career development. Progressive employers are therefore looking for their employees to adopt a more varied, flexible, and adaptive role within the organisation.
We believe as the pandemic eases, businesses will start to focus on strengthening their position in the marketplace. This could include diversification, investment in new products and services or geographic expansion.
This will create challenges for most employers in respect of employing staff that can adapt to new or different working practices, or can bring added value to the organisation. We also consider that retaining, and possibly retraining staff, is going a major priority for most businesses.
That’s why, since launching almost 10 years ago, we have worked hard to ensure we present candidates and employers with the right fit. To enable this, we created three specialist divisions – Technical, Professional and Support Services, and staffed these with people who know the sector inside out, something that’s even more relevant in the current climate.
So, why should you put your trust in a recruitment agency that will help you come out of lockdown and face the future with confidence, especially one that can help you fill multiple roles in one fell swoop?
To start with, a recruitment agency can streamline and speed up the employment process. For example, we currently work with a pool of active candidates, from office support to highly skilled technical roles available on a temporary, permanent or contract basis. This, therefore, enables you to get on with running the business without the hassle of having to implement a process for sourcing and selecting suitable candidates.
As we said before, the jobs market is experiencing major upheaval. As staff come off furlough businesses are having to make decisions they are not necessarily familiar with. This includes identifying transferable skills, considering different ways of working, such as remote working, and negotiating new salary rates (see later).
There is no doubt, the employment market is now a whole new ball game. Some businesses will be looking to infill their workforce with temporary or flexible hours staff while others will be wanting to recruit specialist staff that can give them a competitive edge and even, a possible boost to their market share.
It therefore makes sense to have one recruitment partner on board that can take care of the complex and time consuming role of recruiting multiple positions. Having a readymade selection of candidates is a time saver but so is the experience of specialist recruitment staff who can help employers adapt to the new normal.
For some, working from home may become permanent, and this, for many employers (and employees) will be an unfaced challenge. There is no one size fits all approach – everyone’s needs will be different and will be based on areas such as the job description, social and family circumstances, and continuous personal development (CPD).
This is where we can help. We can advise on matching suitable candidates that suit the new way of working. Not only do we have a wealth of knowledge and experience, especially in our specialist sectors, but also a portfolio of passive talent – those who are not necessarily looking to move employers but are known to our staff. We also know what incentives it may take to change their mind.
Reducing the time taken to recruit suitable staff is one area. We create persuasive job advertisements to maximise response, quickly screen candidates, and only select the most appropriate for the intended role.
We also advise on putting systems in place that accommodate the new way of working. Working from home is one. In a recent newspaper article, it was claimed that almost one in five white collar workers in the UK want to work permanently from home, while more than half (54%) only want to go in to the office one or two days a week.
If this is the case, then it’s imperative that the business has a robust networking system in place – both technological, and in person to ensure a seamless and secure shift in emphasis. We can advise on implementing this.
According to the latest reports, it looks likely that remote working could become the new normal for many and with that comes other issues, for example, salaries. We are accustomed to London weighting, based on the fact that it is costs around 20% more to live and work in London than it does elsewhere in the country, but does that mean disparity in relation to where you live when it comes to remote working?
Facebook seem to think so. Even before lockdown, the company announced that as from January 2021, staff working from home will be paid on where they live. Not something that’s gone down well with their current workforce and could potentially backfire in their quest for recruiting talented staff to their organisation.
So, as we’ve said, we’re facing an uncertain road ahead. However, in our opinion, it’s the businesses that offer employee flexibility, secure and robust working conditions (both physical and online) and a move to agile working, that will not only survive, but prosper as we come out of lockdown.