Temporary workers taking on more short-term gigs, staffing software letting people down, video calls while the dog is barking… 2020 has been hard on us all. Things are changing on what feels like a daily basis at the moment. So how do recruitment agencies keep up with the pace, and what should they be paying attention to as they head into 2021?
We understand that this is such a difficult time for businesses at the moment. While some businesses are thriving within their industry, others have had to furlough whole teams or even make redundancies. We hope that arming you with as much information as we can goes some way to helping you with your preparations for a New Year and gives you a head start over your competitors.
The world has changed dramatically from the one we knew twelve months ago. Working from home, face masks and the ever-changing advice from government simply scratch the surface. The COVID-19 adjusted unemployment rate for November 2020 was 21% for all persons, including those on Pandemic Unemployment Payments. This is an incredibly sad statistic, but it means that recruitment agencies need to be ready when the surge of new roles come flooding in, as every agency will want a piece of the same pie.
More than ever, people are happy to take on temporary employment or short-term “gigs” and for the industries who are beginning to recover they will more than likely be looking to take on employees in this capacity. Many employers are still wary about taking on staff in full-time employment during the current climate, so recruiters need to be mindful of this.
Waiting on the world to change
First things first. There are so many different facets to recruitment businesses, many with sub-brands that focus on specific sectors or industries. Some may focus on retained business, while others worked on contingency. One company may specialise in searching for skilled tradesmen in the construction industry, while another will be searching for 50+ production operatives for a factory. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach, and we won’t ever suggest there is.
But there’s one really important thing that we all need to remember. This is the new normal.
If your attitude is one of complacency, hoping you can simply “wait this thing out” then you are going to come out of this pandemic far worse than others. Now is the time to diversify, innovate and some good old blue-sky thinking.
Flexible working arrangements are quickly becoming the new normal across many countries and industries. Across the globe, working from home and remote locations https://globalworkplaceanalytics.com/telecommuting-statistics has grown 159% since 2005, more than 11x faster than the rest of the workforce.
Flexible working conditions are not only generating happier, more productive employees; it’s a valuable incentive employers are using to attract new applicants. Many of today’s job seekers are searching for greater work/life balance, and broader choices in terms of where – and how – they work.
So what impact will a more remote workforce in recruitment have on shift planning, managing workers and ensuring people “get back to work”?
HR teams need you to step up and deliver
Recruitment managers in all industries need the support of recruitment agencies at the moment, ensuring their temporary staffing needs are met. But how can you go the extra mile and offer real value for money?
Well in the first instance, you need to make sure that you have the right technology in place to actually recruit for their roles. But this isn’t just about making sure you a company license with Zoom for video interviews.
- How are you registering your candidates? Can they do it remotely?
- How are you managing their Right to Work checks digitally?
- Do you have software that allows you to record interview pre-screening questions which you can send on to HR heads? Minimising the need for unnecessary face-to-face meetings
- How do you ensure you’re adhering to modern slavery checks if you don’t meet people in person?
- How is a candidate’s data being stored? Do you have to manually enter all their details every time a CV comes in? Or is your CRM set up to automate as much of the work as possible?
- What temporary staffing software do you have in place to help with shift planning and scheduling? Can the HR teams access this too?
With more and more businesses switching to “work from anywhere” models or increasing their flexible working policies, scheduling software and workforce management will be a huge focus as we head into 2021. Gone are the days of writing everything on whiteboards, we all know that. But with the ability to remotely manage all of this with ease, your business can spend less time ringing candidates to see who’s free for a shift and more time focusing on winning new business.
What makes you so special?
We understand that you may be reading this and having a minor freak out if you currently only have a few of these in place. This is not the time for judgement though, we know every business has tightened their purse strings to some extent this year. The key takeaway from this should simply be about whether you are offering your clients and candidates something above and beyond your competitors. Are you leading from the front in terms of adapting and pivoting your business to suit the ever changing demands of the world today?
It’s a candidate’s market right now and clients can afford to be picky about which recruitment agency they go with, so you need to be able to showcase why you’re different and be able to justify your rates.