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Work and general life as we knew it fundamentally changed in the space of a couple of weeks when COVID-19 rapidly hit our news and became a word everyone around the globe would know. When I think back to when Team Acquire made the decision to stop taking public transport into the city to the office and start working from home (it was Monday 15th March), I distinctly remember thinking to myself that it would only be for a couple of weeks, a month maybe. Then through that week that followed, I quickly realised that there was no way it was going to be a few weeks. It was going to be a few months, at least.

Now, I don’t think I am alone when I say this, but I love working from home! But only occasionally. It means no rushing out the door to do early drop off’s, no time spent waiting and sitting on a packed bus and no air conditioned office. (I do miss my colleagues of course) Studies have proven that remote working can improve work output and productivity quite significantly – but maybe not so much when you have new tiny, needy colleagues at home to feed, entertain and look after – and at the moment, also teach. And with COVID-19 quarantines in full effect across the country, many companies, at least those who are office based and can, have shifted to fully remote operations, which can make hiring and onboarding new talent tricky – but not impossible!

I love interviewing and meeting with new & existing candidates & clients, it’s what I enjoy most about my job. At Acquire, the most important goal in any recruitment process is to provide a personal and honest experience to both our candidates and clients – our customers. This is our main priority   For now though, the pace of recruitment and our traditional ways of interviewing and holding meetings has temporality changed, for all of us – but organisations still need to recruit just with some common sense changes to the normal way we interview and on-board people – and providing a positive and personal recruitment experience is still expected, and can be achieved, and I think is more important than ever at the moment!

Face to face interviews & meetings have shifted to video meets and the onboarding process has shifted to a virtual one. The last few weeks has proven that organisations who are quick to adapt and get ahead of the game on how to conduct a successful structured video interview and those who have carefully thought about, and put in place a  virtual onboarding plan, are the organisations who will be the most successful in continuing to hire great talent whilst  providing a positive experience for the candidate.

Equally, as the pace of hiring has slowed down, I think this is also a time for employers to really focus on their existing workforce – communication, interaction and support (whilst we can’t have the “personal touch”) is vital at the moment. As is offering flexible working. I like to take the positives from a situation whenever I can, and I think one positive employers will take from this situation we are in, will include offering flexible work arrangements can allow employers to recruit talented candidates who would otherwise have been out of their reach and they will recognise the business benefits of flexible work arrangements too.

Another very important thing employers need to consider is ensuring a solid pipeline of talent for when we do return to some sort of norm – what do the coming 3 – 6 months look like and what can we do NOW to support our “re-opening” strategy? Think about having virtual catchups with candidates to get to know them, and even to discuss “potential” opportunities – a great way to promote the company brand and meet potential great talent – as long as communication is honest and open, it’s a win win situation for everyone!

Wishing our community safe and well wishes at this time!