As we enter week 5 or 6 of working from home, I can’t help but wonder what ‘normal’ will look like when we are back in the office.
I guess I am hopeful that several things will change. Based on conversations I have been having with clients, candidates, colleagues and peers this is what I believe will happen to the recruitment market in the new fin year:
Reset of the market
Before we were all sent into isolation, I had a pretty hefty pipeline and was ready for the final quarter of this financial year.
On reflection, the candidates I was working with had expectations that were not really aligned to the market. These were candidates who had 4 years’ experience expecting $120K bases, rookies taking offers over $65K, junior recruiters with two years’ experience moving for $80K. I had clients throwing in sign on bonuses, equity and the kitchen sink…The market was totally out of whack!
My hope is that when we come out of this, big bases are not the only driver for a recruiter making a move. Redundancies are rife across the market right now and I personally think there is another wave to come. I think this will be a wave that affects those on big bases who are not performing in this strange climate. My hope is that we come out the other side of this a little humbler.
Thankfully I work in an environment where flexibility is kind of our thing. We were already set up to work from home, so for us the process was almost seamless.
However, this isn’t the case across the board. When interviewing candidates (pre-covid) their top wish in a new role was FLEXIBILITY. This was something half the market was struggling to offer/understand. I think when we are all back in the office, a day from home will not be a big ask, and that we could see an end to start and finish times being purely dependent billings.
Wake up, commute, work, commute, home, repeat.
These past few weeks have allowed everyone to just breathe! We all work damn hard. For me personally, I have actually enjoyed slowing down for the first time in nearly seven years! I have never spent so much time focusing on my friends and families – social distancing of course! Actually having time for them again is a blessing! Although we don’t have much to say to each in lockdown, I love that we are all so connected at this time.
This is something I really hope stays the same, it’s important to remember to stop from time to time
Meetings / human contact
I was trained to meet each and every one of my candidates and it is still my favourite part of my job. Some of my best friends are ex candidates (hi if you’re reading this!!) but we have all had to adapt. Meetings are now FaceTime, Zoom or over the phone.
Obviously, I would love to be back meeting everyone face to face at the end of this, but I have learnt that I don’t really need to meet everyone face to face, especially if they are not in the CBD. This will allow me to be a bit more streamlined in my processes, which in turn makes me more efficient at work!
On the client-side, I have had quite a few Zoom meetings which is really nice! Instead of talking about the market we actually got more personal, talking about home décor or their dog… I have always been a bit of an open book/over-sharer, so I have enjoyed getting closer with clients.
Support, a lot more of it
Over this time leaders have had to step up like never before. We are now Managers, Life Coaches, Counsellors, Motivational Enthusiasts and GREAT listeners! This slow-down has allowed company culture to be front of mind.
I feel like the stigma around mental health was already something we were breaking down, although after this SURELY it will be fully embraced, and even ingrained in agencies core values. My LinkedIn feed is full of people showing how this is affecting them and I truly hope that support measures will be put in place to ensure mental stability in the workplace.