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  • Writer's pictureMandy Jong

COVID-19: 6 Tips to Prepare Your Business for the Recovery

There is no doubt that 2020 has already been, and will remain, a challenging year for all of us. From droughts, to bushfires and wild storms, to now the COVID-19 pandemic; every individual, community, and industry has felt the impact. The recruitment industry has not come out unscathed.

Depending on which area you specialise in, the coronavirus has either slowed you right down, with many clients putting hiring on hold and some even forced to stand people down; or put you under the pump to fill much needed roles in healthcare, aged care, construction, logistics, contact centres, and retail for essential services like supermarkets and pharmacies.

If you are experiencing a slump, this is a scary time, and hopefully, the government’s stimulus package can help you ride it out. However, this downtime can bring the opportunity to prepare for a time when the market recovers. Because when it does, you may be facing a deluge of placements and a huge pool of candidates, so having your CRM/Application Tracking System (ATS) set up to run effectively, will make your life easier in the long run.

Here are my 6 tips to make your business recovery-ready:

1. Review candidate information and work with them to enrich their CV: Spend this time reviewing and contacting your candidates, ensuring you have all the information you need to include in their CV. By working with them to update their skills, experience and trade or professional certifications, they will be in a better position when those relevant jobs become available – and so will you! Having this updated information in your ATS will mean you can find the right candidate faster, saving you money in the long-run, especially for those of you that have enough candidates in your system and don’t need to spend money on advertising roles.

2. Revitalise your database: Take this opportunity to update any outdated or incomplete talent and client profiles, ensuring you have allocated people to the correct categories, industries, or added appropriate tags. Once this process is complete, what was previously a database of semi-completed profiles is now a large pool of candidates and contacts that you can easily segment to find qualified applicants to put forward to known clients.

3. Create and streamline reports: Now you have all the data at your fingertips, make sure you are using it effectively to improve your business. This could be by setting up business-wide reports that provide insights into your recruitment process, identifying any bottlenecks, or using talent pooling reports to determine where you should be focusing your resources to attract more quality candidates.

These reports should also be used by your team to automate and streamline processes for the everyday placement of candidates. If you have team members that already use reports effectively, ask them to share how they do this with the wider team. If you need help, contact your ATS provider, as I am sure they will be able to assist in setting up and creating standard and custom reports for your business.

4. Plan for the new norm: Businesses should be prepared that things may not return to the way they were before the COVID-19 pandemic. The changes made during this time may transform the way we work in the long term.

Recruiters should prepare for the possibility that remote working might become more popular, and conducting interviews and client meetings remotely, rather than in person, may become the new norm.

5. Prepare for the next crisis: In 2008, the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) had a significant impact on the recruitment industry, and many thought it was a once-in-a-generation event, but as we have seen with COVID-19, financial downturns are a reality and will likely happen multiple times during your lifetime. For those recruiters who have identified and worked in a particular niche, this may be the time to look at expanding your target clients. Use your CRM/ATS to identify new industries that compliment your current candidates, then build out a plan to diversify and safeguard your business for the future.

6. Support your industry: This is a challenging time for everyone. It is more important than ever that we stay connected with our colleagues, partners, and competitors and offer our support.

Recruiters are ‘people-people’, relationships will flourish when we support each other during difficult times. Whether this is deferring payments or simply just letting people know that you are there to help during this challenging period, it’s these connections that make our industry what it is.

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