With all the uncertainty in the world right now, some may start to panic – from stockpiling, to layoffs, to closing down shops. But on a recent NPAworldwide regional call, one of our area leaders insisted that for recruiters, it’s not time to panic… rather, it’s time to Partner, Pivot and Prosper.
- Partner – Now is the time to invest our time and energy into building and further developing relationships with NPA member partners. In the last week, just reaching out to partners I’ve built relationships with, has given me an understanding that we’re not in this alone, we’re in it together.
- Pivot – If you’re in a niche/industry on a downturn right now or all your jobs are on hold, now’s the opportunity for you to pivot and turn to trading partners who have needs – healthcare, biotechnology, pharma, agribusiness – areas that continue to need people. If you are typically an importer focusing on the client side and that has slowed down, you can still check out jobs posted and what candidates you have to start working the exporting side as well.
- Prosper – If we do those things, that will really help us come thru the other side of this prosperous. Now is not the time to slow down, stop. Continue to get closer to partners, and clients – they will remember you reaching out to them during this time. This too, will end. We will come out on the other side prosperous if we do these things.
In past downturns, it’s sometimes the brand new recruiters that fared better than those recruiters set in their own ways. You have to open yourself to new ways of thinking, and be somewhat creative with clients and candidates. For example, remind your clients that you can help them with video interviews; extended start dates with candidates; bringing candidates on virtually; offering contract / temporary start; or backroom processes and support services.
The area leader shared that he had a client that wanted to cancel interviews, so he immediately got on the phone with his client and asked why. They thought candidates wouldn’t want to come in. He said ‘let’s find out for sure.’ Turns out, all the candidates wanted to keep it and came in for a face-to-face interview. Sometimes it just takes picking up the phone and talking through concerns, because people are just panicking and aren’t sure what to do.
On the flip side, if your client puts jobs on hold because they don’t want candidates coming in, suggest to them that you’re going to continue recruiting because eventually this crisis will go away and positions will come back… in the meantime, why don’t we do Skype interviews? We can go through the interview process, and the only thing left will be on-sites, and who knows, that could be 2 months from now and this could be over by then.
Remind them that they should start the interview process. When we come through this on the other side, a strong candidate will be highly sought after. If they at least agree to start the interview process, they can then take it slowly… that way you’ve at least engaged with the candidate.
We’re spending a lot of time talking about what happened last week and what’s happening at the moment. Try to approach it by what’s going to happen 6 months from now. Most people, if you ask what are we doing 3-6 months out – they’re more interested in that because they’re bombarded and getting tired of what’s happening today. Position it as forward-thinking.
Also on the call, many members shared their job orders that are still open and that they are needing members’ help on. Areas such as healthcare, biomedical/medical device and pharma are still booming… and areas like manufacturing are diversifying, such as automotive companies making ventilators to help with the Covid-19 pandemic. This is a great time to diversify and spread your wings to other areas, especially with the help of a trading partner who already knows the ins and outs of that specialty and can help dial you in.
Whatever we do today will pay dividends months from now. If you can use this time to build strong relationships with your clients and candidates, whether just talking and commiserating or offer services/solutions, chances are, they’ll remember you when we come out on the other side of this.