Today’s guest blogger is Paul Thompson, sales and marketing director at Ikiru People. Ikiru People is the leading global provider of technology to recruiting teams worldwide and the supplier behind well-known brands such as – Voyager Infinity CRM, FileFinder Executive Search Software, ISV.Online – the skills assessment and training software and GatedTalent – the platform connecting senior-level executives with executive recruiters around the world.
2020. What a year, eh!
We’re only a few short months away from entering a new year but the pandemic remains an insidious part of our lives. This global calamity truly had a lot of us scrambling to understand what it meant for us and the way we work.
One big transformation it brought across the board was that we were all confined to working from home at some point this year. It’s made me reflect on whether the lone wolf recruiter has been flourishing, or floundering, and if the collaborative recruiter has been getting on better by comparison.
It got me thinking – during a pandemic, what recruiting style works best?
The Lone Wolf Recruiter vs Collaborative Recruiting
Let me introduce the Lone Wolf. They are challenged and motivated by the million tasks in front of them. They’re screening CVs, identifying top level executives, creating regular reports for clients. They are exhilarated when they meet deadlines and get the job done. They work hard and long hours. But they’re working harder and longer than their colleagues, expending and spreading their energy on many different tasks.
This enthusiasm for their job is commendable and aspirational. But one has got to wonder whether they would benefit from a bit more of a collaborative approach. If nothing else, they will find themselves with a more flexible schedule and more time which they can invest on networking. And, after all, isn’t relationship building at the heart of recruitment?
This pandemic could possibly have been tougher for recruiters who practise collaborative recruitment. If you’re one of them and you’ve felt dejected because of limiting interactions with clients and colleagues via a little rectangular box on your computer screen, I empathise. Despite technology making life and work easier for us, it doesn’t really go all the way, does it?
Executive candidates and clients appreciate a face-to-face meeting which has now had to be diverted online. You also probably miss stopping by your colleague’s workspace to ask if they can work on a pitch with you. Recruitment, like any other work, derives some of its best parts from teamwork. Whether it is sharing data of C-suite executives or exchanging tips on how to manage candidates and clients, it is ultimately about drawing on each other’s strengths.
‘These unprecedented times’
Let me share my presumption that one of 2020’s catchphrases, ‘these unprecedented times’, tires you out. Every major publication has included this phrase in at least one of their articles. However, we have to acknowledge that it does the job of registering the gravity of the situation we are in. In the first half of the year, Covid-19 brought everything to a halt and almost overnight we had to change the way we worked. What transpired was to establish telecommuting as the new way to do business.
As Lone Wolf recruiters and Collaborative recruiters adjusted to this new method of working, each side inadvertently adopted practical qualities from the other. I spoke to hundreds of our recruiter clients over the course of the past months. This global virus has made us more receptive to deeper conversations as well as willingness to try new things. Lone Wolves began appreciating the advantages of partnership and sharing challenging work. Meanwhile, Collaborative recruiters learned from their Lone Wolf colleagues about the grit and determination it takes to successfully produce results without relying on external help.
Always focus on the customer
As a longstanding technology partner to the recruitment industry, I can confidently say that our service-oriented products have done their share in making work easier for recruiters. Our usual razor sharp focus on quality service and customer satisfaction prepared us for the kind of support we needed to deliver.
The recruitment industry is one of the most exciting, fast-paced and dynamic industries today. It was also one of the quickest to feel the effects of the virus as the global job market fell exponentially. The OCED states that unemployment rate in May 2020 was 8.4%. There is expected to be a one percent increase bringing the OECD-wide unemployment rate to 9.4% in the fourth quarter.
Yet, executive recruitment software has been and strives to continue to be an effective partner during these harsh times. The professional world has shifted base from a thriving busy office to a room or a desk in one’s house. Clients’ business needs have probably undergone a slight deviation from the norm. But it’s important to note clients will always expect superior quality of service.
Implementing exhaustive digitization in recruitment is the way to move forward and retain a competitive edge. Recruitment firms already employ powerful recruitment software for data mining and analysis. It also makes CV parsing, short-listing candidates, and creating reports convenient. Now digital interviews and video calls are quickly becoming the standard.
I would advise my colleagues in the industry to utilize executive search software for all aspects of recruitment – from automating front office tasks to back office admin work. Find a suitable vendor. Ask for demos. If your office is going to be working from home for the unforeseeable future, cloud-based software is a priority. Read objective testimonials. Make note of product functionality and support quality. Don’t hesitate to ask questions tailored to your unique business needs.
A powerful technical partner helps recruiters work smarter and be more productive, even when working from home.
Preparing for ‘the new normal’
There’s another catchphrase – ‘the new normal’. This ‘new normal’ has us forging ahead, adapting and reconciling to life as we find it. We have not overcome the pandemic yet. It is time to adopt new attitudes and skills to prepare for whatever lies ahead of us. The emphasis must be on cultivating long-term relationships – recruiters will build stronger bonds with colleagues, executive candidates and client companies. Technology partners like us will proceed with keeping our recruitment company clients at the heart of what we do.