Who would have ever predicted I would be writing a blog as if we were in post-apocalypse times.
I write this as I am on day 3 of a precautionary 14-day self-isolation as I was fortunate enough to be enjoying the delights of the Amalfi coast when the country was put into obligatory lockdown, instigated by the Italian authorities; no cases of the Covid-19 virus in the region but all the restaurants, hotels, shops and public areas were being closed instantly.
Reluctantly we were flown home collectively with all the other British passengers and onboard the pilot explained that in accordance with recommendations from the public health and world health authorities, there were guidelines we must now follow in order to minimize the risk of contagion, even though no-one was displaying any symptoms.
Starkly this means no human interaction for 14 days if possible; for those who have parental responsibility, it has been fairly simple to explain to my teenage daughters to remain a few meters apart from me (anyone with teenagers will corroborate that teenagers don’t seek physical contact from mum!) and not to use anything of mine such as towels or dishes- my responsibility of course.
In terms of work, I am one of the lucky ones twice over in that 1) I work for myself so can decide when and where I work in ordinary circumstances and 2) I have always worked from home for 15 years since I opened Qui Recruitment so it is nothing novel or new to me as a concept.
However, for most recruiters who have been forced either into self-isolation or to work from home for the first time, despite it sounding really exciting, this could be a step too far and actually be
So I thought I would share some top tips for both the recruiter who finds themselves working from home for the first time and for those employers who are having to provide remote working essentially because they have to!
Stay connected- ensure you have regular calls/video catch-ups with your leader and your team too there are a plethora of apps to allow you to do this and to be honest, your teammates will be feeling exactly the same so it will build stronger bonds.
Communicate with Accountability
If you don’t already add everything to your CRM and shared
calendar, you need to start doing this as this shows you are working hard still and allowing others to see your activity without having to ask.
If you don’t have a designated office at home (I use my dining room!) then make sure you make it “feel” like work when it is your core hours- don’t be distracted by daytime TV or the dog needing a walk. Maintain your core hours as if you are in the office but the great thing is, you have NO commute and when you stop for lunch, this could be an hour-long nap or walk with pooch if you wish.
Because of the unique nature of this pandemic, no-one is immune from this and so everyone understands what you are going through. So it is essential than ever to maintain a pipeline for your desk, you remain positive, keeping candidates and clients communicating even if they can’t start their new role until this is all over. Share positive productive advice on your social media even if is funny rants about toilet roll and hand sanitizer.
Be strategic- as in the 2009 worldwide recession, those businesses who needed to shed exceeds headcount, the same will happen with Coronavirus- however, think about the impact of your headcount when this virus is under control and we are back to “normal” trading. Don’t knee jerk with your overheads; plan NOW and think about WHOM you need to steer you back to success and longevity
Don’t hide things from your team(s). Communicate openly about your plan as a business to navigate through these erratic times – share your own practical advice. Make suggestions that have worked for you in the past to ensure you don’t start at ground zero.
Focus on the bottom line
What is essential to your business spending wise – I am not suggesting culling incentives but are their things that could be shelved for now that can be reinstated at a later date. Perhaps your new website can wait? Is an office move essential right now? Be pragmatic about it but also be sensible.
Now is the time more than ever for human beings to help one another and share their stories- even with your “competitors”. Recruitment is a people business and at the heart of every interview and placement fee is a human, and now is the time to share your own humanity with your customers and employees alike
Stay safe everyone and keep washing your hands way beyond the end of this, please ?