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Lauren Pierce: How I feel COVID-19 affected recruitment

29 June 2020 by Lauren Pierce
2020 06 Jumpstory Download20200629 150308 2020

​The recruitment industry has prevailed through multiple global crises and assisted in returning the global economy back to near normality following the financial crisis of 2008 and the following recession. 

As a recruiter in the SimCorp Dimension market I have personally been lucky enough to work in a niche market with opportunities all across the globe meaning when one market experiences a dip in activity I have been able to refocus on another region and location.

Being based in the UK and working globally, was initially a god send. When my APAC clients began freezing their recruitment and cutting budgets, I was able to redirect my efforts to my clients across Europe and North America. That did not last long.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a real impact on my recruitment. From country wide lockdowns, isolation policies and social distancing, recruitment processes had to change almost immediately to cater to our clients still willing to hire in this climate. However, another challenge I have personally faced while recruiting during this pandemic was the much smaller candidate base available. I was surprised how few candidates were initially available and keen to move – when a global pandemic hits it turns out candidates would prefer to remain in their current, stable jobs rather than risk jeopardising their current roles and employer relationships by embarking on a new process and I can understand this.

For me personally I have always been incredibly lucky working within SimCorp Dimension recruitment as clients are usually always recruiting and candidates available to new opportunities. This was a completely new recruitment landscape for me, and it definitely took some getting used to. From working remotely full time; organising remote interviews and on-boarding processes to doing Business Development in one of the quietest recruitment periods that I have ever worked through. However, it isn’t all bad news and uphill battles.

Believe it or not but COVID-19 actually helped me close some important deals that I had been working on. With any senior, permanent opportunity you can expect the recruitment process to be lengthy, however, I had been working on one such role for a few months leading up to COVID and it was turning into a longer process than even I expected. The role was in APAC, my candidate required an international relocation and since I am based in the UK – this meant I was co-ordinating recruitment efforts across 3 different time zones with multiple decision makers and a complex onboarding procedure in place. As you can imagine maintaining the candidate’s interest over such a lengthy process was difficult at times, and then COVID-19 struck! Once the client location was placed in lockdown it was only a matter of time until the candidate’s base location was also placed into lockdown and the risk of this happening actually helped me to push this deal over the finish line. With no external influences (other job opportunities, other candidates to consider) and the budget already agreed and signed off, the candidate was more than happy to continue in this process and the client moved decisively and pushed ahead so we were able to bring this process to a successful conclusion.

Of course, not all deals go that smoothly. I have been working with multiple clients who have had to completely reimagine and then rebuild their recruitment and onboarding processes, and this has not always been the easiest of tasks. But by far the biggest obstacle I have come up against is budget constraints. Clients all over the globe have been forced to make difficult decisions in relation to staff reductions,
layoffs, furlough, contract cancellations etc. One of the first steps in any recruitment process is ensuring the client has the budget sign off for external recruitment and in the current economic climate clients are either not allocating any budget towards new hires or preferring to recruit internally and not outsource to agencies and recruitment consultants like myself.

Aside from the difficulties we have all been facing these past few months, it is not all doom and gloom. I have been able to witness clients, who previously had strict onsite only policies, completely alter their mindsets and embrace this new style of working even completing remote onboardings of new candidates who will be working remotely! I have seen candidates offer rate reductions to assist in major client projects; recruiters working together to spread news of open opportunities and available candidates and people working together to provide solutions in this difficult time.

I am not expecting recruitment to get any easier in the short term and I personally believe we are still a little way off to returning to some semblance of pre-Covid normality. Clients will continue to restrict budget for external agency recruitment, candidates will prefer to remain in secure permanent and contract opportunities and relocating for the perfect role will still be difficult with borders remaining closed and
travel restricted.

But it is starting to get a little better! FinTech is a robust market even during these turbulent times and SimCorp Dimension is always a priority project within these clients.

COVID-19 has taught me that we have all had to flexible, change the way we thought recruitment worked and harness our client and candidate relationships more than ever. That is why I know I am working on behalf of the best SimCorp Dimension clients and representing the very best SimCorp Dimension talent on the market!

 

So if you are looking for a SimCorp Dimension professional to join your team, or you are a SimCorp specialist looking for a new permanent or contract opportunity, call me on +44 7596 441 312 or drop me an email at lpierce@skillfindergroup.com