The People Pod give an insight into how the coronavirus crisis is affecting their work.

Carlo Miller, Recruitment Partner at leading independent recruitment consultancy, The People Pod.

How have you been forced to adapt, change or cope due to coronavirus? 

First and foremost, we have the wellbeing of our staff and the safety of others as our number one priority.

The uncertainty is the biggest challenge to us at the moment. There are dramatic changes to the situation every single day, so we’re having to adapt daily while continuing to make commercial, yet safe, decisions. 

One interesting part of our business that you’d expect to change would be an increase in usage of video technology for interviews and meetings with candidates and clients. It has increased – but video tech has been a big part of how we operated even before now, so it’s business as usual in a lot of ways! 

In terms of the technology we use – it’s a mix of WhatsApp video, Skype, FaceTime and Google Hangouts, whatever our clients and candidates use, we can use too. 

 

How has your market been affected?

We work with high-growth businesses, so their recruitment requirements haven’t really slowed down. However, given the official advice around social distancing, we may see a temporary pause on interviews – or at least face-to-face interaction. 

Retail and hospitality, however, is another sector in which we specialise. With several retail giants being forced to close stores, there is naturally a temporary hold on recruitment decisions. 

We also work in the digital and technology industry, which is a whole different picture. During these times, digital tools are more useful than ever as a lot of companies are turning to video software to engage with candidates and clients or conduct business meetings when working from home. Additionally, digital is an extremely important channel right now with many more transactions being conducted online rather than physically in stores, while more people are also turning to the web to find answers to their questions and find new ways to entertain themselves when at home. Digital brands and businesses still need the best talent to ensure they can deliver what the nation needs right now, so we expect this to continue to be a busy area for us. 

 

How have you changed focus? 

Our immediate focus has been to ensure our staff are being looked after financially, mentally and with a primary focus on workplace safety and hygiene. 

Although lots of people think recruiters will be less active – we’re seeing that with many candidates working from home they have more time and privacy to take phone calls or schedule interviews. 

Given the opportunities in digital and technology to improve the nation’s quality of life when they are less likely to be able to leave the house or meet friends and family, we will be shifting to focus on more on this industry in the coming weeks. 

 

Have you scaled back or are you planning to push forward? 

The People Pod continues to operate our normal five-star service. Our clients and candidates can access us via all communication channels advised and we guarantee to support them to the best of our ability during these challenging times. 

We are finding that the current environment is making business owners more aware of gaps in their business, or areas they wish they could develop. Sadly, it sometimes takes moments of crisis for them to see where they could do with extra resource in the future, and we are having more conversations with business leaders who are planning their approach once things start to settle down again. 

As recruiters, sometimes we are governed by the actions of our clients, and in some cases, decisions may need to be put on hold. However, there are many other factors that keep our business spinning. 

We are not slowing down, we will continue to meet via video and interview great candidates, so we are ready when we come out the other side of this. It really is a case of continuing to do what we do best. 

Although we can’t predict the outcome at this moment in time, we will continue to focus on what we do have control over whilst supporting our clients, candidates and internal team at the same time. 

All things considered, we are extremely lucky to live in the 21st century and we can all make use of the technology we have to hand.

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