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Recrutiment & Employment Confederation

Wait, Wait, Weight - The Power and Responsibility inside the Employment Cycle

Advice for employers

This is a guest blog by Steve Bernard, Founder and Managing Director, Connectwell (Good Recruitment Collective (GRC) Signatory)

It seems remarkable that less than six months ago, the UK economy was at near-record employment levels with wage growth consistently outpacing inflation. Since then the world has been turned upside down by the COVID-19 crisis. As we watch and participate in the unfolding story, today represents a critical period for all employers and professional recruiters alike.

Instead of being passive observers waiting and watching how the recession will play out, we are of course all active agents in the economy, having our own stories and experiences of how we've been affected in our professional lives and beyond. This is of particular relevance to the recruitment sector. It’s all too easy to see a recession as a purely economic phenomenon. In truth, the reality for individuals and organisations is that as the recession transforms the supply and demand equation, whole employment, work, and life cycles are broken and disrupted in the most dramatic fashion.

At Connectwell, we have been adapting rapidly to the situation and listening to what businesses and affected individuals are saying. Here are a few of the key insights:

  • Candidates entering the market (often for the first time in a while) are struggling to navigate the jobs market and are crying out for decent feedback and basic support to improve their performance and prospects.
  • Job seekers often feel invisible and blind during application process; the physical distance and remote selection due to Coronavirus is contributing to this.
  • Companies have been struggling to perform even basic medium- or long-term planning, putting their HR and Recruitment teams under immense pressure with minimal information.
  • Company values and cultures have been severely tested by the crisis, meaning the candidate experience has suffered in many cases, leading to anomalies, gaps, and below par standards.

Connectwell is dedicated to supporting organisations create sustainable performance advantage through people. The three service areas in highest demand today are Outplacement Support - coaching leavers on next career steps, skills upgrading for teams identifying gaps in their performance and Change Management as businesses reorganise for a transformed world.

With large numbers of people out of work, entering the jobs market, now is the time for the sector to step up and accept its full weight of responsibility. REC members know the importance of good practice including the importance of clear and consistent communication and contracting with candidates and clients. But with large volumes and prolonged ambiguity and change, now is the time to step back and look at your performance and practice. The REC is well placed to provide a pivotal role in that endeavor. Their experts can help you objectively review, improve, and adapt in all aspects of the profession. Their whole service partnership approach means whether it is legal compliance, the right skills & training, or specialist business support, they can add value in the right places.

The REC works with ambitious employers, and those signatories of the Good Recruitment Charter, recognise and respond to the highest standards around diversity, candidate experience, professional development, supply chain, process improvement and so much more. There really is no time to wait - we all have our role to play in powering up employment and making great work happen.