How lockdown has brought the recruitment industry together

by in Recruitment

A crisis, though never wished for, often brings out the very best in people. During the previous national lockdown, heartwarming stories of communities coming together in all sorts of different ways to help each other out were plentiful. We shopped for shielding neighbours and those having to isolate, delivered medicine to those who couldn’t get out, checked in on elderly friends and family, whole streets celebrated birthdays, shops created special hours for the vulnerable and key workers and we all came out on Thursday evenings to clap for the NHS. Businesses, too, stepped up and offered support in a myriad of different ways. As a nation, we reached out, showing support and solidarity for one another, and that is how we all got through it.

Recent WaveTrackR data has revealed that Recruitment Sales jobs received some of the highest numbers of applications in October. It is tough out there and about to get tougher for many. At the same time, in response to this, the industry is coming together. As we head into another lockdown, we look at the fantastic initiatives those working in recruitment and related industries have formed to help businesses and individuals through these incredibly challenging times. 

FurLearn is an amazing example of a group of volunteers getting together purely to help others. Set up during lockdown by IT recruitment consultant Gary Wills while he was furloughed, the initiative’s single mission is to give support to those furloughed, made redundant or otherwise unemployed during the pandemic and they live by their values of “being Kind, being Brave, Inspiring others and continually Learning”. They offer entirely free events and webinars run by experts, plus a wealth of blogs, with the aim of giving career and jobseeking advice as well as mental health and wellbeing support to those struggling to find a job in these challenging times. Wills has said, “We want to use this time to remind everybody out there that they are not alone, they are stronger than they think and that this will pass.”     

Focusing on awareness of mental health in the recruitment industry is exactly what Mental Health in Recruitment does on a daily basis. Driving a change in the industry are a group of ambassadors and champions who want to see and support more recruitment businesses incorporate mental wellness into their strategies. Founded last year, it has been much needed in 2020 and inspired Mental Health in Recruitment champion Ben Kenwright to set up NeedTo Chat, which offers support to isolated individuals during the pandemic. An opportunity to combine the two initiatives has led to NeedToChat to partner with Mental Health in Recruitment, allowing it to soon expand into the workplace, offering free community support to the recruitment industry. 

When it comes to actionable advice for recruitment businesses most severely impacted by the pandemic, a new initiative formed by The Lonely Marketers upon the announcement of a second lockdown is just what was needed. A group dedicated to sharing ideas, advice and challenges of recruitment marketing professionals, The Lonely Marketers have gone one step further with their Together initiative. With the imminent arrival of lockdown 2.0 the group wanted to find a way to help those recruitment agencies that have been directly affected by the economic impact from Covid-19 via pro-bono marketing advice, technology and support – expertise that can help drive business during these tough times. Recent Talent Matters webinar guest Richard Williams, global Head of Marketing for Austin Fraser and Austin Vita, demonstrated just how important marketing is to recruitment agencies – and even more so during a crisis. That is exactly when you should be reaching out, selling your business, proving why you are better than your competitors. The aim of Together is to make marketing accessible to all who really need it.

This second national lockdown, though perhaps increasingly inevitable, has come as an almighty blow to many recruitment professionals, especially those working in directly affected industries. The fact that there are groups of individuals who are willing to give up their time for free to help out those in need, whether from a wellbeing or a business support perspective, is something we should all hold onto. Whether you want to do more to help or are in need of help yourself, hopefully one of these groups should provide what you’re looking for. The takeaway is that we are in this together – sailing in different boats perhaps but weathering the same storm – so let’s try and help each other out and come together as a community. We’ve got this.