We are well into this crisis now. Plummeting sales, furloughed staff, offices deserted for months, city centres virtually dead – and holidays on hold or in quarantine. It’s been grim, even if there are some distinct shafts of light at the end of the tunnel. Even now, as the autumn leaves start to fall and the governments around the UK decide on how best to cope with the slight upward movement in infections, I am still confident that we’ll come out of this OK.
Peace, like every other recruitment business, has been affected by the downturn. Like all our competitors, we’re seeing a change in the way our clients and candidates approach us. The latter, in particular, are in a totally different place from six months ago. With many people in every sector having lost their jobs, the number coming onto the market is growing and the expectation is that many more will join their ranks as the furlough scheme is wound down.
The Institute of Customer Service is counselling its members (of which Peace Recruitment is, I believe, still the only recruitment firm) to “challenge ourselves and consider what we are doing well and what has been harder, what is fundamental and what is peripheral to our offerings and approach…For many, this involves reviewing what they sell and how they service. Some aspects of customer demand and expectations have shifted through the pandemic, and in many cases, this will signal a permanent change in behaviour. Customers are re-thinking what they want…. Companies that have put customer service front and centre throughout the pandemic have been rewarded with loyalty – and as we move forward, that loyalty dividend will magnify.”
This applies in recruitment as much as elsewhere. I know that my colleagues are going to be inundated with hundreds of people, many of them desperate, who need a job. We shall do everything we can to help each and every one of them, treating them all equally and fairly, knowing that by doing so we’ll get our rewards by word-of-mouth recommendations and referrals. Of course, recruitment is a sales business, but if you look after your customers then the sales tend to look after themselves. And if you’re looking for a job, then come and speak to us and we’ll do our level best to help you.
Chris Peace, MD, Peace Recruitment