With the coronavirus now the sole topic of conversation everywhere, no senior director or business owner I speak to is complacent about what lies ahead of us. Most of those I speak to are not in despair (unless it’s at some of the more extreme hysteria in the media) and we are all united by a desire to make sure that the wheels of commerce continue to revolve.
That’s not to belittle the seriousness of the situation or pretend that times are not going to be tough – potentially very tough – but it is to put down a marker as to Cedar’s intention to partner with our clients and candidates through this period of uncertainty and help sustain their businesses and careers.
Even in the worst crises to hit our world over the last two centuries, business, commerce and innovation continued. We have a major advantage over our forebears because today’s technology is far in advance of anything they could have imagined. With globalisation, businesses are used to adapting and using technology to interact and advance. The current situation demands we fully embrace this and garner all the benefits technology has to offer. Specifically, we can still “meet each other” by using video conferencing tech.
Two massive things in our favour are that, a) many have already adopted or have easy access to the technology needed to allow us to continue to interact remotely with one and other, and b) most are very comfortable using it, so there is no learning curve, albeit there may be some extra training and support needed for some. The message is clear: people will still need to recruit and our role, as I see it, will be to continue to help facilitate this. For all our sakes, the world needs to keep turning and business must go on.
Video interviewing is already very well established and will now grow rapidly in importance. Put simply, it is the oil that allows the recruitment machine to keep working.
I also want to stress that this is not rocket science – in fact the complete opposite. Video conferencing – using Skype, Zoom WhatsApp or Facetime - is easy and we all already carry the necessary technology in our pockets every day.
In other words, our ability to ‘meet’ remotely via our smartphones, tablets and laptops is tried and tested and, while we know it will never entirely replace the unique benefits of human, face-to-face interaction, it will enable us all – consultants, clients and candidates - to work together to achieve our common aims.
Finally, this pandemic is almost certainly going to have an economic impact, the precise depth of which remains to be seen, and the business world will have to change very fast to keep up. What remains very clear is that what defines us is not how we avoid the challenges life throws at us but more how we react to the inevitability of those challenges. Business and life must continue, and virtual meetings /interviews are an easy and vital part of the equation that will allow this to happen. Cedar are ready to coach and train any who need help and guidance in video interviewing and our consultants will continue to work tirelessly to help both clients and candidates achieve their goals.
The challenges we face are deadly serious but not insurmountable and, aided and abetted by technology and the power of positive thinking, we shall overcome them.
Howard Bentwood, CEO, Cedar