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3 reasons why recruiters were ready for remote working

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Georgina Denslow video interviewing, gig economy, interim...

Covid-19 has been the catalyst for unprecedented global measures and changes to keep the world safe and healthy during very turbulent times. As part of this, the vast majority of the UK workforce went from being office based to home based virtually overnight and since that point, businesses have been quick to embrace the change, implementing new protocols and processes to ensure business as usual requirements can be completed as normal.

Over the last 2 months, my Cedar colleagues and I have been able to continue working at home, supporting our clients, many of which are in industries critical to the UKs strategy to beat the virus and come out the other side in the best shape possible. Like many we have had to juggle childcare commitments, help vulnerable friends and family and generally navigate a working week while deciding whether to change out of pyjamas. To say the least it has all been a bit of an eye-opener.

Like many UK industries, Recruitment companies as a whole have always been a little reticent about allowing employees working from home privileges. But two months into lock-down and we’ve all pretty much adapted to the ‘new normal’ work routine. There is, of course, advantages and disadvantages to remote working which have been discussed at length, but it feels as though there has already been a shift in thought processes since home working was enforced by the government.

This all then begs the question: is remote working the way forward and is recruitment in particular one of the best placed industries to adopt it after the Corona virus pandemic passes?

Here are some reasons why this might be the case:

1) Technology
Over the last few years recruitment has, through the need to optimise, already embraced some of the technologies and processes which enable us to work remotely. With Clients and candidates not always in ideal locations to meet face-to-face, video calls via Zoom and Skype, or more specialist software like Odro Hirevue and Sonru have moved the industry forward and made interacting remotely commonplace. But during the pandemic these forms of communication have come into their own, enabling the industry to manage not only all the necessary external process, but internal team management as well. Here at Cedar we’ve onboarded two team members over the past two months and used video to make them feel at home and bring them up to speed. Combining this with cloud based applicant tracking systems and CRMs means there’s very little difference between a home office and a corporate office.

2) The Gig Economy
Project based working has been up and running for a good few years, with companies hiring Interims and Contractors to ensure project deliverables are met. The Government’s plan to introduce IR35 into the private sector (now delayed) was only going to increase this type of working. Employers bring in specialist contract help to assist with short-term business needs. In uncertain times, contractors provide flexibility, as well as focusing on a specific skill-set that an organisation needs at short notice. Furthermore, contractors are able to work autonomously to deliver key role objectives with little training or hand-holding required which suits a remote working set-up.

3) Globalisation
Working with an ever-increasing UK-wide and International client base has meant that working from a central office offers very little extra value. Meeting face to face, in many instances has become the final part of the process, often after all the background checks and validation has been conducted. This methodology enables Recruiters to source from a much larger talent pool, reducing time-to-hire and offering cost savings.

There are numerous other advantages for Recruiters when working remotely, most of which we’re now all very aware of, such as not commuting and spending more time with the family, while also allowing businesses to look at potential cost reductions such as employee salaries to cover said commute, or office space requirements.

The current situation with Covid-19 is constantly changing, as is the UK’s workforce and the Recruitment industry which supports it will continue to change with it. It might be that a key shift has already happened, and remote working for Recruiters is here to stay.

Cedar help to recruit Finance, Procurement and Transformation professionals on both a permanent and interim basis across the UK and internationally. If you require any support or advice on remote recruitment, feel free to contact me on gd@cedarrecruitment.com