How to get through this crisis, from a survivor of the last one


From previous experience in working during an economic crises, Tom Lamb provides tips on how to survive times of uncertainty


The coronavirus pandemic shows no signs of slowing down; in order to plan a path forward, I’ve reflected on its impact across the recruitment industry, its markets, and the knock-on effect that is likely to follow suit.

While some businesses are already operating for the modern world, the coronavirus has forced others to adopt alternative strategies, including, but not limited to, video or remote interviewing, working from home, and travel bans. Some have taken it a step further, introducing hiring restrictions, postponing interviews, and delaying initiatives; directly impacting the sustainability of the recruitment industry.

As someone who worked within the industry during the economic crash, I can see some correlations between the levels of uncertainty and concern. The causes might be different, yet they share similar potentially long-term effects on businesses globally. While in some part we will need to roll with the punches, there are some things I learned from the financial crash that can help mitigate the issues we are currently experiencing and keep business competitive.

  • Agile – it is essential to remain agile. If it is possible to be reactive to the needs of your clients, then there will be opportunity to meet client needs, that will be evolving during with the ongoing coronavirus issue.
  • Adaption – as with every challenge, there is also opportunity; if you are able to adapt to your client’s needs, offer solutions that meet those needs in terms of their processes and of course resource needs, you become even more of a valued partner.
  • Relationships – with a track record of meeting client needs and being a truly trusted partner, your clients need you more than ever. In recruitment, we are in a unique position in the market to be able to offer insight that your clients will often not be able to get from anywhere else. What are competitors doing, how are they reacting etc. Moreover, when it comes to interviewing via digital platforms as opposed to face-to-face you will be relied upon, as always, to give clear and direct insight into the suitability of the candidates you have previously met and/or already know.
  • Innovation – new ways of working, practical solutions to business problems, and different ideas for how to help your clients will all be hugely beneficial and further cement the position of being a valued partner.
  • Hard-work – there is no substitution to make sure you’re ahead in the game. In tough times, client’s needs are going to become acute and specific. Remaining focused on the project delivery ensures you remain valued.
  • Big picture – Uncertainty is always challenging, so it is important to remain focused on the big picture. All firms need to move forward and if we can help them see the bumps in the road that could affect them, we can help clients steer away from dangers.
  • The future – The corona outbreak won’t last forever; while we all hope for as little collateral damage as possible and for good health of everyone affected, no one can predict exactly what will happen. But there is light at the end of the tunnel, no-one knew how long the credit crunch would affect the world economy, we focused on the needs at the current time, but also likely needs in the future in order to be well positioned to respond when required.

Internally, we’re doing all we can to support our staff, clients and candidates to not only survive the economic uncertainty of the next few months but thrive. If you would like a confidential discussion on how best plan for the future and move forward, please get in touch with me via – I would be happy to help, in any way I can.


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