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East Midlands, West Midlands and UK

Thoughts of a recruitment veteran…


As I got ready for our afternoon pre-weekend team catch up (via Zoom), firstly I am grateful to the key workers on the frontline of our NHS, care and service sectors that keep our lives safe and on an even keel. Secondly, I reflected on what a different world it is today, to that which any of us could have imagined as we set off into 2020. Who would have ever thought a figure like Captain Tom Moore would have emerged as a hero to the NHS and an inspiration to the rest of us at the grand old age of 99, a true veteran that we can admire.

I have been speaking to a number of recruitment owners, Finance and Managing Directors and business network friends who have been impacted by the coronavirus crisis, and in so many different ways that you could never have imagined. The common theme is that we need to share our resources and ideas and prepare for what will be a different economic landscape to anything any of us will have ever navigated.

Unlike other slowdowns of the past 30 years this one is unique in its abruptness and also the difficulty to plan for the next 12 months. Why? The lack of timelines because the immediate, and most importantly people safety plans, put in place by governments around the world to become effective to the satisfaction that “normal” life can resume again is unclear. And then what will the new normal be both socially and economically. There are no clear answers nor reliable data to draw upon.

The recruitment world has been impacted in a way I have not witnessed before but there are positives:

Clients who have been in process on retained searches are completing their work – I applaud the innovation and patience shown by both clients and candidates to make the new world work. See the joint Blues Point – ABPM webinar as to how this can be possible if you have not seen it already. 

We have had postponements rather than cancellations – key leadership appointments will still need to be made.

A number of placements (interim, contract and permanent) have successfully started during lockdown. Induction processes have been meetings via zoom and innovative to say the least but where there is a will there is a way.

I and ABPM have faced many challenges over the past 3 decades and although this is very different, I hope we will take a number of learnings that we employ going forwards:

  • More knowledge exchange.
  • The importance of communication across different platforms.
  • Utilisation of technology Zoom, TEAMS, Skype, FaceTime and WhatsApp video in keeping in touch with each other, our candidates, clients and partners.

In summary I believe we will emerge out of this better armed and if you have held true to the values that underpin you during this period, you and your businesses will be different but stronger for it borne of mine own experiences over the past 30 years. ABPM, we are open for business but not necessarily in the style of yesteryear.

Rej Abraham, Managing Director