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Earlier this week, I caught up with our CEO Gavin Speirs to find out exactly what leading CEO’s, Talent Acquisition Leaders and Hiring Managers are saying to him in conversations about how companies are adapting recruitment plans and processes, and how they’re positioning themselves during this challenging climate.

And if you’re more of a reader, we’ve got a transcript of the video for you further down the page too.

Lastly, towards the end of the video, we discuss offering FREE behavioural profile assessments to hiring managers and candidates, whether you’ve worked with us before. You can click here to learn more or to ask for your free assessment.

Just click the video 👇👇👇 to watch now.

[Robert]

Okay. So first things first, how are you getting on with working at home over the last week or so? I’m sure you’re missing everyone at the team dearly.

[Gavin]

To be honest I am, the first few days were fine and it was a novelty, and it was good to try to get caught up with things, but I think this is day nine and it’s balanced. So it’s really about kind of adapting, getting into a routine, keeping yourself busy, keeping yourself focused. I think we’re doing a lot of communication, but it’s certainly been a change.

[Robert]

Definitely. We’ve been having a lot of chats, and video calls, and we’ve used video calls so much over the last week, it’s been incredible. But as you said, we adapt, don’t we?

[Gavin]

Absolutely.

[Robert]

So me and you speak quite a lot and I thought well, it’d be worthwhile recording a quick video because the bottom line is you’re someone who’s CEO of a global recruitment company here at Solutions Driven. You’ve worked in the recruitment industry for 20 years now, but I also know because we’ve been chatting that you’ve been having lots of conversations over even the last three, four weeks with other company CEOs, talent acquisition leaders, hiring managers. And I hate using the C word, but I know the coronavirus is actually impacting the recruitment industry and the hiring world in general. So I just thought it’d be good even just for a few minutes just to kind of really just get your views on what’s happening out there and really just again, what’s been happening over the last two or three weeks and what those people are saying to you and just what’s been going on.

[Gavin]

First of all, I don’t feel like CEO right now. I feel like someone that’s just a key part of the team, just keeping the team together and keeping morale going. I think right now everyone is as important as each other, and really our team has come together as a testament to that. I think you mentioned the C word and I think the other C word that’s really important though is conversations. And definitely over the last few weeks we’ve had more probably and video and faced to… Certainly face to face from a video point of view, conversations with candidates, clients, hiring managers as you said. And I think there’s a real mixture out there as everyone’s saying. People are saying touch wood it’s not impacted me too much, but we expected it to impact us. Or yeah, it’s really impacted and we’re on a hiring freeze at the moment.

[Gavin]

I think we’re still seeing quite a few of our clients hiring what I would call business critical roles. So it’s really for us, how do we support them through that? How do we adopt our process as well as the client’s process to really keep that process moving? And I think a couple of days ago we talked about keeping hiring moving. And really that’s been our goal over the last few weeks really just to keep clients feeling some momentum, but more importantly candidates, and those candidates are certainly engaged with the process. I think as you said, I was younger in 2007, 2008 when the last crash hit, and this feels different. And I know everyone’s talking about the word unprecedented and it certainly does. I think we’ve never been through a situation like this in the past. And I don’t play the stock market at all, but I certainly use it as a kind of a temperature checking what’s going out there, and you can see it’s still going up, down, bumpy, etc. So I think that probably is similar to how our clients and candidates are feeling as well.

[Robert]

Great. And just kind of leading on from that, you talked about candidates there. You put a post up on LinkedIn the other day around about active and passive candidates is what you called it and how in this kind of climate, they’ll actually behave differently. Just from my own point of view, what do you mean by that? Suppose can you just elaborate just a bit more on that please?

[Gavin]

So unfortunately that are more active candidates now given companies having to reduce heads, change in business requirements, etc. And so what I meant is active candidates are unfortunately becoming more active, more keen to find the next role, pushing yourself out there further. And also at the same time, the passive candidate who is settled in a role is probably becoming more passive. I.E., they’re probably less interested right now and making a move because they’re uncertain times, they don’t want to move into something that they don’t know as much about.

[Gavin]

Really, from our point of view if I was giving any advice to clients, it is make sure that you continue to work on your value proposition, make sure that you continue to position your brand as best as possible because when we do come out of this, I think clients who have kept that focus on their value proposition will certainly be better positioned to get the interest of passive talent. But we’ve seen it already certainly a lot more people looking for jobs, and people in jobs are less willing to make that move unless it’s the real right thing for them and they’re taking more time to think about that.

[Robert]

No, that makes sense. And I suppose the last question I’ve got for you would be more around though, I wish you had a crystal ball, but you don’t. In those conversations you have been having with whether it’s CEOs or talent acquisition leaders, is there anything they are doing to adapt, or anything you think they should be doing to adapt at the moment, or how we can help them over even we say 12 weeks, over the next two, three months? Any thoughts on that?

[Gavin]

So I think two things. I think that the talent acquisition leaders out there are certainly looking at how do you adapt a process. Clearly there’s more virtual remote video interviewing. So I do believe that this situation will not only make video a nice to have, but certainly become an absolute must have. And I think people will naturally start adopting that processes. I’ve seen a really good article in Forbes a couple of days ago and it talked about kind of four phases of business interruptions. The first one being people are still awaiting the impact. They don’t know what the impact will be. The next phase is then moving into we now know that there’s impact, what do we have to do to withstand that impact? Moving into, okay, we can see about a normality coming back into what we’re doing. And then lastly looking at, okay, based on what’s happened, what things do we need to now change as a business to adopt to the new world?

[Gavin]

So for me, I think we’re still speaking to people who are in the don’t know the impact and also organisations who are now in that okay, I can see the short term impact of this and here’s the things I’m trying to change. The other thing that I read which was good was I think called uncertainty matrix. It looked at four categories. It looked at making sure you know your known knowns, your unknown knowns, your known unknowns, and your unknown unknowns. And it’s actually quite good when you think about it because it starts to really say, “Okay, what things do we control of just now do we need to take action on? What are the things that we don’t know, what we anticipate happening? And then certainly that article for me just started to make me think about not only solutions driven as a business, but what are clients thinking out there just now?

[Robert]

Great. Now just before we go, clearly we’re try to do everything we can to help at the moment. So I think it was Monday this week we started offering whether it was candidates or clients, free behavioural profile assessments for everyone. And that’s whether it’s a candidate we’ve either worked with before, a client we’ve worked with before. It doesn’t matter. How do you think they’ll be able to help? I’ll post a link JUST below this video somewhere, just where people can go and claim that free profile, but just before we go, I just thought it would be very good if you had any views on how that could help?

[Gavin]

No, good point. So if we go back a week or so ago, we as a management team said, “Okay, what are the things that we can do to help our clients and candidates just now? And we started looking at, well, let’s increase our guarantees for the hires that we make. Then we took a step back and said, “Well actually, if everyone’s not hiring right now, linking free give aways with hires is probably not the right thing to do.” We then started to see some well known software brands out there saying, “Here’s a free license for using our product.” And we thought, so that’s much more about giving back but we’re not a software business, so we started to think about, okay, in relation to keeping hiring moving, what are the two things that we could do?

[Gavin]

One on the client side, if a client is making a hire just now… and when I say a client, not a client of solutions driven, just a company globally. If they’re making a hire just now, they’re probably even more concerned about getting that higher right, given the uncertain times that we’re in. And we thought, well our contribution could be giving free behavioural profiling to help that organisation at least get some more insight into the candidates that they’re speaking to. And then also on the candidate side, whether the candidate is active or passive right now, a free behavioural profile that helps them again get an insight into their working preferences, the types of organisations that would suit them best. So really our giveaway was more around keeping hiring moving, and keeping people feeling part of hiring processes, and ultimately improving the chance of the right hire for those organisations.

[Robert]

Great, and I’ve done them myself. So it’s amazing how accurate they are and what they do reveal about you as a person, which sometimes you don’t want to admit, but actually though they’re very, very good. So that’s it. I just wanted to make a quick video just on all of that. So I appreciate you taking some time out, Gavin, and we will catch up very shortly.

[Gavin]

Absolutely. Great.

[Robert]

Yes, take care. Bye. Bye.

[Gavin]

Bye. Bye.

 

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