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How your business’s recruitment is more important than ever during the COVID-19 outbreak

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​Many businesses are impacted by COVID-19 and are confused about how to proceed; this article aims to address how reducing your recruitment schemes could have repercussions in the long term.

How are businesses being impacted by Coronavirus?

The impact from Coronavirus is being felt by businesses around the world, from disrupting manufacturing suppliers to impacting manpower – it’s reaching fever pitch for everyone. Since December 2019, when the virus was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan, more than 110,000 people worldwide have been affected. China’s own measures have slowed down the world’s second-largest economy and are predicted to affect the global economy too. Many in finance are already predicting another financial crash and companies are beginning to feel the pinch.

With the recent surge in Coronavirus cases confirmed in the UK over the last week, businesses are facing the following issues:

  • An increased duty of care towards their staff’s wellness

  • Reduced staff due to quarantine and sickness

  • Reduced cash flow due to global shortages

  • Uncertainty towards future market stability

  • Disruption to hiring schemes and, therefore, growth

How can businesses tackle some of these issues?

Although some of these issues are out of the scope of any business’s control, there are many measures that can be incorporated into your day-to-day operations that will ensure your long-term business objectives are met.

The official recommendation from the UK government and the NHS is to increase you workplace’s hygiene protocol and offer hand-sanitising stations, isolate employees who may have recently been exposed to the virus by travelling to highly-infected countries such as China and Italy, and calling the emergency services if an employee begins to exhibit acute symptoms. These include a high fever coupled with a dry cough.

However, many businesses are beginning to acknowledge the viability of remote working to ensure business continuity. Particularly for those working in finance; access to data, analytics and software can be provided remotely with project leaders and senior managers able to stay in contact with their teams via phone, email, WhatsApp, Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Slack, Google Hangouts, Twist, Flock, Cisco Webex Teams, Mattermost, Ryver … the choices are endless, privacy secured and available online. To potentially reduce the risk of spreading the Coronavirus, increase the individual safety of your staff, and keep your team and department on course to meeting your overall business objectives, you only need to provide your staff with a laptop, a phone and ensure there’s a Wi-Fi connection in their home. Many finance roles today already offer laptops and mobile devices, so ensuring employees have the right access to the network and systems logins remotely will be key to enabling the flexible workplace to take shape. It’s important to speak to your HR department to ensure that all remote working criteria per your policies are met, as well as your IT and security teams to ensure that any risks are mitigated.

How can maintaining your recruitment schemes help in the long term?

With the current focus turned inward to protecting and isolating your current staff, it can seem like thinking about additional hires would be counterintuitive, however, this is not necessarily the case.

Maintaining your planned recruitment schedule is vital to ensuring the future of your business. Effective recruitment needs to be time-specific and reflect the planned business trajectory and growth to ensure you have the talent and skills in place to support these movements. Allowing the Coronavirus to interrupt these plans will have monumental effects in three to six months’ time.

Scientists and medical professionals have remarked that the COVID-19 is a flu-like virus that should behave much like seasonal flu. This means that in the oncoming warmer summer months we should see a significant decrease in confirmed cases and outbreaks. If you have paused your recruitment process, then come June your team may not be in a position to provide adequate skills and manpower to support an increased workload caused by planned business growth.

How should you go about hitting your hiring goals?

Fortunately, just as you can protect your current staff through remote working and communication, so too can you ensure the safety of your candidates. Interviews can be conducted via video chat applications with similar outcomes to face-to-face meetings.

At Edward Mann, all of our consultants are fully mobile and able to offer you remote support in this high-pressured time. We are not chained to our desks but able to work wherever we have hand sanitiser and a Wi-Fi connection. With our database and deep networks, we are able to source high-calibre candidates to suit the specific needs of your business goals to make sure you don’t miss out in the future.

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