It’s been an interesting few months in the world of recruitment. I wanted to share some of my thoughts and observations of this time – as well as some advice as to what you should be doing as an employer at the moment. 
When lockdown first happened all of our vacancies disappeared overnight. Clients that we were running active campaigns for as their outsourced recruitment department asked that we hang fire for a while…which we did. We had nothing. 
We spent six weeks looking at our marketing activity and posting regularly across social media. We are lucky as we knew that we could weather this storm so was able to look at offering rewrites of job descriptions for free and to train up the Emerald Starfish team for sunnier days. We looked at the new world of working remotely and realised that actually recruitment is mainly a remote activity anyway so we could embrace the processes that we had already got in place. 
After six weeks we started to get calls asking us to start some recruitment projects again. These roles were all sales-based and admittedly one of the first ones was within the bereavement sector. At Emerald Starfish we always advertise as if we are the client and candidates are only considered for the job for which they apply. Suddenly rather than having a pool of between 30 – 70 candidates apply for each post; we were getting over 200 apply for each role – it’s a good job our processes are great! 
After sifting the candidates, we do a full interview based on the client’s requirements and we always ask candidates why they are looking for their next role. Nearly everyone we were interviewing was furloughed, or felt that their current company wasn’t handling the current situation effectively. Issues were less around the future of the company and more around communication which was really interesting. I had written a blog about “Showing the Love” about how to look after people on furlough – it’s my number one top tip, if you want these people to return to you in the long term. 
Key changes that we have seen are: 
1. Number of candidates applying for positions has increased. 
By seven-fold. If you do have positions that need filling how will you manage this number of applicants? We would love everyone who reads this to outsource their recruitment to Emerald Starfish – but if you are doing it yourself be prepared for the amount of time that you will need to invest in sifting CVs and how you can ensure a fair process. 
2. Candidates are needing a lot of hand-holding. 
Of those candidates that have applied around 10% will chase you as to what is happening with their application and to tell you their story. Again, whilst we would love to do this for you – you may want to create a “commonly asked questions” piece of communication that you can send out. Not entering into the communication will damage your branding as these are people who want to feel valued and listened to. 
3. The opportunity is now 
The candidate market, after over a year of being slow and difficult, is now quick and rapid. Great candidates are out there – if you are looking for a Business-Critical role look sooner rather than later, the candidates at the moment are proactive – not reactive. 
For help and advice on your recruitment please call 0116 2080246 or email us on 
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