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Recruitment in a Covid-Economy (Part 1)

Farming in the shade

There’s a well-known children’s story by Dr Seuss you may be familiar with, which has a few threads of wisdom (as many of his stories do) woven throughout it.


The premise of the story is that even seemingly minor events and decisions can lead to a cascade of, at best, unintended (and at-worst, catastrophic) consequences.


The story, if you hadn’t guessed already, is aptly titled Because a little bug went ka-choo!


Set against the backdrop of a rising Covid-economy, it’s fairly appropriate theme as our businesses scramble to adjust and pivot their operations just so they can continue trading (and maybe even grow) at some meaningful level, all the while wrestling with whether these decisions will help their businesses grow.


Ask any farmer or green-thumb gardener, crops are hard to grow under shade – and Covid is casting an increasingly heavier shadow.


Clearly businesses are distressed, particularly those businesses built around customer-facing interactions and service industries. A growing number of organisations who may have weathered the initial lock-down impacts, are now seeing their businesses beginning to wilt under Covid’s continuing shadow.


The threat it continues to pose is significantly denting confidence across many sectors, resulting in many opting to take a hold-the-line approach.


Regardless of how your business may be performing right now, the number of businesses experiencing substantial impacts to their operational environments continue to grow exponentially, meaning the butterfly effects will be touching the way you do business soon, if not already.


Where is your focus?

Two questions at the front of every good employer’s mind are:


  1. How can I look after my core team and keep them together?

  2. How can I manage, and structure my people to deliver on the customer promise without burning them out or lowering service standards?


As we’re experiencing, the possibility of rolling lock-down’s mean demand for service and sales which may be strong or steadily recovering one day – can literally vanish the next.


Anxiety levels therefore remain high around retaining, let alone growing, strong, durable, well-trained people. In fact, for many this may seem a near impossible task right now.


Our standard approaches and systems to manage workforce planning is primed for disruption.


Your pillars of business are grounded on a foundation of people. Your people.


Any cracks in this foundation will be highlighted, exploited and your pillars destabilised by the current upheaval.


Our absolute focus must be on procuring our people, retaining core team, and redeployment of our resource across the operation. This can be achieved through smarter recruitment approaches, a clear & coherent people management program, and accessible scalable trained staffing solutions to support our operation.


Problem to solve

The temporary, and fixed placement recruitment solutions available to us are becoming increasingly noticeable in their absurdity. The options presented haven't evolved to meet the changing market, becoming distinctly outdated and unsustainable. Frankly the options may have only been “bearable” pre-Covid.


You may (or may not) be surprised to know that it isn’t just small to medium sized operations (SME’s) who are feeling short-changed on options in this space either.


What we’re seeing an increasing number of larger organisations struggling to manage this, resulting in increased latency across their recruitment processes (missed opportunities), to complete hiring freezes implemented across organisations (stunting growth), whether that be for Temp, fixed-term or FTE roles.


This is placing a huge amount of additional stress on their operation and people, who are left trying to service the workload spikes and capacity challenges, often resulting in poor service outcomes for their customers.


Some business owners and leadership teams have responded by further entrenching themselves inside of their operation to help manage workload and demand spikes. This is actually great as a show of camaraderie and leadership for your people – “we’re in this together”.


It’s perhaps not an ideal strategy for supporting sustained growth, but we also get it, you're doing it as a necessity rather than strategy.


The problem then to solve is, how to scale resource in line with fluctuating demand, without losing your people, or being left with a burden of future re-structure and layoffs.



Get Procurement Support Services now by getting in touch about Zalense People:


contact@zalense.co.nz


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