As a business owner, there can be no doubt that the last few weeks have been some of the toughest of our working lives, and I am well aware that this piece is being written whilst being in the eye of a storm that shows no sign of abating. None of us saw this coming. In fact, it seems like only a matter of days since we were putting in place our goals and objectives for the year and if anything, feeling slightly optimistic about what a post Brexit world might look like. A momentary touch of the fast forward button and life has changed beyond recognition and is unlikely to be the same again.
The perspective that we now have when we finish a day’s work and put on the news, should tell us that nothing else matters other than our health and that of our loved ones. However, looking at LinkedIn over recent days suggests that life... business life, is still doing everything it can to hang on in there whilst being engulfed by unimaginable external pain and anguish. Is Business important in the current climate? On the one hand, no it isn’t, in so far as that most of us should and would trade anything and everything for our health and wellbeing to be guaranteed at this end of this nightmare. On the other hand, business underpins our very existence. At the moment, business is the much-needed distraction from the horrors of this virus that helps preoccupy our minds, and not allow them to wander into dangerous and damaging thought cycles that promote anxiety and fear. Business is the channel through which we can fight this shit storm via innovation, creativity, teamwork and camaraderie. And finally, if we hang on tight, Business will be the welcomed normality when we all walk through those office doors once more and repair and rebuild our futures.
So how do we hang on to it? With real difficulty. Although I am looking at things through recruitment eyes, every business will be touched by this in some form or another and virtually nobody is coming out of it unscathed. Some businesses will diversify, others will furiously tread water, and in some instances, they will hibernate until it is safe to re-emerge. If I explore LinkedIn, I see a countless number of posts relating to the support of bars, cinemas, leisure venues, clothing brands, restaurants, airlines, coffee houses, hotel groups etc etc and rightly so!! These businesses make up the fabric of our way of life and we must all do our bit to help them and give them the chance of hanging on in there. From my own selfish but entirely accurate viewpoint, recruitment businesses are no different and like all these other sectors, will only survive with your proactive appreciation.
Forever the pantomime villain, recruitment businesses are always one of the last to receive their share of love and appreciation, and maybe rightly so considering the number of charlatans in our sector, set up just to make a quick win. But I’m not talking about them. I’m talking about those that have played an integral part in your career to date either helping you take the journey down your own respective career path or maybe those that have helped build a talented team around you. Recruitment consultancy, when done well, forms an integral part of the business landscape and it too, will need you over the days and weeks ahead.
Recruitment companies will be called upon like never before to help those that have seen their livelihoods lost over night, so if and when the opportunity arises and you are able to provide a helping hand to that Consultant that you know has helped you in one way or another in the past, then I can assure you that this support will never be more appreciated than it is now. Even if you aren’t sitting on a requirement and can’t see a time when you will be recruiting, if an old contact does reach out to update, take their call, reply to the email and remember that they also are going through this with you.
At the beginning of this piece, I stated that without any doubt, the last month had been the toughest of my working life. I know that this is a sentiment that will be shared by many. However, although not obvious now, I have a hunch that in the years to come, many of us will look back and realise that we never ever had such an acute period of learning as we did today. Learning about our product, our service delivery, our customer base, our employees and most of all, ourselves. Things will never be the same again but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. One step back, two steps forward.