I’m a realist! Not to be confused with Iggy Azalea 04 smash hit ‘Classy’ to which she states first things first she’s the realest, very important. Realistically, we’re on the precipice of getting some pretty welcomed news; those non-essential workers can get out of their abodes and back into the workplace as early as next week! That’s the plan anyway, Jacinda could take a draconian turn ordering us underground like a new Coober Pedy however that seems unlikely given her sterling work so far. At this point, I’m convinced Ardern’s leadership could get the Hatfield & McCoy’s to break bread and at the very least coordinate a coherent final season of GOT. The PM yesterday outlined just how different things would be in Level 2. Noticeable differences; further extension of our bubble, the ability to move nationally and hospo sites can operate with the thee S’s being front of mind – seated, separated and patrons having a single server. I can already see hoards of stressed-out parents taking advantage of these restrictions to have a quiet pint away from Fortnite dances and finger paintings. It’s not quite normality as we know it, you’ll be reminded of this when you submit your personal details in order to be traced. Saying that, it will be a very foreign concept to be hassled for contact details in a bar and not the one doing the hassling. We’re getting used to being told the ‘how’ things are going to be different with the ‘when’ following later but have you put thought into ‘what’ things are going to be like when we first return?

I can’t remember who originally quipped that Level 3 was just Level 4 with KFC? From a commercial point of view, Level 2 is going to be heaps like Level 3 except you get to leave the house and go to work. By that I mean she’ll still be pretty dead out there; the capitalist machine will have grown a fine patina by now due to an unprecedented focus on health as appose to revenue. It will be a little while till black smoke bellows and we open up that pesky ozone layer above the arctic again. The question is, what do we do when we first get back? Recruitment managers will be quick to reprise that old adage “get on the phone” from the catalog of recruitment retorts regarding strategy. Unfortunately, it’s not a unique approach as every consultant will rush to call their clients. You remember those long ques of cars flowing from the drive-thrus at Tamaki Dr? Imagine the fast food place is your client and every car is a recruiter waiting for their turn at the window. Replace Big Macs with incessant quarantine banter and you get the idea. Add on top that the manager you may have called to speak to, may not even be in the job anymore! It’s short-sighted and premature to think a flurry of briefs will be released on day 1 with a first come first bill system.

Now, I’m not suggesting you don’t contact your clients. I’ve been keeping in what I would say is ‘loose’ contact. I’m not that egotistical that I think that my identical quarantine experience is of any interest to my client base. Although the local market is awash with consultants, unfortunately, there aren’t the jobs for them currently. I also refuse to spray a list of names at hiring managers with the aim of sending a future invoice, it’s not a good look especially considering if that candidate attempts to find a role independently they will encounter inevitable push-backs due to the fact a fee would be applied to their placement. Most clients are expecting a pint/coffee from a distance when we return which I am more than happy to oblige. It’s a more suitable time to discuss how things have been during the lockdown, furthermore, the market is now littered with past employees, if you work in a small industry like me your clients may have an insight you don’t about the candidate pool.

I feel as recruiters this is going to be our value-added, every compendium packing consultant will be throwing a multitude of candidates into the mix but the quality of those candidates will be up for debate. My first few weeks in isolation were spent talking with candidates that have unfortunately been let go. The first question I ask is why? Specifically, why you? What was the justification given to you by your employer as to why you were let go? They need to be comfortable with that answer because my client base, like yours, would’ve lost staff, and business owners typically don’t get rid of the gun/shark first. As I’ve mentioned before, some people have just been terribly unlucky and are able to eloquently get that point across and will for sure bounce back. When an organization becomes leaner that means some fat has been shed. It’s imperative to us as recruiters that we are able to identify the right person for their business and we should use every tool at our disposal, which includes your network; clients, and candidates. It’s still going to be a case of finding a needle in the haystack, there are a few more needles but heaps more hay.

My prediction is level 2 will come into effect on the 18th, some are saying as early as the 13th and the more cautious among us are thinking the first day back will be the 25th Once you’ve got to grips with your new passwords and logins after weeks of sunrise snapping, pot banging and binge-watching eroding away any sort of keyboard muscle memory empathize with your client base, think how you would like to be approached. In the immortal words of Del Boy Trotter; play it cool trigs, play it cool

Any excuse to watch this again 😊

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