I’ve pre-ordered the Uber Eats for next Wednesday at 12:01 am. That is of course when Auckland will be out of our 4th Lockdown, definitely, 100% If for some reason it’s extended, NZ’s most popular city will once again take it on the chin. I like to err on the side of optimism when it comes to lockdowns which I’m aware is the less sexy approach. The more pessimistic you are the more knowledgeable you come across. “Two weeks?! You’re dreaming! Try four mate! Oh, you want to go outside and play with your wee pals, grow up!” In either case, I’m not particularly arsed about when we slide down the levels. Not only did my PS5 arrive the day before we got thrust into LD4 but I feel we’ve all pretty much got to grips with it all. I’ve not seen a toilet roll kicked or banana bread baked on my timeline mainly because this isn’t new to us anymore. Nothing’s really changed, or at least it shouldn’t have.
If someone was looking for a new job 2 weeks ago, they should still be looking. Their ‘why?’ shouldn’t have been affected. Their role hasn’t changed nor has the culture of their workplace. The only thing that is different is the fact they aren’t commuting for the time being. In fact, it’s never been a better time to look for a new role! There’s now ample unsupervised time, which should act as a catalyst for any job search. Extended lunch breaks aren’t noticed, neither are early finishes or late starts. Half the time we as recruiters are trying our best to connect two constantly moving targets, excusing the occasional trip to the supermarket neither party are going anywhere. I also find that woffling is also an interviewees’ worst enemy, if your candidate is beating around the bush and not being direct with their answer it’s a slight cause for concern. Video interviews, in my experience, lend themselves to a more ‘you talk, I talk’ style of communication. You have the ability to make your point and wait for a retort. Finally, seeing your future employer in their natural habitat with the audible sound of a kid booting off about screen time certainly humanizes them.
Thankfully those clients seem to have been less shaken by this latest grounding. There isn’t the looming fear of redundancies like in previous lockdowns. Actually, the prospect of losing headcount during these times is terrifying to hiring managers. There is more work than we know what to do with! The retention and addition of talent have become far more of a priority. We in NZ have a real hesitancy to offer someone a job until they are in striking distance. I think with the borders being shut we’ve forgotten that this used to be a done thing. Far be it from me to force anyone’s hand but the only problem with waiting to offer a candidate is, someone else definitely will. Even a verbal offer with the contract being signed in the office is a great way of showing the applicant some love and remove others from the equation. The reality is we will be back at work in (probably) a month. You can either mark the first day back with a cursory search of LinkedIn for suitable consultants or with a signing of a new employee.
Security is a big hot button at the moment. Like Fairy Tale in New York, it will rise and fall on the charts till the end of time. The somewhat confronting thing is, you’re no more secure in your current role than you would be in your new one. There’s a perceived notion that just because you’re in your 90 days you’re like a young gypsy girl at Appleby Horse Fair, about to be ‘grabbed’ by unemployment at a moment’s notice. You as a recruiter wouldn’t represent an organisation that is so flippant in its hiring, for the sake of your candidate and your budget, but mainly the candidate. It’s really the fear of the unknown which of course can be easily eschewed with a couple of conversations and some straight questioning. To go a bit Poe; no one is really afraid of the dark, it’s what lurks within. Of course, you need to open yourself up to those convos. Be brave enough to look in the cupboard and under the bed.
Every lockdown should be a chance to learn and better prepare for the eventuality of another. Personally, I’ve learned that you don’t go first on tipping point; let some other mug build the tray up. That if you mix Robinsons Summer Fruits and Orange you get a pretty good flavour and finally, if this lockdown has changed your mind about a job search; you probably weren’t ready to leave in the first place.