Revisiting 2019: What Did We Learn?

Justin Byrne

Revisiting 2019

​If you’ve been following me for a while, you may have seen an article I wrote in January of this year. This particular article spoke about recruiting in 2019; what we had learned from the market, what we were expecting recruiting to look like in 2020, and so on and so forth.

Then Covid hit.

Without talking yet again about how the pandemic has turned our world upside down and/or challenged us all in previously unthought of ways, instead let’s revisit 2019 and what we thought we knew when it came to recruiting this year.

Did any of our sentiments remain relevant? Was 2020 the year for recruitment we thought it would be – a little, a lot, or at all?

2019: “Don’t hesitate – if you like them, make the offer.”

2020: Still relevant, though it may feel tougher to pull the trigger than we would like.

The job market has become almost unrecognisable from this time last year, but my thoughts on this piece of advice remain much the same. Sure, the talent pool is larger, but that doesn’t make leaving people hanging okay – in fact, quite the opposite. Candidate experience is more important than ever; each interaction they have with your business goes a long way towards building your brand image. Whilst there may be some uncertainty which leads to indecision when it comes to hiring, the fact remains: if you believe this person could add value to your business, make the offer sooner rather than later. At the very least, manage their expectations throughout the process and ensure everyone is on the same page – Covid or no Covid!

2019: “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”

2020: Still extremely valid – perhaps even more so!

With more people feeling the financial pressure this year than last – both jobseekers and employers – you’d think that the financials of a job package would be more important than ever. What we’re finding instead, is that candidates are less concerned with the intricate details of a benefits package and more interested in how your business treats its employees; what you’re doing to ensure the mental healthiness of your people. The contingency plan you have in place to look after staff to your absolute best ability, if the pandemic continues indefinitely. The small stuff: it just isn’t the thing to be sweating over right now.

2019: “Put the ego aside – if you want them, tell them.”

2020: Always.

This year has taught us a lot; to say that our economy faces a big challenge in the coming months, possibly years, would be an understatement. And as for the job market, ego simply has no – or at least very little – place within it. Hiring throughout and beyond the pandemic is about making smart decisions with the best interests of both parties at heart; whilst a little ego never hurt anyone, don’t be so ego-driven that you forget there’s a human on the other end of the recruitment process.

There you have it – 2020 may not have been the year we were expecting, but there are some stark similarities in terms of sentiments when it comes to managing your recruitment process and doing best by the candidates you work with.

So, to echo my question of that previous article, what did 2020 teach us in recruitment? It’s been a rollercoaster and we’re all doing our best to take it in our stride. We’ve certainly learnt a lot about the recruitment community, here in London and around the world, and how it’s able to come together in hardship. And we’ve learnt more than we thought possible about providing the absolute best in service to our clients and candidates, particularly with regards to flexibility and adaptability when times are so uncertain.

Here’s to seeing what 2021 has in store. Have a read of the original article here. To talk about your post-Covid hiring challenges, get in touch with me today.