An insight into recruitment & talent post Covid life

As the world is coming out of a prolonged but necessary lockdown, our recruitment needs will, like the whole world, be evolving.

Hold on to your seats, the future is changing! With recruitment seeing a shift change what with comparing the industry’s needs pre and post Covid, we are on a different roller-coaster, with more loops than before. We have seen a lot of the industry’s leaders looking for talented people with new qualities and behaviours. Life is different now and this is being reflected in the recruitment industry. We are adapting to a ‘new normal’. I think we can all relate to something resembling this “big spinning wheel of life”, where we got up, went to work, come home and did this again, with no time to think differently. But this period of time has given everyone time to think, reflect, evaluate. As a result of this, the ‘new normal’ has been mentioned a lot. This means clients are looking for new talent with different skills than before. They are also looking at the talent they have on board, and cross skilling these employees with transferable values into other sectors in the business. (this does create a big L&D piece to be focussed on)

COREcruitment hasn’t been ‘business as usual’ with more of a support focus for clients, whether this is many industries focussed webinars or 60 seconds interviews & much more, this has been really beneficial for many clients and candidates helping to stay connected and informed. I had the chance to get some insights from some industry’s leaders based on the future of recruitment and talent post Covid-19.

Amber Staynings - Founder, Bums on Seats

What are their qualities?

n my view this is an area still not fully understood or applied, usually because employers concentrate on a person’s track record of achievements (important though this is) rather than individual belief systems and attitudes. Having someone on board who has a ‘can do’ attitude (for example) means that employers can more easily mould a talented individual towards particular skills and knowledge critical to the success of their business enterprise. New employees who can demonstrate flexibility in approach, a willingness to learn and apply new learning regardless of previous experience, coupled with a demonstrable determination to succeed, are by far the most important qualities employers should put at the top of their list. The Bums on Seats family has been built on this model, building loyalty to the brand as well as a ‘can do’ attitude to everything we do.

Which behaviours will employers be looking for?

More easily demonstrated than qualities but sometimes too narrow in approach, with employers concentrating on the easier questions around track records and achievements rather than actions associated with critical areas such as calmness in a crisis, dealing with customers from multifarious backgrounds and cultures, honesty, time management, and general demeanour towards others in a customer driven business.

Will employers be more open to looking outside of sector?

If an individual’s general attitude and qualities are given priority in the way I describe above, it follows that employers should be open to recruit talented individuals willing to learn from outside the sector. Experience is an important factor, but in my view should take second place to someone with the right qualities and attitude (as well as passion) who is keen to learn new skills.

Will employer’s re-skill existing teams or look externally?

The hospitality sector is woefully underserved by existing opportunities to re-skill teams, especially in the pre booked sales arena. However this can be addressed, and I am proud to say that Bums on Seats is leading the way, and employers will increasingly need to address training and knowledge of new processes in the post Covid-19 world, taking advice and support from whatever resources are available, including the Bums on Seats skilled Associates.

Katy Horwood - Area Sales & Marketing Manager at Fuller, Smith & Turner

An insight into Qualities & behaviours moving out of lockdown

Already there has been a clear shift in leadership skills from before the Covid outbreak. From overall operations to a definite focus on people, both customers and teams – with attention being placed on safety, reassurance and team moral. Certainly, the key behaviours employers will be looking for is a ‘can do’ attitude and hands on approach, teamwork will be a crucial skill and it’s become evident that there will be more shared tasks and activities, especially within front of house roles, than ever. Sales and marketing roles will need to focus on creativity and innovation, with so many restrictions in place and everyone fighting for the attention of customers standing out to a potential new employer will mean demonstrating a solid understanding of the new challenges with a creative energy and inspired ideas about how they can be delivered.

Being in such unchartered waters, I’d definitely say that people will start looking beyond the sector for both people and ideas, a positive of recent months is I’ve definitely seen a real willingness for people to support each other, regardless of sector, whether it be sharing talent, ideas or information and this, in turn, opens people’s minds to the option of trying new things moving forward – take the whole online zoom situation, certainly having to do this has opening up the possibility of much more online interaction and remote working to people who otherwise wouldn’t have considered it which, in turn, opens up a whole new spectrum of potential new employees. I think employers will both re-skill existing employees and look to recruit externally for the reasons above – I’m confident we will see a renewed focus on training and team investment, whether it be development or overall team building, coming together will be crucial to weather the storm. However, with a brand-new set of rules and direction, external talent could also prove really beneficial to employers especially with that sense of ‘starting from the beginning’ - it could be the ideal time to take a risk with new talent and reassess team structures.

Lastly, despite the inevitable job losses and uncertainty within the sector I do think there will be a surprising amount of people who have reassessed whether they are happy in their current role. Three months is a long time to ponder your options! I think the coming months could be a real opportunity for employees to snatch up talent at a time when people have been forced to step out of their comfort zone. So whilst the pandemic is undoubtably a devastating blow to the sector it could also be a really exciting moment of change and development for the hospitality industry, one where both employees and employers are forced to deep dive into what they want to achieve within their company, and who could deliver it best.

Miles MacInnes - Managing Partner, Jascots Wine Merchants

What are their qualities?

Entrepreneurial qualities that are most useful in times of disruption – the ability to see opportunities and think clearly amongst chaos. Uncertainty is bound to continue for some time so good communication skills and the ability to give your colleagues clarity, encouragement and empowerment even in a rapidly changing environment.

Which behaviours will employers be looking for?

A positive attitude, what some people call a “growth mindset” by which I mean the willingness to take on new and unfamiliar challenges. Flexible working looks to be here to stay so high standards of personal organisation and the onus will be on individuals to ensure they are proactive in communicating with colleagues and their managers as the “water-cooler” opportunities will be scarcer.

Will employers be more open to looking outside of sector?

I would expect that tech-skills will be in higher demand than ever as all sectors look to leverage the online opportunities that have been accelerated by enforced isolation. People with skills in e-commerce and digital marketing will find opportunities in any sector. There will be fertile ground for start-ups as unfortunately some mature businesses fail, senior managers will be looking for new opportunities and offer a range of skills that will be attractive to new businesses in a variety of sectors.

Will employers re-skill existing teams or look externally?

I hope that they will re-skill and many already have as businesses have been forced to pivot with existing teams in place. One of the silver linings (for some) of this crisis has been the opportunity to do new things at work and, for those furloughed, take opportunities to explore new sectors and acquire new skills through online courses. Some people will emerge from this crisis with enviable new skills and competencies, unfortunately others for example many parents with young and school aged children have not had the same opportunity.

Roger Wade - Director, Boxpark

What are their qualities?

Covid 19 outbreak has reinforced the need for the modern day CEO to react to change quickly and to introduce new measures to ensure future business survival. Who would have forecast 3 months ago that Pret a Manager would need to restructure their business?

Which behaviours will employers be looking for?

I think employers will be looking for self motivated employees who have a strong work ethic and can work and think independently.

Will employers be more open to looking outside of sector?

Some will but some won’t. I think at times like this we need to go back to basics. Our employment strategy is to only retain good staff who have proven track record.

Will employer’s re-skill existing teams or look externally?

You can’t buy employee loyalty, and where you can try and reskill a good employee you should. But if you can’t find the right person internally you need to consider external staff. It’s all about finding motivated staff with the proven skill set.

Tim Badham - Managing Director at Innerplace

An insight moving out of lockdown

We aim to invest more in people – intelligent, adaptable, devoted, conscientious, hardworking people. The right attitude is critical and this situation has helped highlight people who really do have the right attitude who you can trust to work from home and contribute as much as they can. We will be working from home a lot more in the future, relying more on technology and meeting up in shared (but appropriately distanced and clean) environments.

I think there will be a flight to quality – people wanting to make the most of their time and income in a more precise and planed way. Quality over quantity.

For client retention we will be embarking on digital marketing campaign to make the most of this slightly different pent up demand, which should ideally suit the high end and personalised services we offer.

Thanks to all who took part, if you have any suggestions on topics, speakers or you would like to get involved please get in touch.


Date Published: 15th June 2020