by Andrew Cook, Head of European Recruitment - Headcount
Who can tell what the next few months will bring? For HRs and business leaders, the future is about as uncertain as it’s ever been. Priority, quite rightly, has first been placed on protecting workers amidst often significant threats to business – and thankfully many thousands of industry jobs have been saved worldwide. But what comes next?
Recruitment may not be the first item on payments employers’ agenda. In fact, recruitment freezes or delayed processes have already slowed the market considerably.
As we consider the path ahead, though, two factors will play an important role in bringing recruitment plans back to the forefront:
1 – Business must go on. Even despite the widespread ‘shutdowns’ to daily life worldwide, the usual evolution of careers and companies continues, and employers will still need to hire new people where they are required to keep operations going, and growing.
2 – High skilled candidates are now available for hire. The circumstances are clearly far from ideal, but the ‘talent market’ has now swung in employers’ favour. After years where employers have struggled to fill many specialist roles, now could even present something of an opportunity. "The most far sighted HR-ers are already looking beyond the flattened curve," writes The Economist this week. "For a savvy HR chief it's the perfect opportunity."
The payments sector, we firmly believe, has the creativity, resilience and core strength to weather this storm. We’ve already been heartened to see many employers committed to not only their existing staff, but also extending opportunities to new candidates.
People – good people – will be critical if the industry is to come out of this stronger.
The Challenges: Remote-ness & Reductions
It is without doubt that the challenges this market presents for employers in every sector, including payments, are great.
HR bosses and business leaders will be focusing on:
Prioritising existing employees’ jobs
Maintaining the strongest possible staff base for current and future circumstances
Enabling all possible operations to continue on a remote, working-from-home, basis
Conducting full recruitment processes online
Ultimately, the challenge of preserving existing employees’ jobs takes absolute priority. This has been the focus of businesses so far, with many introducing significant measures – including the foregoing of bonuses, temporary furloughing and salary reductions – to avoid making workforce reductions.
Practically, too, HR bosses and business leaders are rapidly adapting to conducting entire operations on a remote basis. Some businesses are more adaptable than others to this way of working – but even those for whom ‘remote-only’ is possible in theory must ensure that communications, team unity and productivity remain carefully managed.
Interview processes for new positions will, for the time being, need to be conducted entirely by video link. Whilst for many (mostly tech and sales) this is nothing new, running full hiring processes in this manner will require a leap of faith for some.
The Opportunity: Hire Top Talent Now
It may sound counter-intuitive, but for those in a position to take a long-term approach, now is truly a strategic opportunity to hire and grow.
For years, demand for talent has far outstripped supply and employers have fought hard to attract staff and grow teams. Now though (through circumstances self-evidently far from ideal), the market has resoundingly turned: job vacancies are now significantly outnumbered by available candidates.
For those who can make the stretch, this "employer's market" for talent offers an unseen-in-recent-times opportunity to make world-class hires.
A summary of the opportunity for employers would be:
Availability of talent across the board has increased, creating significantly more choice for employers.
Hard-to-fill roles (such as those requiring specialist skills or languages) will now become easier to source for. The best candidates won’t be immediately on the market, but may be more open to considering something new, given the circumstances.
Remote workers - such as those in tech and sales - can be hired for roles now regardless of location. Even after this crisis lifts, work can still be conducted remotely.
Entire new functions of businesses are rapidly adapting to remote working practices. This change needn't be temporary, so employers could benefit from hiring remote staff, thereby overcoming previous geographical barriers to hiring.
World-class leadership talent with specialist industry experience (a rare find in normal times) will become available for hire.
(Plus, it’s also easier than ever to arrange confidential discussions with candidates, who are – by necessity – largely working from home, away from colleagues and bosses.)
Why Recruit With Headcount?
Headcount is here to support clients in times of change and of challenge.
The services we offer are tailored to market conditions, including:
Market-Leading Talent Access
More than ever, your business needs access to the right people. Our long-standing position in the payments market ensures we have unrivaled access to specialists in every territory and field.
Recruitment Process Management
Increased volumes of applications does not necessarily equate to easier hires. We can effectively shortlist candidates, and ensure that even processes conducted on an 100% remote basis are achieving the quality of hire required.
Insight & Consulting
To ensure you’re making the best strategic moves, we can provide exclusive insight and guidance to inform your talent planning.
If you’re considering the next steps for your business’ recruitment strategy, we invite you to connect with us today.
Andrew Cook: firstname.lastname@example.org