In the depths of a pandemic-related lockdown, what could be further from a manager’s mind than recruitment? Australia’s unemployment rate jumped to a 19 year high (7.1%) in June of 2020, with the nation’s economy shrinking around the same percentage in Q2. A lot of companies are shedding weight and optimising resources, not unlike a caravan preparing to cross the desert.

And yet, if you check LinkedIn’s list of who’s hiring right now in Australia, it’s clear that water can be found. Recruitment still matters. The talented job seeker – even one who doesn’t need a job – can still pursue a good opportunity. Managers, on the other hand, are looking to increase performance and efficiency now more than ever. Even though the job market has tightened up, job seekers and hiring managers are making their case, looking for productive connections that could stand the test of time.

And even in cases where hiring is not realistic, recruitment is an important thing to consider – especially if there are times of the day or week when managers find themselves focused on more immediate tasks.

A solid vision for recruitment is one of the hallmarks of an effective organisation, but it’s easy to lose sight of this in difficult times.

As the structure and viability of organisations are tested by global conditions, the importance of good recruitment is thrown into sharper relief.

Finding solutions that stick

“Restructuring” is undoubtedly a painful word for people whose jobs are eliminated, and who face real hardship. At the same time, great organisations are constantly restructuring, adapting, forming new relationships. This is what recruitment is all about – finding those powerful connections that build better teams, create better workflow, improve organisational culture, and drive mutual long-term success.

To this end, managers who keep tabs on their industry’s job market will carry valuable insights. There are still opportunities to develop relationships with top talent, put in the yards on social media, attend virtual conferences, review top job postings, and shape ideas around the value of recruitment in a changing world. There are ways to reimagine how teams are structured, how workflows can be optimised, and even how industries can be transformed. It’s not always easy to take a far-thinking approach when the road is bumpy, but recruitment needs have a way of resurfacing even when they’re not expected.

The question is, how do you find a solution that sticks? How do you find the right connection between people, lifestyles, teams, workflow, and productivity? Is there a way to replicate the process, or is every situation unique?

The answer is both – that’s something recruitment experience can teach you. Great recruitment results can be replicated through strategy and experience, but adaptivity is an important skill. The ability to see where organisations are going, and how the ground beneath them could be shifting (or not), is easier said than done – but always striving for a deeper vision of the organisation can drive better recruitment outcomes. The process of recruitment has always been one of reworking, reshaping, reconsidering the internal workings of the organisation and its relationship to the world.

A given team may not have any recruitment needs for the foreseeable future. Just as likely, the recruitment needs that do arise will carry more weight. As the economic effects of COVID-19 play out and the business landscape continues to change, managers who keep an eye on recruitment – both external trends and internal policies – will have an advantage over those who only go to the pool when they need to drink.

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