Hiring Through a Pandemic: Covid-19 and Opportunity

COVID-19 has thrown some curve balls our way, to say the least! The pandemic has brought a lot of insecurity and doubt and forced the world to adapt to a new normal, – in all aspects of life; professional and personal. When a big change is happening, I always prefer to think and tell others about the opportunities that come with it!

In Office, Remote Working or Hybrid?

This one was a cracker… did you happen to see the famous polls on LinkedIn asking for work style preferences between being In Office, Remote Working, or Hybrid? I think I saw these polls at least 5 times a day, from different companies/sources for a solid month! I’m not going to lie, even we jumped on the hype and did one (guilty, haha!).

At Zelo, we’ve realised that having a choice of working environment and location is now a key factor for most candidates when they’re looking for a job. It has got to a point now where companies have come to the realisation that being in the office 5 days a week doesn’t always produce the best results, and that much can be done from home. This did not always work out in everyone’s favour, especially companies/employees within the recruitment industry, – we love the agency, in-office working life and vibe! If you look at it from a different angle, it’s helped open a lot of opportunity. Number 1 being, of course, I don’t have to pay £6 every day on the tube – BONUS! ?

As well as this, it’s allowed a lot of companies to hire in different locations, whereas previously a candidate pool for a role would be limited by the location of its office. As such, although a lot of hiring was paused for many businesses, those who were hiring felt they were now able to open their live opportunities to people all over the UK, some even globally, rather than just London. I think this had a snowball effect on a lot of companies and allowed many to find the right person, with the right background and experience, a lot faster! Ultimately fulfilling their companies’ requirements and needs at the right time.

Zelo’s Experience: Doubling in size

A study conducted by the Parliament: Business Population Estimates (2021), showed that as of January 2021, there were 5.6 million private sector businesses in the UK, compared to 5.9 million in 2020, a fall of 6.5%. Despite this sharp decrease, it is worth stating that the number of businesses has grown significantly, from 3.5 million businesses in 2000 to 5.6 million in 2021 – an increase of 2.1 million, or 61%, over the whole period.

All in all, I wanted to give you an insight into our company and how we found the pandemic and hiring. At the start of 2021, our aim was to hire another 2 graduates, or Associate Consultants. We ended up hiring 4; Zelo grew from 4 to 8, or as I like to say, “we’ve doubled in size!” ?. But in all seriousness, we still did months and months, what felt like years for some of us, working from home every day. Luckily, at Zelo we all stuck together and pushed through, which I believe is so important, no matter the size of your company. Helping, supporting, encouraging, and listening to each other is what I felt really helped us throughout the pandemic.

In recruitment or sales, it is also important to keep your team and personal targets realistic so that ultimately, you are able to achieve or exceed your goals. I truly feel without the team culture we have at Zelo; we wouldn’t have been able to grow as much as we have.

Opportunity: The future of work

As we near the 2-year mark of the pandemic, reflection is key and to succeed in the future of work. It is important to understand that change is happening and will continue you to happen. The pandemic has created an inflection point for us to adapt in different situations to who we want to be and where we want to go. We must use this moment to transform uncertainty into opportunity across our work, workforce, and workplace. At Zelo, our end goal is to help talented individuals find meaningful work that they love and want to do, while giving reassurance that all is not lost, and hiring is happening. Here’s to 2022 and beyond! ?