How to help recruiters coming back to a cold desk after furlough

How to help recruiters coming back to a cold desk after furlough

March 16, 2021
Industry News

As recruitment continues to recover after the pandemic, many agencies have started the process of bringing staff back into the business from furlough.

Recruiters coming back to an agency may be finding themselves facing a ‘cold desk’ - where they have to rebuild their network of clients and candidates.

Here’s what agency managers and leaders can do to help previously-furloughed recruiters rebuild their desk and get up and running.

Make sure they understand 2021 candidate and client behaviours inside-out

If they have been furloughed since early in the pandemic, the recruitment industry they are returning to will look almost unrecognisable to how they left it. Helping them get up to speed with what’s changed will make it significantly easier for them to rebuild their desk.

You could send them some recent research and industry data to help them build their understanding of current market conditions.

One of the best ways is to allow them to learn from their peers. Make sure they have the chance to hear from other recruiters in the agency about the changes they’ve seen. 

If you’re all working remotely, sharing tips and knowledge doesn’t happen organically through chats at the water cooler. You’ll need to be more pro-active to make this happen through setting up team catch up calls and opportunities to chat. They might feel more forced, but they are better than nothing.

Help them find sources of active candidates to quickly rebuild their networks

One of the most significant challenges that recruiters will be coming back to, is the fact that passive candidates are significantly less likely to want to change roles in the current conditions. Furloughed recruiters who expect to be coming back to their existing network will quickly find that their old desk is now colder than they expected.

You can help make sure that your recruiters can still effectively deliver results by making sure they have access to tap into sources of active candidates already on the job market. Those are the candidates who are already searching through job boards, registering their CVs with databases and looking at careers pages.

Here are some immediate actions you can take:

  • Make sure recruiters have enough licenses and credits for CV databases to rebuild their networks quickly. Could you scale up your usage for the next 3 months to help returning staff get back on track? Consider reviewing your contracts with our media buying specialists.
  • Add some new recruitment marketing channels to make sure recruiters can access active candidates when they need them. Are your jobs reaching everyone they could be fast enough?
  • Look at job posting credits and see where you could provide an extra boost. Perhaps you could upgrade some jobs to premium slots to give your recruiters more of a head start. Our media buying team may be able to help you add or trade some extra job board products within your contract.

Consider whether a cold desk is the best way to bring someone back

Starting fresh in recruitment is one of the biggest challenges a recruiter can face in their career. Especially for more junior recruiters, really consider whether this is the best way to bring them back from furlough. Are they up for the challenge? Could they be more effective starting off supporting a more senior recruiter instead?

It’s especially challenging for them to re-build if you’re only bringing them back from furlough part-time.

With the right support, your furloughed recruiters will be back to making placements and winning contracts in no time.

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