Lockdowns are tough for everyone. Just as many of us were beginning to return to some parts of normal life, another period of lockdown was waiting right around the corner.
For recruiters in your agency, going back into lockdown could once again impact their wellbeing, their productivity and their sense of connection to your team. What can you do to support them and keep them engaged?
We recently surveyed over 500 recruiters and asked them what they found worked well in the previous lockdown earlier this year. Here are some of their suggestions. Hopefully, they will act as inspiration for your own agency’s initiatives.
By now, we’re all familiar with the typical online quizzes, games and exercise classes. They quickly became a staple of lockdown life earlier this year.
But in addition to these kinds of online social events, have you considered providing calls to help staff develop new skills?
“We ran a Lockdown Learning series of online events, training, masterclasses, meet & greets, over 50 in total, attended by over 3,000 people”
These lockdown learning sessions could be delivered internally, or you could take advantage of the many different training and development opportunities offered by recruitment industry bodies such as REC or APSCo.
As well as providing another opportunity for the team to interact with each other, there’s the added benefit of helping everyone to better understand important topics which could help your agency in the long run.
Wellbeing was an issue our pulse survey highlighted as being a top concern for recruitment agencies. Lockdown life can have a huge impact on your team’s physical and mental wellbeing.
“We provided everyone access to a mental health app and support sessions”
“We run weekly online yoga classes for anyone in the team who wants to take part”
“We have created and delivered a range of wellbeing sessions virtually and communicated more about our mental health first aiders”
Agency leaders have made new tools and resources available to their teams to help them look after themselves at home. Apps such as, Headspace and Calm were all popular choices. Programmes such as Mental Health First Aid was mentioned by some agencies too as being appreciated by staff.
Everyone’s home working setup is different. Have you made sure your recruiters have everything they need to set up a workstation and start working productively?
“We have provided all staff with a desk and chair at home if they want, and a screen, keyboard and mouse to use alongside their laptop.”
As well as giving out office equipment as mentioned above, don’t forget about other tools which recruiters need for their job. Are they able to perform work calls on their own phone? Is their wifi strong enough to jump on calls with clients?
Getting these issues sorted will help your recruiters to get back into the flow quicker.
It’s all about the comms. Find out what your recruiters are concerned or confused about and make sure it’s addressed quickly. Here’s what recruiters said worked well in the last lockdown:
“HR and senior management kept in constant contact with all employees throughout lockdown”
“Increased our contact directly with the workforce and providing support and a listening ear”
Sending out frequent updates and running all-hands calls is a great way to keep everyone in the loop. But it’s also important that there are other facilities in place, to build in opportunities for a two-way conversation too.
Consider sending out surveys to team members, including a questions section on company calls, and making sure everyone has someone to speak to if they need help.
Working from home means that there are often fewer chances to speak to colleagues and share each other’s successes. But there are some great ways to do this remotely:
“Sharing stories for staff that have gone above and beyond during the pandemic and rewarding those nominated”
“We’ve recognised staff who have been doing well by giving out vouchers to use at local businesses”
Even just a shoutout message in the team slack channel can go a long way in helping your recruiters to feel noticed and appreciated.
With an extension to the job retention scheme having been announced for November, you may once again be finding that some of your team aren’t at work. Keeping them engaged and updated is essential to making sure they are able to hit the ground running when they return.
“We’ve been actively encouraging furloughed staff to stay in touch and be part of the team, as well as encouraging and helping find them volunteer work”
“We created a pack for all those on furlough around 4 areas, Looking After Yourself, Personal Development, Family and Friends and Community - lots of links and tips for mental and physical well being, training, and volunteering opportunities.”
Even a month of furlough is enough time to get left behind with everything that’s going on in your recruitment agency.
What has your recruitment agency been doing to support your recruiters? What are you planning to introduce in the next few weeks? Get in touch on Twitter and let us know.