new business development

New business development for recruitment agencies post-COVID-19

Sarah Linney
15 Jun
Reading time: 6 minutes
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Recruitment agencies can continue growing post-COVID-19, but they need to plan new business development.

Some industries were hit hard by the pandemic while others began to soar. As we begin to see some light at the end of the tunnel, we have to consider how businesses were impacted and whether temporary changes will become permanent. 

In some markets, there is a large pool of talent seeking employment, while in others talent is hard to come by, so recruitment agencies need to be ready. 

How COVID-19 has impacted recruiting 

There has been a shift in multiple facets when it comes to COVID-19 and its impact on recruitment agencies. Not only did the global pandemic interfere with the job market itself, but also with the hiring needs of companies and the way we recruit. Let’s take a look. 

The job market

An OECD report on the impact of COVID-19 on job and skills demand using online job vacancy data found that its immediate impact was significant. 

“In the second half of March 2020, job vacancies advertised online in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States declined sharply and by early May, the volume of online job vacancies had fallen by over 50% in all five countries compared to the beginning of the year.” 

“Data show that the drop was widespread, affecting almost all sectors and occupations in the five economies. By the end of December, the drop in online job postings was still very evident in the United States and the United Kingdom.”

In nations that handled the coronavirus crisis well, the job market has bounced back significantly in 2021. Recent JobAdder data reveals that the Australian market saw a 29% increase in new jobs in Q1 2021, compared to Q4 2020 where there was only a 3% boost in new jobs. Additionally, the New Zealand market saw a staggering 47% increase in new jobs in Q1, compared to Q4 where they only had a 1.8% jump.

The company’s hiring needs

These market fluctuations caused ripple effects across the corporate world, drastically shaping the hiring needs and demands of companies across the globe.

While the start of the crisis saw many companies letting workers go or freezing hiring, as the crisis continued and companies adapted, more and more companies began hiring remote workers, with the pandemic highlighting that an office presence was not necessary to do productive work.

A mix of remote and in-office work may be the future of the world of work for many years to come, as the crisis continues and businesses operate in a post-COVID-19 market. 

The way we recruit

Before COVID-19, recruiting took place face-to-face so employers could meet potential new hires. 

Then, during the coronavirus crisis, changes had to be made for social distancing guidelines to be met. This meant changing the recruitment process and investment in virtual platforms and online software. 

As a result, recruiting has gone remote and virtual, with video interviews becoming the norm and networking conducted predominantly online.  

For businesses looking to compete for talent, this means taking a few steps to up their game. Recruitment agencies will need to consider how to best take advantage of new technology, increase their online presence and explore better ways to recruit and manage their clients’ demands.  

Steps for new business development

To boost their new business development, recruitment agencies must examine the employer market in their region and analyse what has changed over the past year.

While many recruiters may head back into the office in the coming months, for others remote working has become a new way of life. Any new business development plans and proposals going forward should reflect this. 

Here are a few steps that may help your recruitment agency to generate and nurture new business development. 

Redefine the ideal candidates

Roles have changed. As you begin the recruitment process, the ideal candidate for a role may look different now than it did previously. 

Take some time to examine the roles that you need to recruit for and redefine or refresh what the ideal candidate looks like today. 

This also means assessing where there are talent shortages and where skill gaps exist. Know your candidates, who you have where and how you can recruit them for different roles. 

Bring connection and understanding to the recruitment process

Post-COVID-19 recruitment involves less human contact than it used to with many recruitment processes and steps taking place in the virtual space. 

This could lead to a disconnect between the recruiter and the candidate and a lack of emotional, human connection. Find ways to create (or update) your recruitment stages and steps so that candidates feel more included in the process and more connected to you as a person. 

Look inward

Your recruiting team needs to be examined just as much as your processes. 

As things have changed to accommodate new behaviours and tools, part of your agency’s approach to new business development will include determining whether team members are still the best fit for the job. 

Maybe someone doesn’t have the confidence to pursue new business development opportunities or maybe another lacks the technical skills to handle the new virtual way of business? Identify where these gaps exist and implement the relevant upskilling or training.  

Recruitment agencies need a strong team so include an internal review of team members when exploring new development opportunities. 

What the future holds

Nobody can predict exactly what the future holds, but we can be pretty confident when predicting that a lot of the changes implemented during the coronavirus crisis could continue for many years to come.

For instance, there is likely to be a continuous demand for remote positions, virtual recruiting will likely continue and talent will be able to compete for positions around the globe. No longer will someone be limited by their physical location. 

Recruitment agencies across the globe have adapted admirably to the crisis, embracing challenges and meeting new demands during the pandemic. To remain competitive, new business development needs to be a priority for your recruitment agency as markets shift in response to the crisis. 

If you’d like to learn more about our trend data and insights, check out our latest Global Recruitment Industry Report now.

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