A Recruiter’s Eye View of the market during COVID-19

Entering 2020 the US economy and job market was arguably in the best position it had ever been. Unemployment was at 3.6% and it was a candidate’s market with many receiving multiple job offers from competing clients. This drove up compensation rates and had companies bidding against each other to land top talent.

At Arrow Search Partners our primary focus are placements within Accounting, Finance, Operations and Corporate Services. As an organization we had a great 2019, working with a large array of clients to help them fill their most immediate and sometimes incredibly difficult needs. Moving into 2020 we were extremely well positioned to push our business forward externally by assisting all of our clients as they grew their teams and internally with launching new verticals and divisions so we can be even more all-encompassing for our clients.

However, this was all before COVID-19 struck. As the virus gathered momentum, in what seemed like the space of one week the entire world and its economy was shut down to fight the pandemic.

Of course, as a recruiter this has presented unique challenges to the normally very busy and bustling daily cycle of our lives. It’s been no different for Arrow Search. However, with any tough times there are certain things that can be done to continue success in your career and in your life, and the current pandemic is no different. Recruiting has always been a marathon, not a sprint and the same rules apply.

To help stay the course, here are some key pieces of advice for everyone trying to get through this challenging job market and run their marathon.

Warm up

For any recruiter, organization is key. Consider spending at least 30 minutes at the end of the day planning the next one. You should know:

  1. What meetings you have (both internal and external)
  2. What calls you need to make to candidates and clients
  3. Which companies you want to approach
  4. What jobs you’re going to work on

If you’re not organized before you start work, then you risk losing time procrastinating. Set yourself up for the day before it’s even begun and you can hit the ground running. Of course, don’t forget to plan in your breaks and exercise—it’s important to wind down also. 

Set your Goals

Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you can’t hit your usual goals. You can work with your manager to set obtainable, daily goals that will keep you moving and ready to hit the ground running when the pandemic lifts and you can even set some for yourself.

Whether it’s new conversations, video meetings, building out the company database or networking you should hold yourself accountable at the end of the day to see if you hit your goals and, more importantly, to keep developing as a recruiter.

Making placements and hitting deals is always the ultimate goal and that will never change but don’t get disheartened if that doesn’t happen during this time. It’s a marathon not a sprint.

Be Positive

There will be highs and lows. But there would also be highs and lows in the office. It’s important to navigate them in the same ways. You might not make a placement every day when you’re working from home, but you probably don’t every day at the office either.

If you bring the same positive energy to every virtual meeting that you do to an in-person meeting you’ll get better results and make better connections. You wouldn’t mope around someone’s office in a meeting, don’t do it to their Zoom.

Things haven’t changed at these times, we’re just running a slightly different path than expected. However, there’s lots we can be doing to prepare for the next phase and not lose any ground, both with clients and candidates and our own careers. The results will come, even if things are on pause for now.

Hopefully everybody will be able to get back to our new normal soon and we will be stronger for this whole experience as recruiters and as people. We are just on a detour on our marathon at the moment—we’ll be back on track and heading for the tape soon enough.