The View: Neil Carberry

Let’s use this time of crisis to prepare for recovery, says Neil Carberry, REC Chief Executive

Picture the scene. You’re a recruitment professional. It’s early 2020. You’re thinking about how recruitment can help businesses to overcome their biggest problems – productivity, staff engagement and adapting to new technology. Skills shortages, Brexit uncertainty and IR35 tax changes dominate the debate in our sector.

Then a pandemic strikes. There’s a lockdown, client demand drops in most sectors, but rockets in a few. Big policy changes come in instantly, and your business goes digital. Things change with lightning speed. I don’t know how things look as you read this, but here are a few observations.

This too, shall pass. This isn’t a slowdown caused by economic problems. To protect our fellow humans we must pause the economy. It’s a choice – that’s why governments are supporting firms. When the storm passes, the bounce-back is likely to be substantial and quick. Use the time now to prepare for that.

Resilience matters. Our mental and physical health is paramount. Let’s look after each other and our businesses. We’ve all been focusing on managing cash, and the REC has been working to help you by campaigning for government support, and offering informative podcasts and briefing webinars, but this outbreak might lead all of us to think differently about how we structure our organisations in future.

“Prepare for the upswing – getting people back to work”

Pride in our industry – and hope for the future. Recruiters are making huge contributions to the national effort – staffing hospitals and supermarkets, volunteering and caring for people looking for work. That’s living our values. But we also need to prepare for the upswing – getting people back to work.

If you want to keep up to speed with all things recruitment then follow me on Twitter @RECNeil

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