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10 Tips from Recruitment Leaders on Setting Your Team Up for Success in 2021

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It’s no secret that 2020 was an unprecedented year for the global recruitment industry, bringing new challenges and opportunities to recruitment firms worldwide. As businesses prepare for the year ahead, how can recruitment leaders set their teams up for success and ensure they deliver an exceptional candidate and client experience?

We recently interviewed eight global recruitment leaders to learn how they have navigated the COVID-19 pandemic so far and the opportunities and challenges they are poised to face in 2021. 

Read on for the top 10 insights from the recruiting leaders we interviewed on approaching the year ahead, improving your recruitment process, and investing in your employees and clients.

On making financial decisions in the face of uncertainty:

Be a critic about the way you make your money and in which business line you want to make it. It's very easy to see money lying on the street. But, ask yourself if you should pick up every dime, or should you be looking for that special one?
Martijn Lussenburg, Managing Director Aditech
As a public company, we’re always looking at ways to improve our margins, but it’s also been our philosophy to do what’s in the long-term interest of our clients, our healthcare professionals, the patients they treat, and our shareholders. At the outset of COVID, we established pricing guidelines that ensured bill and pay rates were competitive to attract supply, though not necessarily delivering higher margins for the company. Our company is very focused on its social responsibility and doing all that we can to help our nation through these challenging times.
Bill Burns, CFO Cross Country Healthcare

On taking advantage of growth opportunities:

I see this time as opportunistic. There's a lot of distractions out there pulling companies in different directions. I think it's a perfect time for us to take advantage of that: be aggressive, start new offices, navigate acquisitions, or consider merging with better companies because I think we can build market share and more of a brand presence now than ever before.
Todd Sweat, CFO Vaco
What I've learned during this pandemic is that I am a huge proponent of shortening the time between clarity and action. When you are clear that something needs to happen, you should take action on it immediately. When the pandemic hit, it became clear that there were more opportunities for us to move even faster on the bigger things than we would have traditionally done in the past.
Jaime Donnelly, CFO Integrity Staffing

On making process improvements:

One of the initiatives that my team is driving is making sure that our teams are doing the most important work. What is your team’s most important and valuable work, and what is driving the most value to the business? We’re evaluating the effectiveness of this process and asking, are we getting the value from it, could this time be better used elsewhere, or do we need to spend the money on the staff that it takes to get this done?
Jaime Donnelly, CFO Integrity Staffing

On investing in your employees:

We’re investing heavily in mental health since we know it’s hard when we are always remote and don’t see people day-to-day. We’re also investing in diversity and inclusion (D&I) efforts. Although we are looking at saving money, we will continue to invest heavily in our people since they’re our greatest asset. We know people have worked really hard in what has been a difficult time, and we want to give something back to them.
Daniel Hutchins, Group Financial Controller Austin Fraser
We’re focused on improving peoples’ lives in 2021. The transition to remote work at the pandemic’s start was seamless because everyone already had laptops. We’ve now offered to our employees that they can work from anywhere, indefinitely, to ensure that our team can own their own time and get a bit of their life back.
Daniel Hutchins, Group Financial Controller Austin Fraser

On the positive impacts of automation:

We’re going to have to keep automating processes. Everyone in the industry has had to improve their technology this year to support people working from home, so anything not making us efficient will slow us down. It’s about automating, getting better integrations between our systems, and making the whole internal process as seamless as possible.
Luke Howes, CFO Six Degrees Executive

On the importance of visibility and open communication:

Very early on in the pandemic, we put a robust multi-phase plan in place. We lived by our plan, and we continuously communicated to the business what phase we were in. As a business, I believe we took a lot of fear away from our team around job security and the business’ financial performance. We were fully transparent in the way we communicated. Equally, we conveyed those plans to various stakeholders in the business. I think the level of communication and transparency were well received.
Yaron Segal, CFO Talent International
It was easy to fall back and rely on email. We felt that it was essential to engage and collaborate with our respective teams through the various platforms that are out there. Often, you get to the outcome much quicker than a series of emails where people may misunderstand each other. It sounds quite basic, but it's important to focus on communication. Don’t go silent on your team; talk to them regularly.
Yaron Segal, CFO Talent International

For more insights from recruitment leaders, take a look at our resource, Recruitment CFOs Weigh In: 5 Priorities for 2021.

recruiting leaders