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Our reflections on 2020

On16/ 12 /20
As we head in to 2021 we wanted to take a few moments to reflect on a year that has been challenging for everyone in many ways.  

We have been operating for 98 years and being one of the longest running recruitment companies we have seen our fair share of tougher times in recruitment. The employment landscape over the decades has changed and progressed; we started as a domestic recruitment service and moved into office-based roles as the demand altered.  As a business we had to adapt and remain agile to service our clients and candidate’s needs.

Being a family run business, with a core ‘family’ ethos running through our culture, we have always pulled together.  This year in particularly with the support of our staff we have continued to be there for our clients and candidates while we have all navigated what became the new normal. There have been lessons along the way, not just for us as a business but in general. Our MD, Joanna Cooper, shares with us her view of what 2020 has taught us.

What were your first thoughts when the lockdown was announced?

While we had started to look at contingency for what was looking likely to come, the impact of full lockdown in March still hit with full force. As a management team we quickly changed our priorities from looking at what we were doing to continue to grow the business and future plans for 2020/2021, to what we needed to do over the coming months.  Our focus was on supporting our staff and temporary workers as far as we could during those very worrying and uncertain weeks.  Like many other businesses; the government Furlough scheme helped relieve a lot of worry for us, our staff and our temporary workers. We ensured that staff were available to support clients and candidates through the whole process and I am proud of the wonderful job they did during a stressful time for all. 

When did things start to ease?

Following the easing of the first lockdown we were able to bring more staff back as clients started to recruit again. I think many people had settled in to flexible or home working and businesses were adapting to how it worked for them and their staff. Some of our clients have had staff return to the office with appropriate COVID protocols, while others have kept people working from home. In the summer months it became apparent that many businesses could no longer be put on hold with rising demand for both permanent recruits and temporary staff.

Have there been any changes in how clients are recruiting?

We have always had a strong temporaries side to the business.  In times of uncertainty we see a surge in the engagement of temporary staff giving businesses flexibility while they evaluate their needs. This year in particularly has highlighted how quickly everything can change and utilising temporary workers is a great way to ensure business continuity. Our consultants are still able to virtually meet candidates and a lot of our temps have worked with us for a long time, so we know that we can rely on them. Many of our clients have turned to our temps team to increase their workforce this way. The permanent side of recruitment has changed but not slowed down, there are more candidates out there currently, which means any job being advertised receives a lot of applications. However, not all the applications will be suitable, and it takes so much time to narrow the list down, this is where businesses have been turning to us to help. Where previously they may have recruited in house, now they need the support to filter and screen the applications to find that perfect fit for their organisation. 

What are the positives you can take from 2020?

2020 has been an incredibly tough year for so many businesses and individuals alike. If we can take any positives from 2020 it is that Bucks and Berks have an robust and loyal team who have made each other stronger and pulled together to weather this storm. With the commencement of the roll out of a vaccine we can only hope that by Easter 2021 we are returning to some form normality and that businesses across the whole of the country can start to rise from the flames. When they do, our clients and candidates can return to the familiar, reliable team of Bucks and Berks who have a wealth of experience and knowledge behind them and find them their next recruit or role. We can’t wait!

Contact us if you want to discuss your recruitment plans for 2021.
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