Posted on 9th August 2021

people walking into building

As lockdown restrictions have become lifted, many companies have been celebrating a 'return to normality'... it's a term we've so heard so often and one that fills us with excitement for the potential it holds for our businesses and the wider economy. But how many recruitment agencies can honestly say their approach was affected by coronavirus restrictions? For years, the recruitment industry's standardised approach has centred around fast-tracked CV generation through a digitally-centric, clinical and often distant approach. As the height of the Coronavirus pandemic took hold, these long-standing industry practices seemed to find themselves perfectly suited to the requirements for remote working and the removal of face-to-face consultations. The realisation that such restrictive measures (rightly introduced of course to protect our safety) could have such a minimal affect on the way so many agencies operate truly shines a light on the shortfall in their approach. It's a familiar situation across the industry that quality of service is all-to-often overridden by recruiters' desire for speed of service, often at the expense of ensuring a long-term fit between candidates and prospective employers.

At Netbox Recruitment, was can honestly say that our approach was never left on auto-pilot; before or during lockdown. The value we placed on face-to-face consultations defined us as a business. It's an approach that has always somehow felt refreshingly forward-thinking whilst also embracing the best of more traditionalist approach. That's not to say we're technophobes! We've always embraced utilising the latest technology, which was invaluable in ensuring our services continued - but we were still absolutely focused on being able to return to meeting our candidates and clients in-person, returning to our core area of expertise and uncovering the value that carries for our clients.

But as we now start to emerge from the other side of pandemic (hopefully not speaking too soon!), can we still say that our face-to-face approach is still important? Well, it's an approach always been vital for truly understanding an office's working culture and team dynamics - essential for ensuring a great cultural fit between candidate and employer. Of course, many would argue that with the prevalence of working from home, the value of such an approach has eroded away. While working from home has certainly soared in popularity, it's not going to brush-aside the role of the office as some have predicted. As many employees now have considerable experience of working from home and in the office, many have reached a new balanced position, one that favours a hybrid approach. With the working week split between the home and the office, employees have incorporated the benefits of each approach - enjoying reduced overall commuting while still touching-base with colleagues in-person, providing a sociable environment to promote wellbeing.

So the dynamics of the modern office continue to live-on... as does the value in assessing the environment in person. But what other benefits does our in-depth, face-to-face approach still have to offer? we believe the benefits are actually still numerous! For employers, we are able to gain a far greater understanding of the way their advertised role fits into their wider business and their overall plan for business growth. In turn, we're able to advise on the job specification and wider hiring strategy. Face-to-face meetings with our clients also regularly provide opportunities to meet other stakeholders in the hiring decision, often in a spontaneous, authentic and engaging way. For our candidates, we can gain a deeper understanding of their unique sets of skills and experience. Consequentially, through face-to-face meetings, we are also far better equipped to root-out any fraudulent qualifications or over-stated experience - and believe me, it happens! We can also remove the availability of overly-rehearsed off-screen interview cues, providing a far more genuine and free-flowing conversation. Lastly, it's also worth remembering the importance for business and candidates to gain an understanding of the recruiter working on their behalf. Many of our clients have continued to use us for their hiring needs year-after-year because they have gained such a high level of trust in their consultant. Essentially, many of our recruiters and their clients have reached a point where they just simply 'get each other' and the process flows naturally and successfully as a result.

We believe that good businesses should always adapt their working approach to utilise the full range opportunities available to them. As such, recruitment consultancies should be utilising the change in legislation to meet their clients and candidates in person, enhance their approach and unleash the benefits this offers to all parties. Those that continue to operate a quick-fire CV service are failing to make use of the opportunities presented from a newly revitalised and energised employment market. Similarly, many recruiters may claim to suddenly embrace a face-to-face approach but they undoubtedly won't have the experience and long-standing ethos to truly dive into this approach or to stand by it into the long-term. Our service has always has been authentic and we cannot wait to see our wonderful clients and candidates again soon!

A: 107 Laker Road, Rochester Airport Industrial Estate, Rochester, Kent, ME1 3QX

T: 0344 2572070


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