Strategies for Thriving in Recruitment Through Coronavirus

Published by Nick Vaughan on

Having personally been through the 2008 Financial Crash and being a part of businesses that has offices in Covid-19 affected areas of China, I have put together some key learnings for recruiters who wish to thrive during an economic downturn & virus backdrop that will be full of uncertainty through 2020.

The first point is to make sure you are not the ostrich who has their head in the ground and listen to the signals in the market. If you do not work the hardest you ever have, be proactive and get results you will end up not having a job or business.

We are in the sales business where we live & die by “deal sword” and that is the reality.

In order to help on your journey, we have put together a document including 15 firms we expect to have a big hiring spell over the next few months. This includes key company and contact information and other useful information to help sculpt your strategy. Download it here

Secondly. Expect some of your clients to put in hiring freezes, pull your contractors off work, put in more interview processes as delaying tactics and simply kick hiring decisions down the road.

There are plenty of Corona-proof jobs

Thirdly. Being a true market specialist, you need to find out what are the “MISSION CRITICAL ROLES” that needs to be filled now and start partnering up with your current clients & new ones to get those jobs.

When qualifying your current jobs, your job qualification must be “best in class” where I would put in place further qualifying questions in place such as:

  • What would be the consequences if you did not make this hire?
  • Are you able to perform interviews via VC or Telephone?
  • Are you able to offer without an in-person interview?
  • Can this role work from home?

You are trying to ascertain whether this is essentially a Corona-proof job to work on where they must make the hire, they can do interviews over VC/Telephone, offer without meeting the person and the candidate can work from home.

So, what scenarios & markets could a recruiter typically find these jobs to work on & place?

Regulatory

Remediation programmes where regulators have provided strict deadlines to complete projects by

Control Functions – If there is a vacancy in any controlled function, there must be a person to take that CF position

Cyber Security

Look for any critical programmes that must be completed. An example would be a SOC centre being built where budget has already been put aside and they have given notice to their current Cyber firm meaning they are committed to this programme of work.

Hacks, Data Loss & Data Leakage – This will incur fines and will require remedial action so expect interim & perm work from this.

Technology

Digital Transformation programmes and implementations are key to go after as you will still pick up volume roles and they can typically work from home. An example could be that a firm has recently purchased SAP and needs to implement this.

They have committed the money by already paying SAP, handed in their notice to their current vendor and put together a programme team in place who has a deadline to go-live on. These programmes always need contractors to help them deliver against these programmes as they need the SME’s on board to ensure it goes live.

So look for these projects that have recently been kicked off as they could be a mini-goldmine for you.

Well-Funded or recently Funded Firms

Regardless of the nature of the market and dependent on % of raise VS the company’s running costs (look for Series B’s) there will be multiple Fintechs, Regtechs, etc who will still be building out their teams for mainly R&D purposes where they will be hiring Technology professionals and Sales professionals.

These firms have already provisioned the cash on these investments as they are still developing their product so they still need the talent to do this. Quite often all of these professionals can be interviewed via VC and start working from home so these are good firms to partner up with.

Front Office

In uncertain markets, you have extremely choppy stock markets where the UK & US has already seen their worst drops since 1987. Whenever there are losers, there are some massive winners on the back of these trades.

Look at Investment Banks, Prop Houses and Hedge Funds that trade equities or similar instruments where jobs like Volatility Traders & Quants will be in HOT HOT HOT demand.

Some of these firms are going to make BILLIONS from these uncertain times and will want to capitalise on their positions by taking more market share by hiring more staff.

Risk Management

Fluctuating markets will mean firms will need to ensure their risk management is extremely strong where you will begin to see more demand for Market Risk professionals, Quant Risk, Liquidity Risk, Operational Risk, Product control and perhaps Credit risk depending on the nature of defaults and firms who are lending. In some of these roles, you can work from home. Stress Testing is going to be particularly big as this is when the scenarios will now be real.

M&A

When stocks goes down and we see more firms going bankrupt, there will be opportunities for more “Deal Flow” for firms to be purchased. An increasing volume of deals, albeit the market valuations will be lower than previously will mean there will be more demand for M&A professionals to broker these deals.

I would personally focus at the Analyst & VP level as these roles you can work from home as they are not “rainmakers” and with increasing volumes of work these are the troops who are needed to perform the heavy lifting analytical work & due diligence.

A caveat would to be sector & country-specific to ensure you are operating in the hottest of M&A markets.

Clearly I have not covered off all aspects of Financial Services & Tech recruitment but hopefully this will provide you with a good flavour of what to target, how to pitch and focus your attention with only working on jobs that you will immediately place so you can continue to make money.

As a recruiter, in every downturn, there are always opportunities and for this, you need to ensure you have all Market Intelligence at the tips of your fingers in order to gain business.

We would know the following:

  1. Who is Hiring & Firing
  2. Who will be Hiring in the future
  3. Knowing about every Single Vacancy being published in our markets
  4. Mapping out every single Decision Maker within our markets

Nick Vaughan

CEO of Talent Ticker – Staffing Market Intelligence

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