The First Half of 2020 – An Update
As a business we turn nine on the 4th July. Our anniversary is usually something I like to celebrate but this year our hubs across the globe will be doing so a bit differently!
As I reflect on the first half of the year, I can confidently say 2020 has been one of the most challenging six months of my career, let alone the existence of the Elliott Scott Group business. As we have businesses in APAC I was exceptionally fortunate to be ahead of the curve with regards to the emerging situation in China and Hong Kong but when I think back to January and the first rumblings of Coronavirus, I genuinely never believed that we would be where we are right now.
Globally job numbers are definitely down and as a business we are running at 50% of our capacity compared to 2019. However, beyond core recruitment, a big part of our role (as recruiters) is to genuinely support our candidates and clients on a more personal level, many of who have needed us. Globally our teams have been assisting our HR community through personal conversations, thought leadership, virtual events and sharing local and international market intelligence. I thoroughly believe that we are all in this together and we know that by working in partnership we will come out of the other side and be stronger for what we have all been through.
The biggest worry on the horizon, is the second or third wave of the pandemic that appears to be already hitting some locations around the world. Tied into this, our current Elliott Scott HR survey, looking at ‘Returning to the Office During the Coronavirus Pandemic’ shows that 40% of people, across the globe, aren’t yet comfortable with physically going back into the office.
Some positives I’d like to highlight though:
- We have definitely seen a small increase in job numbers in June. I don’t want to get too excited about this but in each of our locations we have taken new briefs for roles that companies are genuine about hiring.
- Flexible working is here to stay! I am not totally sold that the office is dead but I think we should be celebrating the fact that this pandemic has forced a fundamental work shift. Providing we have the right technology and set up, a lot of us can do our jobs from wherever we are.
- HR has potentially the biggest opportunity I have seen in over 15 years to be at the forefront of all ongoing business decisions. Workplace health, wellness, inclusion, safety and performance management are just some of the key areas of focus for virtually every business around the world right now. Businesses that get this right will be ahead of the curve and able to ride out any further storms.
So while it is all very difficult (and there could be some more bad news to come), there are some green shoots of positivity on the horizon. We might find that these take a little longer to come through in the coming months but they are there and we all need to latch onto these as we move into the second half of the year.
Finally, I really just want to reiterate my earlier message that we truly are in this together. Things will take a little longer but with the right patience, support and partnership we will get there and should you need us, the team at Elliott Scott HR is here to help.