Coming into the pandemic, I thought this would last a few weeks maybe a couple months at the most. Although new business slowed down for us significantly in March, April and May, we had enough projects open to keep us busy through this time. As those projects came to a close and the pandemic still here, we suddenly found ourselves with a lot more time on our hands. In a normal year, this would have been a great opportunity to go on vacation for a couple weeks, but sadly that was not possible. As recruiters we decided to do a few things to keep ourselves current and engaged with the market, while waiting for things to pick up.
Do a Lot More BD
We found that many companies had either stopped hiring or were doing it on their own and not relying on external partners. I have never heard so many “No’s” in my career. As a firm, we decided to remain in touch with our clients and placements, but also significantly step up our outreach efforts with companies that we would want to work for. It did not matter whether we heard back from them or not (most often we didn’t), it was more important to make contact and make them aware of our services.
More “Courtesy” Calls
We also spent a lot more time speaking with executives who were either displaced or were in fear of losing their job. Whether we had a search that was a fit or not, it was important to speak with senior folks as you never know when a new project will come in. It also broadened our knowledge of what was occurring in the market.
Scheduled Team Calls
With everyone working from home, it was easy to become disengaged. By mid April, we began scheduling team calls at least three times per week. This was an opportunity for us to see each other virtually and discuss current and upcoming projects. It also provided us the opportunity to stay connected and have some social interaction as well. Personally, I made certain to shave and not work in my pyjamas.
Time for Ourselves
Working from home has some advantages but many of us felt that there was no separation from work and home. With the benefit of not having to commute to the office, it gave us more time to do other things. Having the discipline to set a work schedule, gave us more time to do things such as exercise, go for a walk, meditate or simply relax. This pandemic has wreaked havoc on the mental health of many people, and I found that “shutting down” by 6 or 7pm every night gave me some balance.
Lakeshore Human Capital Inc. (“LHCI”) is a boutique executive search firm that provides superior client service, comprehensive sector and functional knowledge, and senior partner involvement on every assignment. With tenures at both global and boutique firms, LHCI founder and managing partner Mandeep Grewal brings over 20 years of experience in the retained executive search industry.