Well here we are coming out the other end of over 12 weeks of working from home (WFH).
As a significant portion of my role involves people – meeting with people, interviewing people, relating to and advising people, I’ve found the change from face-to-face meetings the most dramatic difference.
Yes, I’m on the phone a lot anyway but the balance is now changed when adding in the e-meetings (via Teams, Zoom, Webex or Skype) enough for me to feel it is significant.
Talking with both clients and candidates across the Q2 lockdown has also led me to sense a significant shift in the working from home / office balance as well.
I’ve heard that some insurers have conducted surveys as to how to adjust to this change on an ongoing basis. I foresee this will no doubt become an added benefit when employers are ‘selling themselves’ to prospective employees.
I also hear that e-meetings seem to run better when 80% or more of the attendees are remote compared to when just a small percentage (20% or so) are remote and the rest are in the meeting room.
Remote on-boarding seems to have become a fact of life and has put extra pressure on the People & Culture teams to work hand-in-hand with the IT people and hiring managers to achieve a smooth result.
Of course there have been instances of remote resignations as well. We’ve picked up on comments like “It was difficult to manage the process as, normally you’d request a face-to-face meeting with your manager, give notice of resignation, explain the reasons for leaving, etc”.
BUT, ‘do you do this by phone?’ Not very professional really so I’d recommend organising an e-meeting to keep the standards high. Then of course, there’s the handover of company materials, etc, which has to be organised.
It’s important to NOT hang onto anything that belongs to your employer the ramifications can be significant and out of your control.
As the job market became more cautious, at SKL we’ve been keeping close with clients, in terms of market knowledge and updates, as well as with candidates, checking on their wellbeing and duly keeping them in the loop also.
We have also used this time for database housekeeping, staff upskilling and training, so as to be in the best shape possible as we move out of the pandemic lockdown.
In fact, we have moved office as well to cope with the larger SKL team.
One of the similarities we have found throughout the pandemic lockdown, and a lesson we learnt during and after the GFC crash, is that it’s good to be a niche specialist recruiter.
Our relationships with our clients are strong; we’re viewed as advisers and partners, not just any third party provider.
Before, during, and now as we are coming out of the pandemic lockdown, recruitment for a niche specialist like SKL Actuarial has been busy – real jobs and job market /candidate availability and advisory work for our clients.
On a similar basis, our candidates confide in us and look for advice on not just their next career step, but on salaries, actuarial market news, etc. Some of our clients have selectively downsized and others have put recruitment on hold so as to better measure the real business impact of the pandemic and associated economic tightening.
However, as we go into the second half of 2020, we at SKL are optimistic about the demand for the actuarial skillset and that we will continue to partner with our clients and our candidates.