After making some hard decisions and invoking a business continuity plan (devised several years ago) Just Recruitment is still very much open for business! Peter Foy explains how
When the Coronavirus crisis hit the UK, Just Recruitment’s business fell off the proverbial cliff. In less than a week, over half of our revenue disappeared. Companies put recruitment on hold, clients that use temporary workers were suddenly planning for lockdown. Amidst the nationwide sense of concern, even panic, about the threat to health, there was also an underlying threat to the economy. The Prime Minister and the Chancellor both made bold promises about the help that will be available to companies like ours.
|Several years ago, Just Recruitment put together a business continuity plan that we have now invoked.|
Three weeks in and, where are we? Well, there are still many questions about how the financial assistance promised by the government will be delivered. Whether that be from HMRC or the banks, there remain questions as to how the process will work. At the time of writing, we have just been told that the lockdown will continue for at least another three weeks. There is still considerable uncertainty.
However, there is also a silver lining to this dark cloud. Several years ago, Just Recruitment put together a business continuity plan that we have now invoked. Of course, that plan did not include the use of furlough or social distancing. But it did anticipate a reduced workforce working from, either home or strategically chosen branches. The investment in technology that we made, which included our Private Cloud and Internet-based telephony, allowed the redeployment of people in minutes. A huge thank you to our technology partner, Lucid Systems, who have proved their worth over the past few weeks.
A significant part of the continuity plan was to maintain client contact. All our clients were facing the same issues we had. Obvious differences reflecting the different sectors, but we were up against very similar challenges. Several of them were closed, effectively on government instruction, but many of them are either in the food supply chain or the medical instrument supply chain. These companies faced all the problems of the virus while having to continue working. I am incredibly proud of how my colleagues stepped up to the plate to help these key companies. We have had regular conference calls where we have, very openly, shared plans and problems and work together to find solutions.
The nation quite rightly takes to the streets every Thursday evening to applaud our care workers. We should also remember and recognise, those individuals further down the supply chain. The men and women who are manning production lines, working in distribution centres and driving delivery trucks. Also, the people behind them, the folk in HR, logistics, finance and, of course, recruitment. It is said that in a battle, for every soldier on the front line there are 10 soldiers behind him; supporting him. The same is true of the Coronavirus frontlines; for them to do their vital work the entire supply chain has to keep working.
Of course, our business has taken a hit during the crisis. Our revenues are down, our profits disappeared, and half of our colleagues are on furlough. Only a fool would think that there is going to be a quick turnaround. But there will be a turnaround. The virus will be beaten and although the normality we return to will be a new normality, we will, to coin a phrase, meet again.
Speaking only for Just Recruitment, I am confident that the team I am part of will be stronger, more driven and more mature. The shared experience of this crisis has taught us we can depend on each other. It has given us all the opportunity to be pushed to the limit. Only a fool would wish to live through an event like the one we are experiencing, but the experience, once survived, will be transformational.
We are still in a dark place, but we are headed toward the light and, government restrictions notwithstanding, Just Recruitment is moving back to Business As Usual.
Published: 17 April 2020
© 2020 Just Recruitment Group Ltd
If you liked this article you may like to read: What has Coronavirus meant to Just Recruitment?
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