COVID-19 in German Recruitment – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
The Corona Virus situation reminds me of a song from Florence and the Machine – Dog Days Are Over. I mean, clearly, the world was not in a good place environmentally, but I guess no one saw this coming. Like the song says – it hit us like a train on a track and that the dog days are over – but the horses are coming, so we better run…
But what does that mean in our daily life as agency recruiters? I consider myself lucky as we, Constares GmbH, are specialized in Pharmaceutical and Life Science industry. I have to say, at the beginning of March I was positive that I can do it all – take care of my daughter, work and bake banana bread and work out – like they say on the internet. I was certain that the crisis will not include us - because logically - the Pharma business must be booming. We need a vaccine after all.
But that’s not the case at all. We had to face a lot of changes, accept less revenue and business coming and make difficult decisions as a team. But still - crisis or not, there are some positions that needed to be filled. So how did we make it work? It is clear that the main factor is to have a strong relationship with our clients. This is not an easy one, because it takes two to tango and that is not always the case. My colleagues are working hard for years to create a trust filled space with their clients and we always make sure that the business will keep repeating and the goal is always to have a strong, trustworthy relationship. But even though you might have this, not all the clients are forward thinking and willing to change their habits, as long as it is not necessary. For us as agency recruiters, these are the face to face vs. video interviews. The client wants to see the candidate in person – that’s understandable. But is the candidate willing to wait for another month, or maybe two or six? Well, maybe not. Maybe our client is not the only client the candidate works with. Or maybe they cannot afford to wait that long. There are plenty of reasons why we needed to cooperate on both sides in order to keep going. One example is that we convinced our client to do a 6-hour assessment center that always took place in person with a third party via video conference. This is actually a very difficult thing to do considering all efforts the candidate has to endure and the client has to evaluate. But we all made it through and it all worked just fine.
In terms of our business, we lost positions in field sales and similar non-essential positions. But what is on a rise are positions in pharmaceutical production and strategical roles. In Healthcare there is a crucial need of doctors and nurses in order to fill the high demand for drugs and finding a vaccine. So we are adjusting to the needs of our clients in these aspects as well.
The bottom line is that we have to be there for each other, find time to feel that we belong to the team and want to achieve the best for our customers in each situation. Because that is what we want and because we are passionate about what we do. With this attitude and this belief we will continue