New Year, New Opportunities
2020 was like no other year we have experienced in the business. We were already facing the challenges of Brexit and new rules around IR35 when the pandemic hit. Our first challenge leading up to the first lockdown was to make sure that we had the resilience and capability for our team to be able to work remotely. This meant going through business processes line by line, reviewing and procuring IT systems to ensure continuity should the worst happen and we would be forced to work from home. The lockdown came sooner than we expected, but fortunately, we had just completed a successful work from home test run a few days before the official announcement.
Our most important asset at Cadence is our staff, so we quickly recognised the need to make sure that the team had the tools to do the job but also to keep in regular contact with them, individually and as a team. At stages through the last year, we have taken advantage of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Even though the toughest months in full lockdown, we maintained contact with the team in the form of regular Teams socials. As much of the country discovered, there are only so many online quizzes you can put up with after a while! However, keeping in touch, making sure that everyone feels valued has been very important to us as restrictions have eased.
We have proved as a team that we can work effectively from home. In some cases, our clients and candidates have been easier to reach! Our core sector – IT, has also proven to be more resilient than other sectors. Businesses both large and small are increasingly realising that IT is more central than ever in order to gain competitive advantage and to ensure ongoing success.
Having traded through recessions before, one lesson we have taken through to this situation is also to keep in regular contact with our clients – even if they’re not recruiting. We can be a sounding board for discussions around market conditions, we can understand their challenges. It is important that they know we are here to help and offer advice. It is all part of our ethos of being genuine business partners to our valued clients. I believe this has helped us to be in the right place as the market has picked up and will stand us in good stead moving forwards.
What has been the most challenging part of recruiting during the pandemic?
Recruiters are at heart social animals, who thrive off people and human interaction. We returned to the office for a short period in August and September. We have proved that we can be effective working from home, and I am sure that will form a part of our model moving forwards. However, Zoom and Teams meetings will never fully replace being in the office together, feeding off each other’s enthusiasm, trading ideas and celebrating success over lunch or a drink or two after work!
What things is the business and the team hoping to achieve this year?
As we look at 2021, despite all the challenges, we are very excited about the future. The country has a Brexit deal, the new IR35 rules will be in place by April and the vaccines are starting to have a significant effect on the pandemic. Talking to our customers, there is pent-up demand. Projects and programmes that have been on hold are starting to get the green light.
We are already recruiting for new Consultants to join our business. We have brought on new customers and we are exploring new markets for us to trade-in. We believe that 2021 is going to be an exciting year for our business.
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