I am delighted to bring you a new series of top-line stories from our Tomorrow’s Talent campaign at Michael Page. The theme of our new series is ‘Full Potential in a New Reality’, which falls in line with our company’s purpose of changing lives through creating opportunities. In the post-COVID world, particularly, tapping into your full potential will become even more pivotal to success. The series will explore four key personas, each playing an important role in business recovery: The Future Job Seeker, The Future Specialist, The Future Hiring Manager and The Future Leader. By nurturing and equipping each persona, businesses will emerge from the pandemic and the subsequent economic fallout better placed and more competitive than ever before. 

Before I share more on how to maximise this, I want to start with two quick messages. The first is that I genuinely hope you are all safe and well. What a crazy time we are collectively experiencing. The second is a note of congratulations. Despite the seemingly insurmountable challenges, we have collectively responded and adapted to the times. There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed us in more ways than one – and the world of work and business has certainly been tipped upside down. Even though business-as-usual is no longer, it’s business recovery that must now take centre stage in all decisions, at every level, going forward. 

Resilience in a recovery

The global economic market is undoubtedly in a tough place. The good news is that businesses are stronger, too. We’ve realised that we have the capacity to change in drastic ways and can quickly adjust to circumstances none of us ever thought possible — entire workforces operating and working from home so successfully, and for many, much more efficiently than we anticipated.

As leaders, we must counsel, practise patience and count our blessings more than ever, especially with the global economy plunging into the worst recession since World War II. With that said, I want to point out some silver linings from where I stand. The economic effects are not identical across all industries, regions and countries. This has allowed certain businesses in recovering markets to gain first-mover advantage amid a time of disarray. 

We must also remember a key factor about our workforce that has not changed. Competition for shrinking markets means the race for talent continues and grows more intensely. I have seen a number of companies use the pandemic to their advantage by securing smart and strategic hires when the rest of the world has had to understandably trim back their workforce.

This is why it’s critical to have a moment to take stock and ensure that business recovery decisions can be actioned through your people – whether it’s your current hiring manager, specialist, executive or even new starters who are fresh out of university. 

With that said, meet your ‘Full Potential’ personas:

Getting the team right

A hiring strategy is only as effective as the hirer’s understanding of the company’s key needs and goals. During times of disruption and the consequent low-budget periods, having a robust hiring strategy is even more critical, as the right team of talent can make (or break) your efforts in getting the business back on track. The Future Hiring Manager articles interview those at the forefront, exploring best practice advice around navigating an uncertain workforce landscape, how exactly to be an effective business recovery team, and maximising agility during the hiring process.

Joining a new, uncertain market

Our next persona is The Future Job Seeker whereby their circumstances to secure work are now uniquely difficult compared to past periods of disruption. But it’s not all doom and gloom, and the path to success should not be a scary one. Businesses continue to hire, particularly for roles that embrace remote working, which means elements for job applications remain essential: an impressive CV, a compelling cover letter and great interview skills – all pitched with compelling reasons for how to help with recovery. Every one of us has a personal brand and we should invest in developing how we can better promote our professional self as much as possible. It’s also a matter of embracing early career knocks and knowing how to bounce back.

It’s wise to specialise

In recent years, businesses have had the opportunity to try different types of work, whether it be permanent versus temporary staff or the trend to look at hiring more specialised employees over those who are more generalist in their skillset. In some cases, this has led to growth in the contracting or temporary staff market, and in other locations, there has been an increased demand for specialists in a permanent capacity. Those who have built a track record of success in what they do are opting for a contracting or specialist path. The Future Specialist explores the tell-tale signs, how workers have made the transition, and the growing trend towards implanting interim managers during business recovery periods.

Changes at the top

C-suite executives — who already play a critical role in business recovery periods — have even greater expectations placed on their decision-making, leadership and people management, as employee safety has become priority. Identifying how exactly to lead with impact and speed in a recovering world is weighing heavy on their shoulders. With the help of seasoned C-level professionals, The Future Leader highlights these areas for you, along with unpacking why executive communication is under a much brighter spotlight. We also pay special focus to the urgent attention needed for this cohort’s mental health and wellbeing.

Talk to our team

While hiring more people may be unrealistic for some companies, we are in a moment when the pressure is on to ensure that every hire that’s made is successful and able to add value quickly. And indeed, one thing that I’ve encouraged our specialist recruiters across the region to do is to reach out to explore your long-term hiring expectations with us. One of my catch-cries has been ‘over-communication’, and I would urge all our partners to consider that even if your big hires might be a bit further down the line, do utilise our expertise to plan a way forward through this business recovery phase. 

By utilising our ‘Full Potential in a New Reality’ series and tapping into our seasoned recruitment specialists at Michael Page, I’m certain we can support your evolving hiring needs. 

All the best with your endeavours. 

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