The transition to the post-coronavirus lockdown era has already started, and as the near future gradually comes into focus, businesses must design a flexible strategy for the challenges ahead. Decision-makers must ask themselves a series of challenging questions, from ‘what would the business look like if we were starting from scratch today’ to ‘what do we need to do to remain agile enough to stay in business’.
Here are some considerations that businesses must account for when preparing their post-COVID operational blueprint.
Meet the new A-team
A business’ operational blueprint can’t enact itself – it requires a team of talented, dedicated individuals to make the vision a reality. While the specific demands on the team may have changed, its importance to the organisation has not. It remains essential to bring together a diversity of perspectives to make data-driven decisions, empower everybody to shine and keep the business nimble. Businesses which invest in creating a flexible, multiskilled team to interpret data and chart a course through perpetually uncertain waters will find the most success as events continue to unfold in unexpected ways.
Supporting these critical staff may also necessitate reorganisation of structures within the business, especially if the company has had staff changes during the pandemic. Recruiting is a collaborative effort, and companies must make an effort to remove barriers between staff and eliminate burdensome oversight structures to provide staff with the freedom they need to work efficiently. This streamlining offers the additional benefit of making the company more agile, as individuals are empowered to communicate rapidly and respond to opportunities as they appear.
Making the most of a lower cost-base
Both during the coronavirus pandemic and for the foreseeable future, businesses are going to have to operate lean. As a recent Gartner study put it: “The organisations that will come out of this crisis in leadership positions are those that quickly move resources to emerging areas of opportunity while competitors are still ducking for cover.”
One way that businesses can make the most of what they have is by re-evaluating their technology stack. Intelligently applied, technology can multiply the amount of work that an individual employee can do, either by assisting with tasks or freeing up time. Automation will be particularly crucial in this effort, whether for managing relationships or prioritising communications. Businesses must consider their goals and choose the right technology for the job, as well as considering which solutions will offer the best ROI.
Making the most of relationships
Client relationships have always been at the heart of successful recruiting, and this too is one of the few things that the virus has left unchanged. While technology can augment a team’s efforts, the human touch remains crucial. In a market that is rapidly shifting, communication with clients ensures that a firm remains abreast of their priorities and is in the best possible position to address issues quickly.
Firms must also go the extra mile to demonstrate their value to their clients. At a time when nothing escapes consideration for cost-cutting, recruiting firms need to collect and communicate data that demonstrates their effectiveness – particularly as new business will likely remain hard to come by in the near term. If a firm’s current tools aren’t suited to offering real-time progress information, now may be the time to consider a more modern solution.
Adapting to ‘the new normal’
We are living in the confusing space between the initial onset of the crisis and the crystallisation of ‘the new normal,’ yet businesses must nonetheless make plans. The only thing we can be sure of is that there will be more unexpected changes to come. Companies that have an operational blueprint that accounts for maximum flexibility and adaptability will be best suited to success, in the near term and once we eventually reach ‘the new normal’.
Peter Linas, Executive Vice President, Bullhorn