Technology enabling business during difficult times
How technology is helping us through the disruption of an epidemic - Read on to find out what our Singapore MD has to say...
It’s amazing how many times over the last few weeks I’ve been asked the same question about business and encountered a similar assumption that Morgan McKinley must’ve been hit hard since the outbreak of the virus COVID-19. Yes, inevitably we’ve had to adapt to this new threat which quite frankly we weren’t expecting when our BCP (Business Continuity Plan) was created. This was designed in case of a breakdown of the air conditioning system or a power outage which allowed our team to work from home armed with soft phone and system access on their work laptops. We certainly weren’t expecting to designate an isolation room should we have any suspected cases. This is a pretty unique situation for me, as I’m sure it is for many leaders of businesses who are impacted.
We have seen a wide array of measures implemented by our clients to safeguard their staff which has seen a number of roles put on hold, interviews cancelled or postponed as hiring drops down the priority list whilst everyone figures out what to do, how long it will last and are our people safe. For me, our people are our biggest priority, ensuring their safety and not unnecessarily putting them at additional risk through the course of their work whilst maintaining the need to meet people. This is where technology has played a huge part. Our response to clients has been quite clear, if you needed to hire before the virus outbreak, you will need to hire afterwards so let’s continue the momentum with interviews. For the most part, our clients and candidates have been happy to take our advice and move all meetings to video or phone calls.
With the power of technology available today, most meetings are taking place which is remarkable considering the situation we’re in and that only 10-15 years ago, when I entered the recruitment industry this technology didn’t even exist. Inevitably technology can only take us so far, most final round interviews or formalities such as contract signing are still done in person, whether for compliance reasons or the need for a physical face to face final meeting. This is something our business is and will need to navigate with client and candidate alike however we’re a big believer in where there is a will, there is always a way. It is encouraging to see the will, desire and resilience of our clients, candidates and people to get things done.
Finally, I’d like to commend the Singapore government and their response to this situation which has been second to none, particularly in this age of social media, false news and misinformation. Their real-time communication has been prompt, clear and regular which has given businesses like ours the confidence to continue working as closely as possible to business as usual without unnecessarily risking the safety of our people, clients and candidates.