Networking in 2020: Continue Building Relationships

By ProVision Staffing

Reaching out to your network through emails, texts or calls has never been more important than now. Pre-pandemic, networking events were held at specific venues but now these have shifted to online mediums. COVID19 has changed the way people connect, but that doesn’t mean that networking or nurturing of relationships should stop.

Here are few tips to help you strengthen your network amidst social distancing:

1. Strategic Online Networking: With in-person meetings and professional events off the calendar for a little while now, make the most use of online networking platforms such as LinkedIn, or even registering for webinars and podcasts that interest you. Spend time connecting with professionals that share similar interests and or those who work within the same industry.

2. Re-engage Existing Contacts: Building a genuine network involves checking in on your existing network, be it your ex-colleague or previous employer. Think about the various touchpoints and how you can proactively reach out to them. Connect with your strongest allies and let them know what you’re looking for: it could be a new job, investment ideas or career advice.

3. Personalize Your Communication: This is the right time for you to lead and engage your connections with personalized communication. Engage in relevant and meaningful conversations that you would be happy to receive. It could be as simple as wishing your ex-colleague ‘Happy Birthday’ or congratulating someone on completing a one-year work anniversary. These gestures will help you in building stronger connections.

4. Practice Empathy: Everyone is dealing with COVID19 related anxiety and isolation in some way or another. When approaching someone that has been affected by this crisis, it is important to extend empathy and reaffirm that things will get better.

5. Leverage LinkedIn: LinkedIn recently introduced a quick and easy way to solicit feedback from your network via ‘LinkedIn polls’. This is a great feature to spark new conversations, receive relevant input and have informed discussions with your connections. Use this downtime to work on your LinkedIn profile, update your work history, request recommendations from previous employers/mentors and start sharing authentic content with your connections and those who are not within your network.

5 Tips for Successful Business Continuity During COVID19

By our sister company, ProVision Staffing

Even under these unprecedented circumstances, some businesses are continuing to operate smoothly. What’s their secret? They acknowledge the challenges and also focus on the opportunities to make their company more resilient.

We offer 5 important strategies for businesses on a mission to stay alive, stay relevant, and come out of this pandemic less harmed:

1. Invest in remote work setups – Since 2010, the amount of people that work remotely once a week has grown by 400%. (Hubspot Research) Prior to the global pandemic, only 41% of global businesses offered remote work flexibility (flexjobs.com). Now is the time to increase your company’s investments in videoconferencing tools and collaboration software, many of which do not require a huge budget.

2. Consider contract employment – Contract employment gives businesses the freedom to “hire talent on-demand”. The flexibility and scalability of contract staffing allows businesses to achieve their long-term and short-term growth targets, which makes this staffing solution ideal for challenging economic times.

3. Keep communicating with & supporting your employees – It becomes extremely crucial to calm and reassure your workforce during such uncertain times. Employers must encourage upskilling, boost morale with special incentives and schedule regular video calls etc to maintain your teams momentum.

4. Plan for the future – Use this decrease in pace to re-evaluate and identify new business opportunities. Start building new connections, growing your social media presence and developing a strong comprehensive plan for COVID19 recovery.

5. Support your client base – Show your clients that you are here for them, and that you care about them. Avoid pushing for sales and take the time to listen to their concerns. Strengthen existing relationships by providing solutions that will appeal to them and that are relevant under existing circumstances. It is important to be recognize and plan that your customers’ requirements might change post COVID19.

It’s important for businesses to be adaptable and open to change. Post COVID-19 the world will likely be a different place, at least for the next little while, and businesses that are set up to adapt to the “new normal” will have the competitive advantage.

Coping With Job Loss: Take Charge & Keep Going

Two-in-five Canadian households have already experienced some type of job loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Losing your job is stressful under normal circumstances but during this time of uncertainty it can be especially daunting.  But don’t give in to despair and anxiety.  Take charge of the situation and develop a plan for being mentally healthy and focused on your goal of finding another opportunity in due time.  

We would like to share some tips for staying on track and remaining optimistic as you find yourself stuck at home, isolated and/or frustrated, and with much more time on your hands than you were used to:

Keep job searching:  Stay positive and recognize that this is a temporary setback.  While getting back out there with an aggressive job search and networking agenda right now might be tricky due to office closures and social distancing, keep moving ahead and don’t stop looking for opportunities.  Hiring may have slowed in many industries but hiring managers and staffing firms are building a pipeline of talent at all times.  Reach out to them and pitch what you have to offer.

Hone your skills:  Use this time to update your skills as well as learn some new things.  Research which skills are most valuable to employers in your industry and sign up for online classes or free tutorials.  There are also many charitable organizations who can use a helping hand right now.  Volunteering is a good way to gain some hands-on experience in a different capacity and will help to fill the employment gap in your resume.

Grow your network: This might seem an impossible task in today’s world of social distancing and isolation, but growing your network is still achievable.  Join a webinar and interact with the participants and/or presenters, engage in conversations by email or phone, and connect with new groups on social media. Start with your existing network and devise a plan for how you can build out.  Because many opportunities go unadvertised, having a strong network is very helpful.

Connect with a staffing firm: We don’t bite.  In fact, our recruiters can help you assess your skills, provide tips on best resume writing practices, and talk you through the necessary steps for finding a new job, all without any cost to you.  Think of us as your support system during this time.  Friends and family can offer sympathy, but we will take charge and set you on a course to a new career opportunity.

Losing a job is never easy.  Companies are having to make difficult decisions during this time and employee layoffs are unfortunately the consequence of having to cut back on operations and expenses.  No matter what your personal situation is, try to remain motivated and set yourself up for job search success for after everything returns to normal.      

For information about what the Canadian government is offering to workers who have lost their job due to COVID-19

Recruiting in the Time of Social Distancing

By Elizabeth Connelly, Vice President

The challenging reality of COVID19 in Canada continues to unfold daily, leaving many businesses in a scramble to deal with its effects.  Hiring, as a result, may have slid down your priority list yet it’s important to keep your grasp on top finance and accounting talent, particularly in preparation for a different economic landscape to come.  But how should you proceed with recruiting in a new time of social distancing and isolation?  Here are some tips to keep you engaged with top talent and continue to build a strong relationship without in-person meetings:

Keep the Line of Communication Strong

While we remain in isolation mode and shift gears to crisis management, it shouldn’t mean that communication with candidates of choice must cease.  Video conferencing, text messaging, email – these are all very obvious ways that you can use technology to stay in touch and get to know them further without having to meet in person.  Think of this as an opportunity to nurture that relationship and take it to the next level, beating your competition to the finish line when everything goes back to normal. 

Impress Through Marketing

Instead of inviting the candidate to your office to meet with the team, woo them by sending a customized, well-designed package, either digitally or by snail mail, that contains information about your company’s achievements, industry highlights, and company culture.  Include statistics, team bios, and even positive testimonials from other employees.  Show your company’s personality through branded graphics and office photos.  Candidates will appreciate the effort and it will help to sway their decision in your favour.  

Develop a Revised On-boarding Plan

Hiring during this time may require on-boarding the candidate while your office remains closed and everyone continues to work from home.  Adjust your company’s plans accordingly so that anyone joining your team will feel welcomed and appropriately supported despite not having too much face-to-face time.  Set up a group video call giving everyone an opportunity to introduce themselves, provide necessary training remotely, and adjust your expectations for roles that do not normally accommodate working from home, as the learning curve might be a bit steeper.  

Supporting each other is essential to navigating through the current, COVID19-imposed hiring challenges.  For companies this means adjusting their expectations and for candidates it means being flexible and patient.