Getting the best return for when we all return.

These are strange times for any business, not least recruitment. But in spite of the lockdown and the economy grinding to a halt, there’s plenty you could – indeed should – be doing to put your agency in the best position possible for when we’re all up and running again 

History can tell us a lot about how businesses should react in times like these. Invariably, those that ‘go dark’ and do nothing during any sort of downturn suffer when it comes around to the upturn; regaining their market position and share is harder, and more costly.

Research from Kantar, the world’s leading data, insights and consulting company, as part of their Covid Barometer Research showed that right now, people most want brands to help them.

This included talking about how a brand can be helpful in the new everyday (77%); keeping them informed about the brand’s reaction to the new situation (75%); and offering a reassuring tone (70%).

Take a look at comms materials from any of the big supermarkets, utility brands or financial institutions, and you’ll see those strategies in action. Now is a good time to get those messages out there too. Only 8% of people expect companies to cut advertising, so it won’t be seen as insensitive; moreover, the pandemic has increased media use enormously, with a 70% increase in web browsing, 63% increase in TV viewing and 61% increase in social media usage.

That means now is a great time to position yourself as a thought leader in your market sector. With the right tone, you can push your brand using a regular programme of online content covering anything from updates on how you’re managing in lockdown to specialist webinars or white papers, so you stay engaged with existing and potential clients and candidates and make them feel valued.

But that’s not all. This has turned into a rare opportunity when the foot’s been taken off the gas, and your business isn’t facing the usual time pressures. So use it wisely by getting your database in order. Typically, you should be cleansing your database every 12 months or so, but now you have the chance to invest some time categorising clients and candidates more effectively – you’ll find it pays dividends when things start getting back to normal.

It’s also a good time to prepare your staff for the upturn when it comes. Even if you’ve had to put them on furlough, they can still spend their time training and developing their skills in readiness – especially as REC, for example, is offering a 25% discount on all their online training courses at the moment.

As you’ve probably gathered, there are plenty of ways you can look at giving your business an advantage even in these unusual times. Just make sure you use the time you’ve been unexpectedly given wisely. And if you need any help or advice, contact us in the usual way: call us on 01260 280 290 or just drop us an email.

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