Thriving in 2021: From crisis mode to opportunity

The best leaders are making the best out of a brutal year and hoping to grow stronger post-pandemic

Thriving in 2021: From crisis mode to opportunity

2020 was a brutal year for recruiters. As organisations went into survival mode, recruitment activity was almost non-existent. The sector was hit hard across Singapore, with companies putting in hiring freezes and talent pools drying up.

Despite the tough times, recruiters like Jaya Dass, managing director, Malaysia and Singapore at Randstad managed to hold their fort, keeping true to the mantra that there’s always opportunity in a crisis. She also kept it real and told HRD that “in the grand scheme of things” the pandemic didn’t just affect recruitment or Asia – the impact was felt globally and across all industries.

Fellow industry colleague, Monty Sujanani, country manager, Singapore at Robert Walters, shared similar sentiments with Dass. He told HRD that the impact on recruitment largely reflected the high levels of uncertainty felt by leaders.

“For example, no one’s quite sure when the economy will recover,” Sujanani said. “As a result of this uncertainty, we’ve seen a lot of businesses sort of halt their recruitment, take a step back and be very, very cautious on hiring.”

Randstad and Robert Walters were winners in HRD’s inaugural 5 Star Recruiters award. Their firms received five-star ratings from HR practitioners due to their outstanding work in the field. They proved that no matter the circumstances, there’s always a way to deliver the best service possible for your customers.

Now that Singapore is showing signs of recovery, businesses are even more hopeful about the positive changes to the industry. Dass believes that while it may take some time for leaders to find their footing, eventually they will be able to shift ‘out of the fear’ of how the pandemic will impact the company and find ways to help strengthen or grow instead.

“The mindset then starts to shift [to] should we be thinking about how to capitalise on this opportunity?” said Dass. “Is there a silver lining that we can go towards and maybe use as an opportunity to force ourselves to say, ‘What will the future of work look like? What can we take out of this?’”

To get more insights into how COVID impacted recruitment in Asia, click here.

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