When NRL’s Divisional Manager Steven Garland joined the business in October 2020, he became our first Ireland-based colleague – taking on the challenge of setting up a business during the ongoing impact from COVID-19.
He discusses what those first 6 months have been like, the majority of which has been spent working from home.
Building relationships virtually
Recruitment is all about trust, which is gained through building relationships. Throughout the past 12 months as we’ve stayed inside to protect each other, it’s that interpersonal communication that we’ve all been craving and missing.
What’s been great however, is that I’ve been able to talk day in day out over the phone and through video calls - to understand what our clients need, and how we can support our candidates.
The various pieces of technology we have within the business has also meant that we’ve been able to continue to interview and place candidates and manage their onboarding - without any impact on their experience with us.
When it comes to finding the right people to fill our vacancies, the team and I have also been able to instantly promote opportunities through LinkedIn – which has been great for signposting available work.
Adjusting to market performance
Our current focus here in Ireland is on the built environment and advanced facilities sectors.
We’d just got things up and running when the Government made the difficult, but necessary, decision in January to shut down construction work across the country as positive cases continued to rise. Some projects that were deemed essential however were permitted to continue their operations - including social housing projects that were near completion.
For our clients managing advanced facility projects such as life science and data centre builds, they too have also seen some disruption to their operations.
Despite these industry challenges however, we’ve still managed to support our clients and candidates wherever possible and have had great success with some strategic placements.
Helping people to move back home
I’ve heard from several candidates over the last 6 months, how the global pandemic has made them want to move themselves and their families back home to Ireland. Speaking to candidates who’ve been residing in the UK for several years, having originally opted to relocate to find work in their chosen trade, the pandemic has made them more homesick than ever before.
Each time I’m able to secure a UK-based candidate a role so they can move back home, it’s been extremely rewarding. Whilst the practicalities of relocating during the ongoing restrictions can throw up a few challenges, it’s not impossible – and certainly shouldn’t put people off getting in touch if they’re ready to head back home.
Missed part one? Starting a business during a pandemic
Read part two - Light at the end of the tunnel