Contact Us 0131 473 7030

Blog and News.

How Bright Purple adapted throughout Covid-19; and how we will continue to do so.

 

Sales Director Kane Webster discusses the impact Covid-19 has had on our business, and how it has changed our working practices forever.

Kane Webster

Covid-19 has caused so much pain and suffering across the globe. First and foremost, we must acknowledge that this disease is a genuine killer and despite its impact on business, the real tragedy is the impact it is having on innocent people all over the world. 
 
Over a year since we went into lockdown for the first time, it seems there is a light on the horizon. As vaccinations roll out, we are all excited to finally see our friends and family, go to the pub and get a haircut! That being said, when the fight against this disease is finally in control, we will emerge into a very different working world.
 
Bright Purple are proud to have adapted in the last 12 months, and continue to do so as we look ahead to the future. 
 

How Bright Purple have embraced new ways of working

 

Taking Bright Purple remote

Bright Purple have experienced the biggest shift imaginable to the way we conduct business.  The first big shift came in late March last year, when the Government all but implemented mandatory home working for those who can.
 
The first week following this was spent getting logistics in place: we needed to make sure Office 365 was up and running, that everyone had access to a laptop, that our CRM system was accessible remotely and that landlines were diverted to our mobiles. Without seeing our team face to face, we set up numerous Microsoft Teams calls to structure our days. Looking back it was quite remarkable; with less than one day’s notice we took a 25-year old business and completely changed how it was running operationally. The scale and speed of the transition was unfathomable and in a way this ‘jumping into the deep end’ may have been the only way to truly implement such large scale cultural and logistical change. 
 

Testing and adjusting to working practices

Once the reality of lock-down had settled in, we realised our working practices had to change as well. Starting with 3 x 30-minute ‘Scrums’ per day to maintain engagement and focus, we soon found video call fatigue had started to creep in, with cameras turning off and morale dipping. We dropped to 2 calls per day which brightened the mood for another month before we noticed the same disengagement.
 
On the 3rd attempt, a EUREKA moment finally happened. We completely overhauled our current routine and made the video calls more audience specific; splitting the team into smaller groups whilst changing the times of the calls and purpose of the calls, which resulted in each day being more varied and more productive.
 

Value-adds to support our clients and candidates

The change in daily working practice for us recruiters has changed somewhat dramatically. Apart from candidate sourcing and identifying new business opportunities, we realised that as recruitment business partners there was so much more that needed to be done.
 
We have invested time and resources to support and advise clients on tackling remote working, virtual interviews and virtual on-boarding, to name a few. This value-add will remain at the forefront of what we offer our clients. We feel this has really made a difference, is the right way to conduct business and will secure our reputation.
 

Mental Health in the Workplace (when the workplace is at home!)

The mental health and well-being of our Purple People is incredibly important to us. While we have been doing our best to support our team throughout the pandemic, we know there is almost more to learn, and we will continue to do so as we transition into the next stage of post-Covid working.
 
We knew that to successfully run a remote team that you must trust your employees 100%. We also recognised that we needed ways of interacting to encourage socialising and simple human to human engagement. Many of our recruiters hail from an ‘old skool’ background and were initially over-working: with this in mind, we rolled out free time for exercise, optional virtual coffees for non-work related chit-chat and arranged regular 1-1s to encourage open, honest communication.
 
Protecting our culture and team morale is vital. and we will always address this ‘head on’. This is a work in progress and always will be: the right answer today may not be the right answer for tomorrow. We are making a real effort to keep things fresh and will continue to tweak as we go to navigate our way through the 'new normal'.
 

Businesses must embrace change or be left behind

Within a few short months of the pandemic, many businesses became almost unrecognizable to what they were before.
Traditional 9-5 began to fade due to mandatory home working that has seen staff juggle their days around work, exercise, shopping and home-schooling to name a few.
 
Office culture has moved smoothly online with funky avatars, endless memes and video calls on  various competing platforms (Microsoft Teams is my favourite). “You’re on mute” is the hot phrase of the year. We must accept that the recruitment industry and office culture has changed forever. Like all businesses we have been rocketed into the 21st century and it is both terrifying and extremely exciting! 
 
However, there are many businesses already planning their imminent return to an office 9-5, but will it work? Studies and countless LinkedIn polls suggest otherwise, with employees yearning for flexible, blended working across home and the office to suit their needs. While some people are craving the human interaction of the office, many others have thrived from replacing long commutes with morning exercise, seeing their kids more and saving a fortune on after work pints!
 

The challenge for recruitment companies moving forward

Following from the thoughts above, one of the more challenging questions now facing recruitment companies is what happens next…
  • Do we need a big office in the city centre?
  • Do we need to adhere to the 9-5 model? 
  • Is a 5-day week getting the best output and results from our staff?
  • Do our staff want rewarded in other ways?
  • Can our clients be more flexible moving forward?
  • Can our candidates embrace the new technology needed to succeed?
These points don’t just apply to recruiters; they apply to many of our clients, and businesses big or small. To attract and retain the best talent for your business, companies need to be addressing the questions and have a clear understanding of what employees are looking for moving forward, as well as how their way of working can be adapted at a moment’s notice, should a situation arise again.
 
The reality of the situation is that now that businesses have been forced to adapt, there is a massive argument and a wealth of evidence for why flexible working should be the way forward. Businesses who refuse to embrace these permanent changes to working life may start to struggle, with their top talent moving on to better opportunities.
 
It's not enough to be reactive anymore, we should all be pro-active in building flexible working practices in order to succeed.
 

What’s next for Bright Purple?

While there are still many decisions to make, Bright Purple have already put plans into action in order for continued success:
  • We are moving offices: After many many years on Rose Street, we are moving to a smaller office on North St David Street.
  • Flexible/blended working will continue: With these offices comes a continued commitment to blended working. Staff will have more flexibility on when they are in the office, to help balance their commitments at home
  • It’s 9-5 but not as we know it: Our general working day remains 9-5 for now, but we trust our employees. If someone wants to work 10-6, or take an hour off and make up for it later in the evening or the next day, that’s totally fine! We understand that our people have lives to work around, and we are happy to support them in doing so
  • New tech: We recognize the need to move the business online, and are embracing technology such as Odro / MS Teams for video interviews and LinkedIn advertising
  • Marketing: In line with this we are investing in digital marketing and a new website so we meet the challenges of a more virtual world
  • Automation and cloud is key: timesheets, PES Service, GDPR and anything we can automate, we will. In terms of where we store our data, servers, filing cabinets and paper is a thing of the past as we embrace the cloud and move into a business that can be 100% remote whenever needed
  • Mental health: We have realised in this pandemic how key this is to a happy employee and will continue to put it at the front of our agenda when dealing with staff.
  • Face to Face: Getting back out there and meeting people face to face whenever we can. Covid-19 has stopped us engaging with clients and candidates in person, and when it is safe, we plan on doing this again for those who are keen, as we believe human interaction (although not necessary) is desirable to build the best and meaningful interactions.
 
Personally, I am looking forward to tackling these new challenges. We have all been through a very unsettling period, but Covid-19 has shone a light on how we structure our working days and certainly highlighted what can work for the future and what can be left in the past.
 
The old saying of ‘you cannot teach an old dog new tricks’ will not apply to this 26-year-old business and in fairness has never applied to our founding CEO, Mr Bright Purple, Nick Price.
 
We will champion positive change. #purplepower.
 
 
Kane Webster
 
 
 
Back

Comments

Post Comment

*
*
*