A Tech Recruiter’s Journey Through Lockdown 2.0
by Sarah Cotter
IT Jobs and Recruitment Insights
Here we are again…Lockdown 2.0. Back in March we all thought we would be back in the office in a month and everything would be back to normal. Nearly 8 months later and we are in another lockdown!
When I heard the news that we were going into another lockdown, like many people I was extremely disheartened but knew we had no choice. We needed some sort of celebration to look forward to this year, considering everything we had to give up along the way, and Christmas seems like that little ray of hope.
We still may not be able to have our usual celebratory gatherings this year, like Christmas Eve drinks down in our local, St Stephen's day family outings or ring in the new year together but something is better than nothing!
I have been working from home since March, and although I have enjoyed not having the long commutes in the morning and evenings, I have found the shift to working from home difficult at times. In this blog I am going to tell you how I have been dealing with lockdown 2.0 and how recruitment has been affected.
Recruitment during lockdown
Health vector created by freepik - www.freepik.com
Before Covid-19 I would have spent a lot of my time as a dedicated recruiter out and about meeting new candidates over coffee and having lunches with clients. Not getting to meet candidates and clients I work with was quite a big change to deal with.
I enjoy meeting people and building and nurturing relationships, to help my candidates find that new job opportunity that will help their career. Now its phone calls and video chats. Don't get me wrong, these are good alternatives considering the circumstances. 10 or 15 years ago, it would have been a lot different.
So, we are incredibly lucky that we have the means to deal with this chaos in a much better manner. However, it is not the same and it took me a while to adjust. This whole situation highlighted different aspects of my job that I enjoy and to make up for the months lost I will be having plenty of lunch outings to make up for it in the future.
Impact of lockdown on company hiring plans
In my experience, recruitment usually starts to get quiet, especially around December and stops mid-month until the New Year. However, due to Lockdown 2.0 I have already seen a decreasing trend in the number of open roles with my customers.
But there’s a silver lining...
After speaking to a number of clients, they are already putting together their budgets for hires in the New Year, which is promising. From reading articles and talking to companies in general, businesses in the IT sector are making their hiring plans for the future. 2021 is looking hopeful!
Employment in Ireland has suffered a great deal due to the COVID-19 outbreak and as a result, there are many finding it tough to make a switch or even find a suitable job opportunity.
Due to this situation GemPool decided to put together a webinar on how to build and improve your professional profile. Check out our detailed blogpost if you’re looking for ways to improve your CV or looking to upskill your profile while working from home and before your job search in the new year.
Work aspects being lost and missed due to COVID
Home vector created by freepik - www.freepik.com
The social aspect of work is one we are all definitely missing. Lunch time banter, coffee break chats and the general atmosphere in the office. GemPool, we make it work over Zoom and it is great to still be able to see everyone on a day to day basis. Our mid-week games and our Friday evening chats really help keep the momentum going and keep everyone interacting with one another. However, I am looking forward to the day when we can go out again and enjoy one another’s company. If you’re looking for a few ponters on how to pick up your employee spirits we have a few ideas for you.
How to improve your mental health during COVID-19
Woman vector created by pch.vector - www.freepik.com
The loss of not seeing my fellow colleagues and friends had a big impact on my mental health as well as my diet and exercise routine, as I’m sure it has with many. The atmosphere you get in an office space really is not the same working from home but thankfully with our virtual chats and weekly midweek games it helps the situation.
Wondering how to keep yourself motivated?
Walking was something I used to love but I found it hard to get myself motivated to get out and do some exercise which is crazy as I always feel great after it. But, sometimes, with the darker evenings and horrible weather, I struggle.
This is where I found using a health app like Fitbit was highly beneficial. They have a free meditation and mindfulness section which I use all the time. They have 5-minute breathing sessions you can use throughout the day and a breath, relax, and maintain a healthier mind set. A few more health apps that are useful are Headspace Meditation and, and MyFitnessPal which can be found in the app store for apple and android. Another option that I found useful was The Rise Wellness Programme that was recommended to me that I thoroughly enjoyed. Things along the similar lines are available here.
Stress over a long period of time can be damaging to both your body and mind. Stress is caused by pressures which can come from a number of things. So, always look for the signs and pay attention to them immediately. If it continues without relief it can lead to a condition called distress. It can disrupt the body's internal balance and manifest and cause headaches, problems sleeping and many other issues. Your health is your wealth and I find by doing small things every day it will significantly improve your body and mind.
One of these would be your diet. I would have thought that my diet before the pandemic was quite good, but on closer look, I can see more significant improvements I've made, as I now have more time to focus on building a healthier lifestyle. With no travel to and from work it means I can get up and have a proper breakfast before starting my day and no late night dinners, I can really put thought into my meals now instead of what’s quick and easy to make.
I found that, before Covid-19, I would have seen family but not as much as I would have liked and now I make the time to call and check up on my loved ones nearly every day.
Where would we be without facetime, family and friends? They are everything to me, so it is a blessing to still be able to see them virtually.
Even though there were several hurdles that COVID presented, it also gave us a number of opportunities that we didn't consider, like family game nights that have now become a weekly ritual in our house and will continue to.
So, in conclusion
I have found during this lockdown in particular that I need to stop, breath and try not to worry about what might happen and focus on the here and now. As I have said before, your health is your wealth and without that what do you have.
Being in another lockdown does not mean it’s the end of the world although some may find it hard, we can still have fun.
We are not confined to our chairs. We can still go out for walks and breath in that autumn air. We can still see friends and family over Zoom or Facetime. Make the most of it and cherish the memories you make during this time and anxiously wait for our well deserved christmas.
Also, if you're in the market for more than just Christmas presents this year we might have a few job opportunities. If you are currently open to new opportunities and struggling to find a new position, pop over to our careers page and check out the jobs we have available.
If you are looking for more insight into the industry and how it's performing at this time, don't hesitate to get in touch. You can email us at email@example.com or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cover photo attribution: