Shortlist's most-read stories, in brief

Monday, 20 April 2020 11:24am

The most-read stories on Shortlist over the past week have included: Contingent work and commissions in the cross-hairs of industry reform; Real-time data critical to Hudson RPO's COVID-19 strategy; Managing employees through deteriorating business conditions; Questions as to whether perm recruitment will ever be the same; and more.

The full articles summarised below are accessible with a subscription or free trial of Shortlist.

Shortlist has also compiled a resource page of coronavirus-related articles for easy access in one place.

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A key question emerging from the COVID-19 crisis is: If an organisation is now hiring on a contingent basis to deal with peaks and troughs in demand, "why, all of a sudden, would they go back to using a permanent workforce?" says HCMS founder and ATC director Trevor Vas.

Business leaders will instead be looking at alternatives, he says.

As hiring swings to contingent roles, recruitment agencies will be also offering "all sorts of solutions to executives to find some value they can add".

Many employers will be looking to TA to work out what alternatives are suitable to permanent hiring, and "TA needs to be in a position to answer that".

Adding to the concerns raised by recruiters about eligibility thresholds for the JobKeeper stimulus, "there seems to be an expectation of business that where an on-hire firm is eligible, they should be passing on the benefit of that in reduced charge rates to clients", says RCSA CEO Charles Cameron.

"The question being raised by our members – quite rightly – is that if a manufacturing firm making widgets were eligible for JobKeeper, would they be providing discounted widgets to the marketplace? The short answer is, absolutely not."

He notes the crisis also provides an opportunity to rethink remuneration for recruitment consultants, which is "very much dependent on commission".

"Instead, we could look at ways to provide services more like a genuine professional service... provided either on an hourly or value basis, or an outcomes basis."

Hudson RPO has ramped up its reporting, meetings and oversight to respond quickly to each new development in the COVID-19 crisis, but it's difficult to plan more than a month ahead, says APAC CEO Kimberley Hubble.

In order to respond quickly, Hudson RPO has put in place a reporting mechanism for on-site managers to provide weekly updates to the leadership team, to "see real-time what is happening at each of our solutions across the region".

"It's really important we understand [each] client's position and adjust our resources accordingly," Hubble says, adding that across the business, some clients have instigated hiring freezes, reduced or cancelled roles, and two have cancelled their contracts, but others are "continuing as normal".

When facing a downturn in business conditions, employers have a number of options to explore to reduce their staffing costs.

In our on-demand subscriber webcast, Henry William Lawyers director and executive lawyer Nick Noonan discusses legal considerations for managing employees in light of the COVID-19 impact on Australian businesses, including:

There is currently a huge variation in the market (and even within individual organisations) in terms of hiring demand, says PageUp head of market research Rebecca Skilbeck, but regardless of whether an organisation putting recruitment on hold or ramping it up, candidate care and clear communication is "incredibly important".

"If you are putting a freeze on your recruitment, you still need to communicate with the candidates. Now is not a time to stop the communications and to go cold or to 'ghost' your candidates."

Recruiters should clearly outline what applicants can expect during the recruitment process ,"because how they're treated during this time, how the company is dealing with adversity, speaks a lot about the culture of the organisation", Skilbeck says.

"If you're dealing with them with compassion and you're acting with integrity, that will go a long way when we come out the other side in terms of the decisions candidates will make."

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