• Jess Bailey T4Y

We cant change our current circumstances, but we can adapt and overcome it together....

Since the UK went into lockdown on 23rd March, we have all seen extreme changes to the way in which we conduct our daily lives. During this uncertain time, there are far more questions than answers, watching the news is daunting, we are all concerned for our health and the health of others, not to mention the affect the lockdown is having on our economy.

Lets be honest, it all feels little doom and gloom. I am generally a positive person and try to see a silver lining in every cloud. So, I have written a short blog to outline the situation with Team4you, the challenges we face and the way we WILL prepare, adapt and overcome during this difficult time.

Business (but not quite as usual)…..

In our world of recruitment, people are at the core of all we do. We took the decision very early on that by adapting our process correctly, our business would remain operational, allowing us to deliver the same high quality service both to our clients and candidates.

Like many of us, I think we all at Team4you have now downloaded just about every video chat app going and are continuing to coach candidates through the recruitment process as they adapt to presenting themselves for interview by video link.

Yes, its not ideal, and adding technology into the mix whilst keeping nerves in check and making sure you are delivering a strong interview can be daunting. However, I have recently had some positive feedback from a candidate who assured me it was actually less stressful than being face to face in a room with a panel of people, as when interviewing digitally, you are all displayed equally on the screen. So there is always a positive somewhere!... sometimes you just have to look harder to find it.

I am pleased to say we remain very much open for business and are able to focus on keyworker roles during this period of lockdown. From 16th March 2020 Team4you has launched a lifeline for businesses, both locally in Shropshire and also nationwide. We took the decision to support clients by offering temporary staffing solutions at cost price. This has meant some clients have avoided a shutdown and with our help can remain operational, despite some of their workforce self isolating either because they, or someone they live with are symptomatic, or are needing to stay at home due to care for their children.

A passion for people….

If anyone reading this also follows me on social media, you will hear me use this phrase on videos and in hashtags a lot. “A passion for people” is what makes our industry go around, and in these times this is more important than ever. As even though we cannot have face to face contract with our clients, candidates and colleagues, we can (and must) keep in touch!

As a member of the Shropshire Chamber of Commerce network, we have taken to virtual meetings once a week, something which I have looked forward to since the start of lockdown. The vibe of the meetings has changed somewhat however, it has always been a friendly and positive place to be, but in these uncertain times our meetings are not currently just about who is looking to connect and do business with who. It has become a place where we can share ideas, survival tips, reach out and ask for support in a safe, professional environment. I am so thankful to my Chamber associates for all the support and advice I personally have received in the last month. I am also pleased to say others have reached out to me too and I have helped them stay focused, positive and allowed them an opportunity to offload. I honestly believe that business connections will be strengthened as a result of the lockdown, we will remember who reached out to offer support, who took the time to check in and who we turned to when we needed professional services.

Schools out for the Summer?....

Many of us (including me) have school age children who are scared, confused and have many questions that we as parents cannot answer with any certainty. Whilst this presents challenge, I have found explaining the situation to my children has really helped keep me calm. They look to me for reassurance and support in a time where their little worlds were turned upside down in a matter of days, with school closing, playdates, holidays and other events they were looking forward to being cancelled, all in the space of a week.

This afforded us all very little time to prepare, meaning that not only were we faced with a huge amount of change and uncertainty, but the lockdown has also seen us attempt to home school our little people. Like many this has been a balancing act, when also needing to work from home. I feel extremely lucky as my team have allowed me the time to focus on home schooling and working around the needs of my family, then picking my workload back up in the evenings as required. I count myself extremely lucky to be in this position, especially when many others I know first hand are not.

I am no teacher, and have found the challenge of home schooling tough, trying to stick to some sort of routine is difficult, but essential I have found in helping to keep the children focused and positive. Lets be honest, we are all winging it. They miss their friends, teachers and as much as they used to complain I worked a lot, now I think they are sometimes sick of the sight of me at the moment!

The positive I will take from this experience is the time it has allowed me with them. I remember the first morning of home school and setting my 6 year old some maths work, thinking it would take her at least 15-20 minutes, she came back to me after a few minutes to inform me she had finished. I remember smiling to myself whilst saying, “ok darling let Mummy check…” only to discover she had correctly completed the entire maths problem and added all her answers up to give a collective total. I was floored, actually I was a little choked up, I never realised how bright she was. I am not usually at home after school for homework and reading, you suddenly stop, take stock of the situation and realise we could all learn a lot from this time. Hats off to teachers everywhere, real life heroes in my eyes!

Keeping in Touch….

A real highlight of my day in lockdown is our 8pm video call I have with Nick and Tomasz. They have been my rock, the only two other people that feel the same way I do about Team4you. The two people I rely on to keep me motivated and drive the business forward, they are creative, honest and focused. We make sure we really check in on each other, not just on the business, I feel incredibly lucky to be working with these guys. I am usually a real lipgloss and heels kinda’ girl, needless to say they have both seen the hoodie, no make up, hair scraped back side of me this last month(!) Do you know what though, one thing this experience has opened my eyes to is how much we really need, material things. In truth, we don’t! However having people we can rely on to pull us up when things get too much, we most certainly do!

Team4you is celebrating its 1st Birthday on 23rd April, and alongside recognising the amazing things the business has achieved, I will be celebrating a year of working with two likeminded, understanding, driven people I am now proud to call my friends.

So cheers! To being thankful for our health, friends, family and of course to the day (which WILL come) when Boris tells us we can see our loved ones again. When we can socialise (and network!), our kids can go back to school and the playgounds are open again. To the day when we as a Country can reflect on this unprecedented, difficult and incredibly sad experience, which has taught us all so much about what is really important in life.

“Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light” – Albus Dumbleore