How Staying True to our Values has Steered us Through a Pandemic

Naomi Marshall

15 Sep 2020 | Naomi Marshall

Never have I been more proud of my team, as staying true to our values is what has steered us through this pandemic. At SprintHQ we firmly believe in values and the golden rule, “treat others how you would want to be treated”. This isn’t something we train, but rather something that comes naturally to those in our team.

If there is one thing this pandemic has taught us it’s that we never know what is around the corner – and that we need to be ready for whatever life throws our way. Never in a million years could any one of us have predicted the impact that Covid-19 has had, not only on the Australian economy but across the globe…and it’s definitely not over yet.

It’s Highlighted Many Things

It really highlighted for me that we should never take for granted the freedom we have, nor the amazing health system in Australia. I believe the pandemic has really made us think about how much we really need in order to be happy (and it’s much less than we first thought!).

In the corporate world it’s also shone a light on how fragile a company may actually be when ‘fruit is no longer abundant’ and business only crawls through the door.

Having spoken to hundreds of candidates and clients over the past 6 months one thing became apparent very quickly – that people value honesty and kindness, and they respect those who treat them the way they would treat others.

But Why...

So why then in the world of recruitment do I hear over, and over, and over again that “candidates do not have their phone calls returned or emails responded to, that they’re not kept updated during the job processes and that consultants are rarely staying in touch”?
I don’t believe that consultants set out to be this way. They’re not sitting at their desk every day thinking ‘I know I should check in with Jenny/Sally/John/Katie etc etc, but I’ll not call them just to show them I really don’t care’ – of course they don’t do that……right?

Flipping it around may highlight my sentiments…. they don’t care ENOUGH to call. And therein fact lies the real problem. Do you care enough about something to do it really, really, well and truly make a difference? Not only to yourself, but to the ripple effect that your actions have on others? Now more than ever we need to be empathic and place ourselves in the shoes of others. We need to lift each other up and support each other on a day to day basis, the same way that we would want to be lifted and supported.

The Last Few Months

Whilst I cannot vouch for everyone else, I can confidently speak about the behaviours that have been displayed at Sprint over the last few months:

During the pandemic we expected our key clients (the ones we work with month in, month out) to pull us through. After all we have known them for years – we have proven ourselves, never let them down, always delivered.

However, we soon realised that the pandemic wasn’t selective – its reach was vast. Large corporates and smaller family businesses were all affected. We found that not one of our key clients were recruiting, in fact they were shedding staff faster than a snake skin in the summer months! I was worried. I was very concerned and needless to say I had many sleepless nights. If our key clients were not recruiting, how could we stay afloat and break new ground during a pandemic? How would we pull through if those who knew us were unable to support us?

The Shift

Then it came, the shift. The phone started ringing, and roles started coming through from new clients. Ones we had never heard of, or worked with before and every single one of them was referred – by a previous candidate. I was delighted and flattered to learn that there were people who remembered us for our ‘above and beyond’ service. Service other agencies had not been offering them. These candidates had only heard from other agencies during good times, and felt abandoned by them now that times were tough. When presented with the opportunity to voice their thoughts on who should support a friend/colleague/business contact who was recruiting – I was proud to find out it was us!

To date, over the past 6 months, every single placement we have made (bar 1) has been made from a candidate who has referred us on. Yes that is definitely a boastful comment, and yes I’m happy to state it – because I am proud of my team, and I’m proud of the values we operate by, both professionally and personally.

We may not be the largest Sydney recruitment agency with hundreds of recruitment consultants across the floor, we may not have a board of directors guiding us, we may not have millions of dollars propping us up – but do you need all of that to be kind and respectful to others? To show empathy and care?

Thank you to everyone who has worked to support us during this time, it has truly not gone unnoticed. One good turn deserves another, and we will continue to put one foot ahead of the other, always working to offer the best service we can and never forgetting that even though it’s a business we run, without the respect and kindness of others – we have nothing.

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