Managing: Covid

Where to start! I have worked in recruitment for 20 years and have never experienced such a tough year personally and professionally. We started off the year with a fantastic first quarter, exceeding targets and growing the team. Then the dreaded announcement came…. LOCKDOWN!

We were fortunate to have such supportive Directors. Within days, we rolled out a plan for remote working, ensuring that we could still offer our clients and candidates the same quality of service we are renowned for.

Watching LinkedIn at the industry I love fall apart was one of the hardest things to experience, as other companies automatically made mass redundancies which led to me knowing that there would be significantly less roles to work on. Again, we were fortunate that the Directors believed in the EMA way - to be there for our clients and candidates, even when there was nothing in it for us.

There were some tough decisions made with regards to if and how long to furlough people in the team for.


We treated the first lockdown as an opportunity to build relationships with both clients and candidates; we quickly changed our way of thinking from sales to support. If people needed to call us just for a chat, we would be at the end of the phone.

Personally, one of my biggest challenges, was keeping my team motivated throughout the time we worked from home. Yes, we had two ZOOM meetings per day but it wasn’t the same. We didn’t have the human interaction we and most of the country missed so much.

What do you say when one of your team say that they have made 50 calls in a day and not gotten through to a single person?

The key for me was be in at the end of the phone for my team on a personal level and celebrating every success. We weren’t in the office together but we were still the EMA family! Every job we picked up was like picking up 10 roles in normal times.


To add to my stresses, my partner was also working from home - our dining room table was soon turned into a double office. I would be on a call and getting ‘SHHHHH'd’ by my partner as she was also on a call, then the postman would arrive and send the dogs barking in the background.

There were more than a few occasions I had to apologise to my clients and remind them we weren’t in the office. However, those were the adaptions we all had to make.

I was extremely proud of our team and the fact that whilst most of our historic clients were not in the office and recruiting, the majority of the clients we worked with during that period were new to Elizabeth Michael! We also branched out into new divisions such as Property, which proved to be so successful that this is now a sector we have expanded and recruiting for!  

So where are we now?

We have come out the other side with a few new faces in the team. Our clients are moving back into the offices again and we are helping them recruit.

We are looking forward to growing the team again over the next 12 months and continuing to grow our business by doing things the EMA way. Offering our clients that professional support with the human touch!

We have again exceeded Quarter one’s target, which is exciting to see but equally, a testament to the hard work of us all, collectively.

We have recently won the SME business award “Best Recruiter in the East Midlands 2021.” I am excited to see where we will be in 12 months’ time!

We have gone through the pain of Covid as many companies have and now is the time for us to continue the ambitious growth plans we set out before Covid!

I feel that we are stronger as a team and a business and I am looking forward to continuing to offer our clients and candidates the best service in the East Midlands!

If you want to know more about what Elizabeth Michael can offer you as a client or a candidate, please get in touch today: 0115 6977458