Iconic London is closed.

This bustling city of 9 million residents and 20 million people commuting in to work, is closed.

Silent, other than the sounds of the incredible key workers keeping London ticking over and those working tirelessly in the NHS to save lives. Silent, other than the sounds of birds and animals rejoicing in the safety that humans are no longer occupying their streets.

While salaried employees cried for people to work from home, I saw a bigger picture. I saw that thousands upon thousands of businesses would close and never reopen, sacrificing their livelihoods and decades of hard work to save the lives of strangers.

While salaried employees shrieked in frustration, I saw business owners resisting to the end, desperate to hold on to the business they’d built with love, sweat and tears.

While the British Government will give at risk salaried workers furlough of 80% of their salary (capped at £2500 per month) and a portion of self-employed workers will receive compensation, small and medium businesses, and especially business owners, have received insufficient support to guarantee that their business will reopen.

How many of those businesses on London’s deserted streets will never return? How many of the salaried workers, who demanded we stay at home long before the Government insisted on it, will sit stunned as their favourite coffee shop or lunchtime takeaway never reopens?

How many will finally see the sacrifice that business owners made to save the lives of strangers?

As a business owner whose entire pipeline of work was postponed indefinitely, I am all for people staying at home. Of course, I am. I am a knowledge worker who has worked remotely for 10.5 years, and I am technically savvy. I can embrace the tools that can be used to created connection from afar, it is easy for me.

But there is opportunity here for businesses too.

People are watching; be kind.

How you treat your people, your candidates, your clients and your suppliers right now is crucial to your future success.  The Internet is an excellent place for people to record how they feel; get it wrong and recruitment will be difficult for years. Your employees will look to leave. Your clients will head to your competitors. Your suppliers will find other businesses to partner with and warn others against working with you.

Lysha Holmes, founder of UK based Rec2Rec Qui Recruitment, shared this from her 12 year old daughter on Instagram, “When this lockdown is finished, I hope people are kinder and calmer with each other.“

Never a truer word spoken.

It’s time to get creative & help community

In 2 weeks, I’ve watched companies who claimed their people could never work at home, operate perfectly with everyone working remotely. I’ve seen businesses who once had open plan offices, filled with people working in silence while wearing noise-cancelling headsets, create Zoom meetings for stand-ups, quizzes, and Friday drinks, that have led to a deeper connection than they have had for years.

I’ve seen once fierce recruitment agency competitors, contact each other and find ways to genuinely collaborate to support each other both financially and emotionally.  I’ve seen an in-house recruiter build a community to support others in need of work using an Airtable.

People are building closer human bonds than they’ve had in years, remotely!

For those business owners whose businesses are at risk, it’s time to change. What can you do differently? What gap can you fill in the new normal that serves community? It is now time for the ‘we’, enough of the ‘me, me, me’.

Personally, I’ve been given the breathing space to create The Robot-Proof Recruiter Mastermind, a 12-month programme to future proof recruiters by developing their human-first skills. I have also taken my facilitation online, discovering new tools that enable remote delivery, and continue on my mission to get everyone involved in the recruitment process, be they HR, hiring managers or talent acquisition, to free their human-made blockages and to treat people better!

Remote delivery that improves community and reduces the impact humans make on the planet and to those we share it with, is the future.

It’s time to reduce your impact!

We are seeing the reduction in the pollution that humans cause, it seems it’s us not the animals that are the greatest polluters!

Did you discover that your business can operate remotely? Is it time to close the office and reduce the wasted energy from lights, air-conditioning, heating and all those plugged in devices? Is it time to clear the roads of your employees’ cars? Could you move to smaller energy efficient co-working spaces to cater for those people who do want to come into a physical location? Can you take your offering 100% online?

Is it time to assess your suppliers? Can you choose local and lower impact? Post #toiletpapergate, could you get your toilet paper from Who Gives A Crap who make environmentally friendly toilet paper (& more) and donate 50% of their profits to build toilets for those in need? Could you get your food from local farms?

People want to work for people who give a damn, do you give a damn?

As scary as this time feels right now, we are being given the time to breathe, to go within, to connect better with each other, and reassess our impact.

How will you create your new normal?


Please meet today’s guest author and friend of Peridus Group, Katrina Collier (Author, Speaker & Facilitator | The Searchologist).

Katrina Collier shows companies around the world how to solve the problem of candidate engagement. HR, talent acquisition and hiring leaders don’t have an issue finding people, they have an issue evoking a response, engaging people and stopping candidates from ghosting. She is the author of The Robot-Proof Recruiter and uses her extensive industry experience to deliver keynotes and facilitate sessions with recruiters, HR, and hiring managers, that inspire them to free the blockages in their recruitment and improve candidate experience.

She is also the founder of multiple DisruptHR UK events, an Ambassador for Hope for Justice aiming to end modern day slavery, and co-host of The #SocialRecruiting Show podcast. You’ll find her championing the #BeHuman cause on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @KatrinaMCollier.

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