Turning Today’s Challenges into Your Competitive Edge

We’re now in the third week of the Staffing & Recruiting Leaders Mastermind Group.  Much of the initial shock is wearing off.  Most people are accepting that their worlds have changed for now, with no expectation of a sudden shift back to the previous normal. The majority of news we receive from clients, candidates, and the media is negative.   One of our biggest challenges is managing our internal emotional states/attitudes.  Even the most positive among us struggle to stay upbeat in this environment.  Most people in the meeting rated their average emotional state for the past week at a 6-7 on a 10-point scale. If you’re struggling too, you’re in good company!

This group creates a safe environment for people to share what’s really happening, knowing that others are dealing with the same challenges. It’s reassuring to know you’re not alone.  After people shared the current state of their businesses, the focus shifted to how everyone can “turn lemons into lemonade”.  Many participants have survived multiple downturns and emerged stronger as a result.  Below are some key takeaways to help you turn Covid-19 into your competitive edge:

  • Reach out and touch someone- virtually, of course. During difficult times, people appreciate your sincere concern and desire to be helpful.  Most people know that it would appear insensitive to call people asking if they have any job orders you can recruit for.  As a result, many competitors will tend to “retreat and avoid” contact to sidestep a negative interaction.
  • The wiser approach is to “advance and connect” This means calling people on the phone to sincerely inquire as to how they and their families are doing.  It also means asking, “Is there anything I can do that would be helpful for you?” Then listen actively to their response.  There may be things you can do that don’t involve doing a search that will help you build a stronger relationship, which is great for future business.
  • Be consistent in your efforts to offer a caring ear and assistance with no expectation of immediate benefit to you. One contact effort with no follow-up is not enough. People who genuinely care keep showing up. Here’s your opportunity to be someone who truly cares. There’s a timeless expression that applies here: “Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”

In addition to providing a golden opportunity to distinguish yourself from the herd, there’s another significant benefit to taking this approach: Your attitude will improve dramatically. Psychological studies consistently demonstrate that “authentic giving” without the motivation to get something back does much more for your happiness and well-being than receiving does.  Try this approach and see the impact it has on others and your attitude.

Help for staffing & recruiting businesses from the federal government
The group discussed the fact that owners of small businesses can now access funds that are available with the new federal legislation (CARES Act).  This allows small businesses to receive a loan to cover payroll, rent, and other qualified expenses and then have their loan forgiven if they meet specific criteria. This would allow staffing & recruiting leaders to keep their people on board and get assistance with overhead items via government funds.

Everyone who was interested was able to ask questions and receive advice from the group.  The collective intelligence of a Mastermind group far exceeds any individual’s intelligence or awareness.  Group participants asked questions and received concrete advice that was useful to others in the group.

I’m honored to facilitate the “Leading Through Coronavirus Virtual Mastermind Group” for a growing community of staffing and recruiting industry leaders.   This group is open to other staffing industry leaders who’d like to both give and receive help.  It occurs every Tuesday from 12-1pm EDT while we’re dealing with the coronavirus disruption. Just click on https://zoom.us/j/3571033654.

There’s no invitation or sign-up. Put it on your calendar as a recurring item to hop on and participate.  This is a group of experienced people who have a great deal of collective wisdom and are glad to help each other with relevant advice and encouragement. We hope to see you next Tuesday to discuss recruitment strategy in these times.