The job market has changed dramatically in the last four months with the advent of the coronavirus sweeping across our country. Unemployment went from a record low level of 3.5% to record highs, not seen since the great depression, of 14.7% according to the department of labor statistics.
Like many companies out there, Q-1 was a record quarter for Vanguard Healthcare Staffing and things were setting up to be a phenomenal year as new job orders were pouring in and we were setting up new clients almost daily for large hiring needs. Of course, things changed in a blink of an eye because most of our country was shut down from mid-March until June in many areas. Our clients, many in the diagnostic space, saw their volumes drop significantly between 60-80% depending on the product and/or specialty served. The shut down of the country, physician offices had a profound impact on virtually everyone’s business
Being from New York and having our company headquarter in New Jersey, Vanguard Healthcare Staffing and much of our team were at the epicenter of the coronavirus from early on. We had to adapt to the changes in the environment and how we were going to take care of our employees, the company and use this time to get better and reinvent or launch some new services and initiatives we wanted to do in the past but were just too busy running a high growth recruiting firm.
Once the stay at home order came down we shut down our corporate office and all of our employees worked remotely. As companies and offices closed the need for new personnel from our clients slowed down as well. Here are some things we did to set us up once we got
past the crisis to provide growth of our company post COVID.
- We launched our contract staffing business. This is probably one of the most important things we did from a planning standpoint as we have a new product which will further propel our growth post COVID
- We conducted detailed training of the various tools we have at our disposal to include Linkedin and our industry leading Applicant Tracking System. Our ATS system we use for our candidate database to make notes of candidates and their needs relative to the job description of the opening we might be working on or any new potential opportunities
- Cash flow – having run companies in the past and seeing the tremendous slowdown in hiring during the pandemic, we knew cash is king. We tightened our belts where we could to ensure we would be setup for success as we navigated the pandemic
- We conducted product training of the various companies we work for to ensure our recruiting team had a good understanding of our clients technology or service
- We formed a COVID coalition leveraging our network of labs and suppliers to offer over 250,000 covid tests monthly to the local communities and swabs, masks, virtual transport media and other PPE equipment through our network
As a veteran-owned small business, we understood that we needed to take care of our employees and I am pleased to say we did just that by maintaining 100% of our team.
Managing during a crisis is challenging but if you plan, improve, and prepare for the future, good things can come out of this.