Rewriting the rules of recruitment: Intro’s pandemic response

Rewriting the rules of recruitment: Intro’s pandemic response

Although the COVID-19 pandemic presented the Australian construction industry with a myriad of challenges, it also offered up exciting and unique opportunities for recruiters. Employing 1.15 million people in 2019, construction and infrastructure is the third largest industry in the country.

Mid-pandemic, the Australian Government invested in industry growth to stimulate jobs and the economy and gave the construction industry some special attention, deeming it an essential service.

Nevertheless, we were far from safe. During COVID-19’s peak in April 2020, the Performance of Construction Index (PCI) hits its lowest ever point at 21.6 points. The Intro Recruitment Solutions team was eager to make the best out of what could have been a bad situation.

This time last year no-one really knew what the next 12 months would hold – from health to wealth to work and more. The economy became a mixed bag and we held steady with bated breath as our industry took us by surprise. Instead of the anticipated doom and gloom, we witnessed manufacturing, renewable energy and construction technology exceed expectations.

As construction and infrastructure specialist recruiters, Intro acted upon the changes created by the pandemic and sought out leading talent urgently and supported and engaged our current workforce to operate effectively and efficiently.

Above all, COVID-19 has emphasised our company’s ability to be nimble.

We found value in candidates that were able to hit the ground running, and it became all important for our team to be able to find these skilled candidates quickly and in a tight talent pool. In many cases the best candidates were those who were currently employed. The key was to dig deep, beyond job postings and traditional tactics, to find the ideal candidates for our clients quickly and effectively.

The sentiment of candidates during the pandemic was just as interesting. On one hand, the pandemic made candidates who are unhappy in their current position receptive to new opportunities. On the other hand, it became more challenging to get the candidates over the finish line, as they took more time to contemplate the risks and rewards of leaving stable positions.

Our team combatted this challenge by focusing on forming a deep sense of rapport with our candidates. We have always prided ourselves on this approach – building trust and maintaining confidence is paramount to our business here at Intro. It is what has propelled us in our industry and served us well in the past 12 months.

In the line of recruitment, one of our most valuable assets is our candidates. It is these capable, knowledgeable and professional individuals that add to our company’s competitive edge. Therefore, nurturing the relationships we establish with our candidates is a sure way to guarantee long-term success. We cultivate these strong relationships using a combination of honest, understanding and consistent communication and a practical approach to finding the right candidates for the right jobs.

Our directors continue to hold the unwavering view that Intro will continue to exceed expectations this year and beyond by being adaptable to the industry’s needs.

Intro’s General Manager Michael Burgess said that after having not only survived but excelled in the COVID-19 pandemic, Intro has a flexible business model and experience on its side.

“The construction industry will rise above and continue to grow. I am confident this industry and our business can get through anything life throws at it,” Michael said.

“I’m also proud to say that so far in 2021 we have increased our workforce by 30 per cent and we are looking forward to seeing what the next five years holds for us.”

COVID-19 may go down as one of the biggest industry challenges Intro Recruitment Solutions have faced in our six-plus years of operation, but there have been so many upsides too. We have learnt to adapt to a changing environment and to prepare for a 2021 economic recovery.

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Intro specialises in recruiting for the construction and infrastructure industry, across all sectors and all roles. Based in Brisbane, Australia, we pride ourselves on being your local experts in the field.
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