Andreea Pațachia is Recruitment Team Leader at APT | Prohuman.
What was the level of digitalisation in your centre before COVID-19?
As a human resources agency and recruitment services provider, we always had to adapt both clients and candidates’ requirements and needs therefore we had already implemented online interviews when it was necessary. So, from the recruitment perspective, I could consider ourselves lucky as we were used to interact with digital technology on a daily basis and most of our company’s processes were digitalized. This allowed us to adjust easily from office working to remote working.
How did COVID-19 impact digital transformation of your company?
Already being familiar with the necessary technology to perform our tasks, the digital transformation imposed by COVID-19 didn’t changed too much our daily activity.
What had a powerful impact was the lack of face to face communication with our clients, candidates and colleagues so we had to adapt fast in order to meet business needs in this new context. We value face to face interactions and consider them very important to create and maintain a relationship and this period made us to appreciate them even more.
One of the key points for us, as a recruitment agency, has always been to be there for our clients, to support them and to constant communicate with them in an efficient manner, therefore skype/zoom/phone calls were our best friends.
What type of processes did you digitalise in the last 2 months?
In this period of time, we had to move all our interviews and meetings in online (skype, zoom, whatsapp, phone) but we tried to keep the natural interaction that face to face interviews provide to both our consultants and candidates.
The relationship with our candidates and employees was a priority, we did our best to help them, ensuring better experience, providing support and guidance via email/phone through the hiring and onboarding process.
Also, my colleagues from the personnel administration department migrated almost all the processes in online, being able to offer support to our outsourced and temporary workforce.
What helped you the most during this period? And why?
The digitalization has been very important in the last years in order to manage the fast-changing business environment and since COVID-19, I would say it has become more critical for successful businesses.
COVID-19 speed up the digital transformation of our company, as we all tried to find quickly the best solution to get our tasks done and increase efficiency.
I think what helped us the most during this period is that, as previously mentioned, we already digitalised our most important processes, so the main focus was on our employees, clients and candidates and how to provide support during this period.
What was the hardest thing to do? And why?
One of the most important things we had to adapt to, was to communicate entirely online and not to see each other for such a long period. But we had to quickly adapt and we’ve started to use more and more social media. We also set recurrent work and non-work-related meetings to talk and see online each other in order to keep the teams engaged and aware of the business situation.
Another challenge was to gain our candidates trust when we had presented new career opportunities in this changing environment.
Do you think COVID-19 is a before-and-after moment/turning point in digital transformation?
I do believe that COVID-19 is a before-and-after turning point in digital transformation as the companies that considered digitalisation a priority, have managed to adapt fast to the new conditions.
This period has had a major impact on businesses worldwide, but it has also come as a need for companies to understand the impact of digitalisation and automation.
How did your colleagues adapt and embrace digital transformation during the lockdown?
At the beginning of the year, each of us set clear individual and team professional goals and actively started to pursue them but COVID-19 hit, and we all had to reshape our goals. But this didn’t stop my colleagues to be as motivated as always and work with the same passion to provide great experience to both clients and candidates. They were very opened, and they adapted quickly to the digital transformation during the lockdown.
Do you have a story or an image regarding this forced digitalization that you will remember or tell when someone will ask you about this period?
I remember our first online meetings with the recruitment department and how strange I found that we weren’t all together on our terrace talking about our weekend plans, laughing and having a great start of a day.
What is the next step in your company digital transformation?
As we already successfully implemented digital working, our main focus is to keep it as the highest standards as it is now and permanently update it once the technology evolves.