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Finance & Systems - COVID-19 FAQs

Simon Jobson Crop

Article posted by Simon Jobson

​It's Thursday 26th March, over a full week working from home, with our rapidly changing and developing landscape across the world, industry and social interactions.  

The Finance and Systems Team here at Cobalt has not missed a beat, being fortunate to be able to move quickly and (relatively) painlessly to a work from home setup Consultants at Cobalt have already been doing for a couple of years successfully.  

We have made a proactive effort to try and talk to all we work closely with, so I now feel that I can answer some of the most common questions, and shed some light on life outside of our personal bubbles as we continue to source information. 

Surely no one is interviewing? 

Yes they are, and they are doing through a wide number of ways with Skype, Microsoft Teams and Zoom being current favourites, with the backup being WhatsApp video calling as the most successful mobile solution as nearly everyone has it regardless of device.  

Testing is still being done with screen sharing through various applications so modelling and technical tests are still being done.  

Interviews dropped off initially last week, but we are seeing them on the rise again this week, as people have overcome the initial transition and embracing the technology and finding solutions.  

It is true that several roles have been put on hold (but none cancelled) so only the business-critical roles remain in the market at this time. 

But how would someone new start?  

The simplest answer is screen sharing and virtual shadowing, with infrastructure being couriered to new employees. People are adapting well, utilising virtual tools quickly – most businesses are pleasantly surprised with how well people are adapting and solving problems.   

Given the team here mainly focuses on individuals with experience and recognised qualifications, online systems and process training is available internally (or from 3rd parties) with a more rigorous and in-depth interview process. This has ensured new starters are hitting the ground running, with proven examples of it happening in the last week.    

I feel it is easier to wait until this passes to hire/look for a new job?  

Tough to argue with this statement, as we all try and hold on to normality and consistency in times of change. 

However, some alternative thought processes for clients and candidates:

Hiring 

  • If you are looking to hire, you are competing against fewer businesses, so candidates are unlikely to have multiple processes.  

  • Candidates are available (who were not before) for head-hunters to get hold of, and easily available for video interviews. You might see fewer candidates, but you still see high-quality individuals. 

  • IR35 rules being delayed allow for contract options more easily available which won’t add to your headcount 

Job Searching 

  • You have the time to interview and meet businesses that you did not have the time for 

  • You will have less competition  

  • If someone is hiring at that this time, it must be a business-critical role that will more likely have better long term prospects in a stable and secure business.  

What is going to happen next…?

It would be foolish for me to predict, with change happening every day (our views on working from home will change forever). 

The team here at Cobalt are on hand to give advice, ideas and solutions to your problems and share as much information as possible and will be able to keep you updated as frequently as required 

So please get in touch with me or the individuals below to get the information behind this FAQ, or if you just need advice or simply want to find out how others are solving issues in the market.  

Wash your hands and stay inside!

Simon Jobson  
Associate Director - Finance and Systems  
E: sjobson@cobaltrecruitment.com
T: +44 (0)20 7478 2536  

William Dodds
Principal Consultant - Qualified 
E: wdodds@cobaltrecruitment.com
T: +44 (0)20 7478 2539

Alec Mackenzie
Principal Consultant - Part-Qualified 
E: almackenzie@cobaltrecruitment.com
T: +44 (0)20 7478 2535

Olivia Marsdale
Principal Consultant - Property Management & Systems
E: omarsdale@cobaltrecruitment.com
T: +44 (0)20 7478 2577