The world of recruitment is also affected by the COVID-19 Coronavirus. Employees who have to work from home or, for example, job applications and meetings via video. We asked recruitment technology vendors with offices in multiple international locations what this means for them.
Because the Coronavirus affects everyone, Recruitment Tech wondered how vendors of recruitment technology prepare themselves and their staff for this. Have they already been affected by the virus and how do they view upcoming events? Vendors Textkernel, Indeed, Varbi and Jobrapido answer these questions.
Textkernel: “We are promoting people to work remotely”
Textkernel is an international leader in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning and Semantic Technology for matching people and jobs and has offices in London, Amsterdam, Düsseldorf and Paris. Antonella Sabatini, Head of People & Culture of Textkernel: “People returning from traveling through Corona hotspots are requested to work from home for two weeks regardless of any symptoms. Our exposure to indicated regions is very limited. We do not have suppliers in those regions. Northern Italy is impacting us since Textkernel employees have traveled there for holidays. Since we have a lot of people working at Textkernel from all over the world, we are following their travel plans very closely”, she tells to Recruitment Tech.
Kim Pieschel, Head of Marketing at Textkernel adds: “We notice that some large companies no longer allow their employees to travel. We expect that this will also have a major impact on the number of visitors (and quality) of the events that do take place. It’s not that we won’t book events by definition, but we are cautious about this and take into account the fact that visitor numbers can be disappointing.”
Antonella Sabatini tells how Textkernel prepared its employees. “The Textkernel management has done several things to counter this as much as possible. We have clearly communicated about hygienic measures that all personnel should adhere to and we are clearly communicating about people showing symptoms, especially people showing symptoms after traveling through heavily infected regions. As the information and knowledge are developing we are adding more guidelines and rules. We have taken extra hygienic measures concerning the food in the cafeteria. Next to all of this, we are promoting people to work remotely.”
Indeed: “Decided to halt all business travel and to cancel all near-term Indeed-hosted events”
Indeed is the world’s biggest job site and has offices in, among others, the US, Canada, the UK, the Benelux, France, Germany and India. “As the COVID-19 coronavirus evolves into a global health concern, we have made the decision to ask all employees to work from home until further notice. Our goal is to minimize the risk to employees and help to lower the probability of the spread of the virus to you, your families and the communities where we operate.”
“We have also made the decision to halt all business travel and to cancel all near-term Indeed-hosted events. While we recognize these measures will be inconvenient for some, we will do our best to support you. We feel it is the right action to safeguard the health and well-being of our employees while still enabling us to continue to fulfill our mission of helping people get jobs”, is Indeed’s statement.
Varbi: “We advise employees to work at home if they show symptoms”
Varbi, an ATS tool used by over 50.000 people, has offices in Sweden, Norway and the US and will still visit events, says Dibah Modhgaddam, Project Manager at Varbi: “Right now we’re just going to events. If this is discouraged by the Dutch RIVM (and similar institutes in Sweden and Norway) or the situation gets worse, it’s a different story.”
“Considering the Coronavirus affects especially older and already sick people, we are not that worried at this moment. Varbi does advise employees to work at home if they show symptoms (e.g. light coughing) but still feel good enough to work. For example, an employee who has been on holiday to Italy will continue to work at home for a number of weeks until the incubation period is over. Fortunately, we have the possibility to work at home, which is not something everyone can do!”
Jobrapido is headquartered in Milan: “We will be able to go through this harsh time”
Jobrapido is leading in Online and Mobile talent acquisition solutions and is headquartered in Milan, one of the Italian cities badly affected by the Coronavirus. CEO Rob Brouwer: “It actually exploded in a weekend time. Of course, our first thought was to allow our employees and their families to be safe”, he tells Recruitment Tech. “At the same time, we had to keep business continuity and – not to forget – we also have a responsibility through the services we offer towards our partners, customers and our community of nearly 100 million job seekers, that rely every day on our services to find a job. We have moved very fast and immediately put in place all measures – from an HR and tech point of view – to allow our employees to work remotely.” Jobrapido also has offices in Amsterdam and London.
“Nearly 100 people have been able to quickly re-organize very effectively their day by day work, keeping the same level of passion, commitment and effort to keep the business continuity and goals, while the tech department has been super fast, efficient and reactive putting in place all the systems and tools to make the ‘machine’ work smoothly and virtually reduce the distance among the people.”
“We have not only allowed all people to work remotely, we have also established clear communication rules, we keep on stimulating team collaboration from remote and we have been clear on the working policies. We are continuously sharing the most relevant communications and rules coming from the authorities on how to behave and to face the current situation, or any possible emergency to keep all people in the company safe. We demonstrated to be a team in a very difficult situation, and this has given all people in the company confidence that we will be able to go through this harsh time, also with a renewed awareness of our strength and ability to face the emergency situation without losing the path and supporting each other.”
“Of course, given the extraordinary situation, we had to strongly reconsider some of the activities and events we were planning, first of all the ones that were planned for the next few weeks. People based in Milan have been asked to cancel the business travels and meetings, so of course, we had to reschedule some of the activities in March. Being an international company helped us of course, so we are planning to attend events already planned anyway, for example in the UK, through our local staff. But of course, now the situation is changing incredibly fast and news from other countries is coming every day, so we are constantly monitoring the situation to understand how to move in the next months regarding events to keep all people safe.”