Covid-19 – Responding to Staffing Issues through the Crisis

The Coronavirus (Covid-19) has taken the world by storm and in the space of a couple of months has turned normal living on its head: politically, socially and economically.

Even a few weeks ago the idea that people wouldn’t be able to travel, go to work or leave their home and that shops, pubs, restaurants, theatres, cinemas, churches and courts would all be shut and there would be no professional sport of any kind would have been considered ridiculous.

This global crisis has destabilised the way people live and the way they work. Whilst governments scramble to find answers to a whole host of issues and challenges, we are seeing the largest transfer of resources in the economy since World War 2.

This seismic change is throwing up new challenges and opportunities for companies. See below how NJR can help you manage these challenges and leverage the opportunities.

Coping with sudden growth in demand

Whilst many parts of the economy are fighting for survival other sectors such as, healthcare, food retail, internet retail, delivery and distribution, pharmaceutical, clinical research, medical equipment manufacturers and public sector are seeing a massive growth in demand, at virtually no or short notice. This situation creates an immediate need for additional staff at all levels. It is impossible to engage more permanent staff to address this situation: the timelines are too long, and the continuation of the peak demand is too uncertain. The answer is to engage people on an interim or fixed term contract basis.

NJR are a leader in Interim Management in the UK with a team led, by Norrie Johnston, one of the most experienced interim recruiters in the industry and supported by a range of other highly qualified Directors. NJR has an unmatched track record with a 99% success rate and will typically source candidates in as short as 2 days. Read more at and if you are interested call Norrie today on +44 (0)7802 261532 , for a no obligation conversation or email him at:

Adapting to new changes in working

The crisis has created challenges for many companies who are continuing to do business but are suddenly faced with working in a totally different way, largely because the workplace is disabled, and people are being required to work remotely, typically from home.

This puts stress on the operating model of many businesses, their infrastructure and their employees.

It is well documented as well as self-evident that organisational and operating models that work well in centralised, office-based environments are not appropriate in decentralised, home-working situations. In the same way leadership and management structures that are designed for business as usual operations are not effective in managing crises and discontinuities in business. In both cases hierarchical structures need to be superseded by more networked or team-based approaches.

In the same way that these changes put stress on the management and operating structures they also create unique challenges for the workforce many of whom will be totally unused to working alone, at home. NJR Director, Phil Hagen, has recently produced a White Paper on the challenges of Homeworking. He says: ‘In most cases, our working life has been synonymous with the structure of travelling from home to a building or place of work. This structure provides an environment of normality, security and support.’ More importantly he goes on to say that different types of individuals adapt differently to homeworking, primarily depending on their character traits. In other words: ‘one size doesn’t fit all’ in this transition and companies need to manage this change process with this in mind.

Phil is uniquely qualified to guide organisations on this tricky transition and how to manage resultant issues since, in addition to being a Director of NJR, he is also CEO of SalesMatch Ltd, specialists in behavioural science.

Click here to access your free full copy of the Homeworking White Paper

If you wish to learn more about the data, analysis and evidence behind the White Paper or have a specific issue you want to discuss on Homeworking please contact Phil Hagen on +44(0)207 118 0540 or email:

If you want to learn more about how NJR can assist you with the wider leadership, management and organisational challenges of coping with major change events please contact Graham Oates who is a Director of NJR, a former Managing Partner of KPMG Consulting and leads our Organisational Development and Consulting practice, on +44(0)207 118 0540 or email:

Planning for the future

Whilst it is difficult to see beyond the current crisis, not least because of the global nature of it and the uncertainty of its duration, it is clear that we will come out the other end and those companies that have planned and taken pre-emptive actions will come out stronger and with major competitive advantages.

It is tempting in a time like this to put all thoughts and plans of new long term permanent and strategic hiring on hold. For bold companies with foresight and self-confidence, however, now is an outstanding time to initiate searches for future key hires. With subdued global business activity and many employees working from home and worried about their future employment status now is the perfect time to approach top talent. Whilst face to face meetings maybe difficult in the current environment initial contacts and interviews via video mean that early stage discussions and interviews can be carried through rapidly, teeing up final stage discussions once movement and face to face contact are available again.

NJR have a highly experienced team of Recruitment Directors, who have placed senior executives across a range of industries on a global basis. This is combined with a track record of rapid fulfilment, high fill success rates and a performance weighted pricing model. You can learn more about NJR’s Permanent Executive Search capability by calling Rex Cridland, NJR Managing Director on +44(0)207 118 0540 or email him on