In this blog series we are going to interview all our Partners and learn how the pandemic is affecting different countries around the globe.
KP2 joined InHunt World in June 2018 and since then we’ve had some very successful headhunting cases in Czech Republic. KP2 was founded in 2008 in Prague and it’s managed by some very experienced consultants who have a successful management career. But most importantly, and what we liked the most, they are really good and trustworthy people that takes good care of their customers and candidates which is very important for us InHunt World.
Last week, we had a chance to talk with Jiri (CEO) and we asked him few questions:
First of all, how are you? We hope that you and your family have stayed healthy during this pandemic.
Unfortunately, I was positive tested with COVID19. I have been staying at home and trying to recover from it for 3 weeks now. I was affected with high temperatures together with loss of taste and smell and also strong coughing. I must admit that this experience has changed my view of this disease. I tended to play down this disease, but I know now, that if you are unlucky to get it, it can make your life really difficult. Good news is, that I am doing better and better every day and feel that I will be fine soon.
How’s Czechia at the moment or how has it been the last 6 – 7 months?
The Czech Republic is facing exponential rise of COVID19 infected. We have around 10000 new infected every day. The government has restricted operation of restaurants, cultural and sport activities, there is total lockdown of gyms, sport facilities, shops (excluding groceries, drugstores and pharmacies) and services such as hairdressing salons etc. Also, the schools except of pre-schools were closed down, which I perceive as one of the biggest issues. Many parents had to stay at home with kids, which among above mentioned influences our business too. All that is in place until November 3rd, but we expect that to be prolonged after this date. Also, there are many other restrictions, e.g. it is not allowed to gather more than 6 people etc. Simply, all this is influencing our work a lot.
And what about business and the general atmosphere? How the companies are holding up, have there been a lot of layoffs?
The business atmosphere I would call somehow as “hibernation“. Companies including our clients are revising their budgets and look towards the future with a great deal of uncertainty. This is actually one of the main characteristics of doing business in Czechia now. Especially in the situation, when the Czech government makes quick and confusing decisions. However, the positive part is that the companies still keep their employees in place and there have not been wide dismissals until now. The government has been putting money into the economy to keep the employment rate on low numbers thus avoiding dismissals. However, what starts to be a prevailing opinion, is that once this subsidy comes to an end, there will be a jump in the unemployment rate.
How do you see the end of 2020? And what about 2021?
Well, we expect a considerable decline in the hiring of new employees towards the end of 2020. To be clear, this is something we have been experiencing already for the last three months, and we think this trend will continue further into 2021. Our clients have cancelled many searches over previous time and reduced hiring to a minimum. Every new position is under close watch and comes under a serious approval process. The recruitment business has simply got “frozen” there is a low affinity to change jobs among employees now. They became more loyal and prefer to keep their job they have now even at the price of accepting lower salaries or fewer benefits. The certainty of having a job is now perceived as the biggest benefit they have. This has, on the other hand, a positive effect on us as a recruitment/headhunting partner of companies looking for new employees.
Thanks to the above-mentioned situation, when employees do not want to change their jobs, the companies are not able to find the right candidates on their own and turn to us to help them to satisfy this need. So, paradoxically to the market situation, this is one way, how we can get a new business even in these difficult times.
What do you think about the future? What is going to be the biggest difference in Czechia if you compare the situation before the pandemic and the possible situation after?
The answer is a simple one: before Covid, we were doing exceptionally well. We had many projects and clients that were hungry for new employees. This ended in March all at once, when the government declared lockdown. In summer, many people, including the state officials, thought that Covid was eradicated. What a mistake! The situation seems to be getting out of hands now. The number of new infected rises dramatically; there is serious threat that the health system including the hospitals is reaching their limits and might collapse. With respect to that, we are afraid that the economic revival, including our business, will come not earlier than in the second half of 2021.
What kind of roles do you think companies are going to need the most after the pandemic? Do you think there’s some big difference before and after COVID regarding recruitment and headhunting?
COVID Pandemic will change the world for sure. We can already see it, for example, in the sales positions. We are looking more and more for salespeople who can use online instruments to address B2B in the fields where the business was running exclusively based on F2F contacts before the pandemic.
We see the most significant change in the behavior and attitude of approached candidates. They have revised their hierarchy of values, and their loyalty to the current employer has raised. We see it as a positive trend, which, on the other hand, puts new demands on us as recruiters/headhunters. We will have to work more deeply with the understanding of every candidate’s individual needs, connecting it with the client’s needs. It will be about close interaction between the candidates and us as well as our clients and us.
We think the candidates will look at the job offers with a broader perspective and take into consideration all the risks connected with changing their jobs. The factor of material and financial remuneration will not be as important as it is today.
What tips would you have for foreign job seekers who would like to come and work in Czechia?
Definitively, being a foreigner, we would recommend starting looking for a job in Prague. It is a cosmopolitan city, where many most important companies have their HQs, and, in many cases, the local corporate language is English. Another excellent and vibrant city is Brno, where foreign job seekers should find their job.
Looking for a job in other cities/regions is for foreigners also possible, but it is usually connected with some unique ability/experience demanded. Currently, there is a serious demand for IT experts speaking two and more world languages. New IT customer service centers with worldwide reach are growing in Prague and Brno, offering very interesting jobs for people from all around the world.
InHunt World is a Global Headhunting Network that connects the best local headhunting companies around the world. Our Partners are always carefully selected and tested before joining InHunt World so that our Customers can trust that they will receive the best headhunting service every single time, no matter where in the world the need is located.
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