Dear Friends, Candidates and Clients, I hope this message finds you and your families safe and healthy.
We all have experienced the challenging year of 2020, globally or locally, personally or professionally. Pay cuts, layoffs, furloughs, and compensation freezes were everywhere last year. Many in the legal industry were unclear whether things will return to normal. But as 2021 starts, we’re determined to leave behind the bad memories and focus on the good to come. Let us embrace the upcoming year with positivity and shining aspirations for the future. We should vow not to let the negative, difficult times affect us in looking forward to meaningful changes as innovation, technology, and entrepreneur-minded practice drive growth in the legal industry, but usher 2021 with hopes and happiness.
Despite Covid-19 having a hugely disruptive effect on both the legal industry and world’s economy, I can see 3 valuable lessons from 2020. A key takeaway from this difficult period is the importance of planning for long-term periods of disruption. We have opted to adopt agile pandemic response plans to deal with longer-term disruptions and outages experienced during the pandemic. We believe thorough continuity plans are essential for companies to be resilient during challenging times while protecting our employees. Our employees have always operated in a remote and flexible working model with sufficient technological supports. Our experience can also help our candidates and clients cope with fast-changing conditions by being more agile and flexible.
Arguably the biggest takeaway from this challenging time is to remain resilient. We have strengthened our market analysis when we saw a significant drop in new permanent jobs earlier in 2020. We kept monitoring the legal markets to identify changes in demand in terms of sectors and locations for our clients and candidates. With our market analysis insights, we were creating content for our friends to be resilient during the crisis, for example, with video interview tips, advice on lawyers’ adaptation skills, and mental well-being hints. Our consultants were also proactively contacting our clients to understand how they are adapting their recruitment process and using this knowledge to adjust our talent solutions and support our candidates. Since we have observed good recruitment activities since August, we could respond quickly with a strong bounce back in the second half of 2020.
Last but not least, is the importance of entrepreneurship in times of crisis. Entrepreneurs worldwide are pivoting within their businesses to navigate the challenges created by Covid-19. Survival entrepreneurship, a case of staying engaged and motivated, has become a lifesaver in the pandemic-struck economy. Although Covid-19 has badly hit us, we remain resilient and actively engaged with our clients and candidates. We have been revamping business models, reconnecting with clients, providing proactive career coaching with candidates, and developing comprehensive digital presences amongst changes businesses are required to implement to stay connected within the markets. 2021 is the beginning of a new wave of business that involves stronger connections and a pivot away from the past’s traditional talent search.
A BIG thanks to our Hughes-Castell’s friends, clients, and candidates for collaborating in interviews, giving us mandates to work on, and taking our career advice during this difficult time – all through your appreciation and trust. 2021 will witness our renewed commitment to making Hughes-Castell better each and every day for our friends and partners.
Managing Director, Hughes-Castell