5 questions with ace Vancouver recruiter Henry Goldbeck

The executive talks about the challenges and opportunities for job seekers in COVID-19

The executive talks about the challenges and opportunities for both employers and job seekers in COVID-19

Henry Goldbeck grew up in a strict B.C. household, dreaming of the adventures he could go on once he was old enough to leave home. At 18, he sailed around the world as a merchant marine, later finding himself (literally and figuratively) in Vienna, Austria, where opened one of that city’s first yoga schools. 

Goldbeck eventually decided to return to Canada. Working briefly in insurance sales, he was hired by a local recruiting agency. After a decade there, he decided to launch Vancouver-based Goldbeck Recruiting. We quizzed him on how the industry is operating during this time of job uncertainty. 

1. How has the pandemic impacted the recruiting business? Is it a more-supply, less-demand situation? 

Overall, the recruiting business has slowed down since pre-COVID. However, Goldbeck Recruiting has continued to facilitate placements in industries that are recovering well, including food processing and production equipment and management, and construction-related industries. We are beginning to see which industries have comparatively thrived during the pandemic slowdown; these include health care and medical chemical and device industries. 

With government support coming to an end, many companies have used this time to assess market conditions going forward and are implementing strategies for the near and medium term. These vary from making changes in marketing direction to downsizing to investing in an area of their business being positively affected by the current situation.

2. Which jobs do you think will be in demand as we try to work our way out of the pandemic and toward a new normal?

Construction, IT, manufacturing and logistics roles are in demand, in both senior and entry-level positions. Pharmaceuticals and medical roles are being hired for; however, these positions are more specialized. There are lasting roles for apparel and equipment companies that pivoted to making PPE, sanitizers and Plexiglas protection products.

This is having a knock-on effect through the supply chain as the industry manages the storage and logistics of products that consumers simply weren’t buying before. Companies producing for the hospitality industry are entering retail competition and needing to acquire expertise to support such efforts, and as a result, there are lots of opportunities in these areas. 

3. What can people currently looking for work do to increase their chances of getting hired?

Now more than ever, resumés must be tailored to each position and must specifically highlight the jobseeker’s qualifications for the role.

Research the company you’re applying to—your knowledge about the employer can set you apart from many candidates if your skills and experience are equivalent. 

If the jobseeker is currently working, they should provide a compelling reason why they would leave their current position to move to another company, especially during a pandemic. Frame your reason for wanting a change with your interest in the new position and company.

Lastly, be prepared for several remote interviews. We are seeing additional interviews being conducted to ensure that companies have selected the right candidates. Take the time and effort to ensure that your visual presentation, i.e., lighting, focus, background, sound quality, et cetera, are as professional as possible. Don’t confuse a remote interview with it being casual.

4. How have businesses developed their hiring practices during these times? 

Companies are conducting remote meetings for first, second and sometimes third interviews, as face-to-face interactions are generally only being held for final interviews. In the case where no face-to-face interviews are conducted, reference checking has become increasingly important. If a candidate states they were laid off or terminated due to COVID, reference checking will confirm if this is true or if it was due to a performance issue. 

Transparency about companies’ COVID safety protocols are often discussed in the early interview stages. This includes information on how the business has adapted during this time, how they are keeping their offices clean and implementing social distancing, how they have evolved positions to be effective and safe, options for remote working and employee health benefits. 

5. Which B.C. companies do you think have shown some leadership through the pandemic?

Any company that was transparent with their employees and made the effort to keep communication channels open showed great leadership. This support came in many forms, such as newsletters, daily and/or weekly remote meetings, podcasts and social media. This helped employees stay engaged and feel supported by their superiors and colleagues.

One company that really stood out to us was Portofino Bakery from Vancouver Island. At the beginning of the pandemic, they were committed to supporting their entire workforce and investing in safety measures that have benefited their employees and continued to have a lasting effect on public perception. Plus, they make great bread, and their double chocolate chunk cookies are to die for.