The once ubiquitous coffee meetings between finance recruiters and candidates are slowly returning to Singapore following the relaxation of Covid restrictions.
According to Joel Tan, a senior recruiter at Spring Professional, face-to-face recruiter-candidate interactions – including coffee met-ups – currently stand at about 40% of pre-pandemic levels.
“With virtual meetings and hybrid work being the new norm, there is still a high demand for virtual meetings due to the time saved,” says Tan. Nevertheless, he notes that there has been an uptick in willingness to meet in person both from a candidate and client perspective with Covid restrictions in Singapore recently mostly lifted.
Both recruiters and candidates are also keener to meet now than at the height of the pandemic, as both sides understand that nothing beats the “personal touch” of a physical meeting, says Tan. Compared to virtual settings, face-to-face sessions allow for more interactive discussions, which creates better opportunities for immediate feedback and conclusive conversations.
“Engagement is higher during in-person meet-ups and individuals are less likely to get distracted,” says Rumi Mohd from Randstad Singapore. He says that “coffee sessions” with candidates are back to around 60% of pre-Covid numbers, with most recruiters now “ramping up their meetings”.
“These meetings are usually quite casual over a cup of coffee and the aim is for recruiters to understand the candidate in more detail, be it about their career history or personality, and also if there is a good match between the jobs and the candidate,” adds Mohd, who is hoping to get the number of face-to-face meetings back up to pre-pandemic levels by 2023.
The conversations can also range from general industry talk, to talks about a candidate’s lifestyle and passion. “Personal and lifestyle changes are usually main drivers in a job switch so conversations with recruiters can delve quite deep,” he says.
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