In Conversation with Jon Kennedy
We are immensely proud of how hard our team have been working during the pandemic. Whilst it has not being the easiest of years everyone has shown a great level of resilience and kindness over the last twelve months, these are two of the qualities that we value the most at Ardent. Jon Kennedy discusses his personal and professional experiences since the announcement of the first national lockdown in March 2020.
What were your aspirations, both personally and professionally at the start of 2020?
Early 2020, the legal recruitment market was still in full flow, with scores of new vacancies arising every week. I started the year determined to focus my time and energy on our key clients and their needs.
What were your initial thoughts about how the virus would affect business and life generally?
When we went into full lockdown, with no clear exit strategy or timeline, it felt like an event in the same vein as the onset of the GFC of 2007/8. It was hard to envisage business as usual or normal life resuming any time soon.
How have you stayed motivated during lockdown?
Recruitment is tough when there are recruitment freezes across the board. However, it was still a good opportunity to speak properly with people who are normally far too busy working.
How have you stayed connected with your clients and candidates over the last 12 months?
Under normal circumstances, we largely rely on a combination of face-to-face meetings for meaningful discussion and building relationships, coupled with email exchanges for ongoing, unobtrusive correspondence. During the past 12 months we’ve missed the opportunity to meet in person, but this has been partly replaced by increased telephone conversation and video calls, as we’ve all been more available to speak privately.
What has been your biggest challenge over the last 12 months?
At work, we have been able to adapt, and continue. Many of our much-loved extra-curricular pursuits have been put on hold, though, which has meant it has been harder to strike the usual “work-life balance”.
What have you missed the most about working in London?
Without doubt I’ve missed daily interaction with my colleagues in person the most.
What do you think the world of work will look like a year from now?
Constant home working has been challenging. However, it has shown that teams can be productive when working from home. Hopefully one silver lining post-pandemic will be a permanent improvement in well-being stemming from more ubiquitous flex-working, a happy medium of part-office and part-home working to suit the individual circumstances of team members and their departments.