EFM Recruiting Describes the Challenges of COVID-19 — and Why an Event Specific Recruiter is Needed More Than Ever

EFM Recruiting was launched in 2016, leveraging years of recruitment experience and an innovative search process that connected the best trade show and experiential event professionals in the country with the companies that needed them most.

Whether EFM Recruiting is placing Global Event Directors, Event Producers, Executive Creative Directors, 3D Designers, Strategists, or Account Managers, Erin Monahan and her team consistently place the most desired candidates at the industries leading agencies and brands, allowing them to  build, design, and produce the world’s best events, meetings, trade show booths, experiential activations and more.

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By all measures, EFM Recruiting was enjoying unparalleled success – and growing each year. Then in March 2020, as Founder and President Erin Monahan explains, everything changed.

“When the pandemic hit, the whole industry changed in a matter of weeks,” Monahan says, “Everything was shut down.”

The nationwide shutdowns were particularly hard on the event industry – events across the world were being postponed indefinitely or canceled altogether and with those cancellations came a harsh reality for event professionals. The COVID-19 pandemic heavily affected global events, pointing to the need for a deep reflection on the future of the industry. Event organizers had to quickly adopt new delivery models, either choosing to go virtual entirely or opted to embrace hybrid solutions. On top of uncertainty, the crisis also triggered profound, and potentially long-lasting, changes in production and consumption patterns.

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“In some situations I had offers out to candidates that needed to be pulled, and some candidates I had just hired with certain clients were laid off a week later,” Monahan says, “It was pretty devastating.”

With the entire event industry shut down and no end in sight, EFM Recruiting had to get creative. Fortunately, Monahan was able to turn what could have been a major setback into new opportunities for herself and for others.

“Many of my clients started selling digital or virtual services, and some even started selling physical Covid safety infrastructures, like acrylic barriers and personal protection equipment. I did place candidates in virtual and digital roles, however I had many candidates calling me for help, and I didn’t have enough open roles I could place people in. It wasn’t until June of 2021 that things started to pick up again, however, between the Delta and Omicron variants, the events industry has still continued to take a hit. It’s been a lot slower to return to any kind of normal that anyone has anticipated or hoped. Although concerts and outdoor events are in full swing.”

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