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Adapting Your Recruitment Strategies to Covid-19

Updated: May 16, 2022

There is no doubt these are challenging times for recruiting, and HR as a whole. COVID-19 has forced tens of millions out of work, as part of the cost-cutting measures by businesses in response to the pandemic. However, people will still be key to business continuity and as such, we don’t expect this to grind recruiting to a halt.

That said, bringing people into the workforce will no longer be the straightforward process it once was. Employers now have to be more cautious and deliberate with employment and reemployment. To achieve success with talent acquisition, it’s important for employers to review key recruitment strategies and processes to adapt to these times.

How can this be done? Here are a few tips!

Develop a communications campaign

Perhaps your company has furloughed or laid off some workers with plans to bring them back later on. It’s important to understand that these workers who have been unexpectedly laid off would experience some kind of emotional stress. This is even more important when you consider the fact that up to 78% of the workforce live from paycheck to paycheck. If the company hopes to bring back these people, important to maintain and nurture existing relationships. The company has to make them feel valued and should maintain genuine communications so they don’t lose relationships.

Manage your brand effectively

Brand credibility has always been a competitive advantage for recruiting. The COVID-19 crisis has, however, made this even more important. Your brand should be credible, relevant, and distinctive. Considering the times we are in, it should also promote and support compassion. Right now is the time to leverage social, web, and digital platforms to connect with candidates as they now have to view your company mostly through an online lens.

Employee-driven videos can give a glimpse into a role that can convey empathy and provide a perspective that resonates with future employees. Walmart’s “Lean On Me” campaign is a great example of how an employer can use the COVID-19 challenge to convey a message about working together and community.

This opportunity, when properly managed, will help position your brand as credible, compassionate, honest, empathetic, and distinctive to help with your current and future staffing and recruiting needs.

Embracing remote working

The COVID-19 pandemic has left many businesses with no choice but to embrace remote working. This means you’ll be required to adapt your hiring and recruiting processes to fit into this virtual world.

Remote working seems to come with greater flexibility and increased productivity. But if you’ll be hiring remotely, the US Chamber of Commerce recommends that you put in place the right processes and systems to ensure success. These will often include:

  • Choosing (and getting familiar with) the right tools from staff messaging to video conferencing

  • Ensuring a perfect Wi-Fi connection to avoid interruptions during the interview

  • Choosing the perfect place for a virtual interview (avoiding noisy places and environments with multi-colored backgrounds)

  • Avoiding the urge to dress all too formal and not being professionally dressed for interviewed

  • Keeping the loop closed on all active communication and trying to personalize communication with candidates, etc

If a company is after increased productivity and a boost to its bottom line, companies should look to a Gallup research report showing that 43 percent of employees are less likely to experience burnout when given a choice on when and how to complete their work tasks.

Make data-informed decisions

Whenever you have to compare and contrast strategies and processes, you’ll find that it is always better to leverage data to help make your decisions. This is even more important at a time like this when making decisions could present a lot of challenges. To help make informed decisions, recruiters should leverage tools and resources for analytics when determining what works and what doesn’t.

Keep engaging and nurturing candidates

Improving the candidate experience still remains a top priority for most HR professionals, according to the 2019 Talent Acquisition: Early Findings by Aptitude Research. However, the key to this is building and maintaining relationships.

Employers must be committed to actively maintaining relationships and nurturing candidates within their talent pipeline. This is very important regardless of whether or not the company is currently hiring. This strategy can help brands in a market filled with passive job seekers and can reduce the time needed to source and hire quality talents when there is finally an open role.

Even in a pandemic, finding the right talent will present a challenge. Although candidate replies will be more likely due to the high unemployment rate, recruiters should expect the COVID-19 pandemic to continue to present unprecedented challenges and exacerbate some existing challenges. Even if positions are placed on hold, to survive these times, an overhaul of your recruiting and marketing strategies may be needed to stay agile and better position the company for the impending return to a “new” work normal.

Successful recruiting during and after a crisis will require recruiting and marketing to be aligned and the COVID-19 pandemic is no different. Conduct a thorough examination of your recruiting strategies and processes to determine how to do it better. Updating candidate communications, showing empathy and transparency, and improving candidate experiences are all necessary steps to position your brand and company for success.

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