- May 12, 2020
- Posted by: Dan Trudeau
- Category: Hiring Advice
5 Keys to Recruiting During Covid19
All economic downturns are challenging for both job seekers and employers. This one, however, is presenting unique challenges. In previous recessions, there were always employers with critical needs actively hiring select talent. The current quarantine has thrown a wrench in that for most.
That said, if you have critical business needs to staff for, you can still keep the process moving. We can continue to engage in potential hires with common technology. In fact, by moving on candidates right now, you have an opportunity to bring them in while your competitors wait for a return to normalcy.
So here are 5 keys to hiring during this crisis.
1. Prioritize Your Openings
You need to decide which openings are critical to your business needs, and therefore worth the effort. With your team scattered in home offices and so much uncertainty in the job market, you don’t want to waste time and resources on positions you can live without in the short term.
Bring your decision-makers together to figure this out. Set up rules of the road ahead of time, with limits that force you to make the tough decisions. Maybe each group is limited to one hire, or for projects with deliverables due in a certain time frame. Whatever makes sense. This will make sure your recruiting decisions line up with your immediate business goals.
2. Move Outside Job Boards
There are a lot of solid candidates out there who want to be looking for something new, but the downbeat economic news has them holding off on a job search. They may not be on the job boards, but you can still reach them while they’re invisible to your competitors. To do it effectively, you need to leverage:
· Social media
· Your team members’ networks
· Recruiting agency partners
The first step is to talk about your opportunities on your company’s social media timeline, so they’re seen by people, not job hunting. In fact, make sure all your team members are doing the same thing on their timelines, including their personal social media pages. It’s important to communicate you’re still hiring in as many avenues as possible.
When you’re doing this, make sure to emphasize why your company’s strengths make you worth looking at when things are so uncertain. Talk about things like:
· How this crisis hasn’t hurt your long-term business
· Your company’s positive track record through multiple downturns
· Why your future is so bright
· The growth prospects you offer employees. When the waters are rough, they want to know your ship is solid.
Also, recruiting agencies are still bringing in candidates through their own networks, so reach out to your most trusted partners to leverage their resources.
3. Distance Interviewing
While in-person interviews are off the table for now, you can still have face-to-face meetings with interested candidates, thanks to technology accessible to most job seekers.
Make sure your whole team is set up to do interviews through Skype, Zoom, Google, or whatever app you’re using. Beyond the face-to-face conversations they offer, features like screen sharing also open the door for presentations or live skill demonstrations. Have a virtual meeting with your team upfront, going over the features available, and discussing the best ways to use them.
When doing these virtual interviews, your team needs to do everything they can to present themselves in a way that fits your company image. While people will understand we’re working under unusual conditions, your first visual impression is still important.
This includes everything from wearing the correct clothes to making sure their backgrounds look right.
4. Stay Engaged
If making an offer is going to be off the table until you can do an in-person meeting, you need to stay engaged with candidates you’re interested in. You can’t be loose about it, or you’re going to lose your next great hire. Keeping in touch can get forgotten, especially with everyone so out of their old routines.
Have a “keep in touch” plan for these candidates. You may create a standard one or it might be custom for each situation. Set up a contact schedule and get the candidate’s buy-in to make sure they’re also committed to it. It might be a regularly scheduled phone call, another teleconference in the near future, or whatever makes sense for the scenario.
Make sure you’re continuing to sell your company and the position on every one of these touches. Let them know about any positive developments, especially ones that tie into their personal goals or address concerns they’ve brought up on interviews.
This is how you can keep them excited and positive about joining, no matter how long it takes to come out on the other side of this.
5. Can You Hire Now?
If all of this goes to plan, you may even be able to make an offer.
Many assume you can’t do it unless you’ve had someone on site. You can’t get a good enough sense of their potential and they can’t do the same with you. That said, these are different times, so maybe this isn’t such a rock-solid rule.
It will still be true for a lot of companies, but make sure you’re not thinking that way based on assumption alone. Explore the idea with your team, then discuss it with the candidate. Get their thoughts and take it from there.
If you can get an offer out and accepted, you can always make a start date contingent on the quarantine being lifted. Maybe you can get them started working remotely. Make sure you’re not dismissing ideas because they don’t fit with how you’ve done things in the past. As mentioned before, this is your opportunity to grab great people while your competitors wait it out.
In the end, the companies that will come through this as winners are the ones who can adapt and stretch themselves in ways that make sense with their goals. They’ll be the ones to pull in the best new employees and bounce back stronger than before.