Has COVID-19 Made Recruiting Less Important?

By Fabrizio Fornarelli

Just few months ago, we had a very low unemployment rates, a lot of jobs openings, and some sort of good economy. The open positions were more than qualified candidates, and the only thing more difficult than recruiting great employees was retaining them. 

Everything changed almost overnight, the COVID-19 pandemic threw businesses into unfamiliar territory, the past few weeks have brought mass layoffs, driven many small businesses to close their doors indefinitely, and forced companies to push the pause button on hiring. 

While essential businesses, such as those in healthcare and logistics, are still hiring, should the rest of us put recruiting on hold too?

For sure the employment situation has changed dramatically, but many of the recruiting processes that emerged to address the candidate-centric market still apply. Recruiting involves much more than posting an Ad on a website or a job board. It’s an ongoing process, combining active and passive efforts, to win over the talent to help your business thrive. It requires a strong employer brand with an enviable company culture and with engaged employees happy to say positive things about your organisation.

That means that hiring should never really be “on hold.”

It is mostly required a change in the way we all think about recruiting and what it requires so that when we are ready to hire again, we are ready to attract top talent (remember, your competitors are doing the very same thing).

To prepare the foundation for an immediate start of your recruiting efforts, focus mostly on two important things: employer branding and talent pipelining.

Employer branding Should Not be on Hold

Employer brand, the perception of your company as a good (or bad) place to work. Use the “downtime” to think about how you can improve your image as an employer of choice. Even if you’ve had to lay off staff or have moved to a 100% remote workforce, you can still strengthen your Employer Brand with minimal investment. 

For example:

  • Collect employees testimonials for your social media channels discussing what it’s like to work at your company and how you’re getting through this crisis together.
  • If you’re doing something charitable to support those impacted by COVID-19, share the good news with your stakeholders and your Network.
  • Take advantage of free company profiles offered by many recruiting platforms and encourage satisfied employees to leave positive ratings on review sites.

These small steps will contribute to a stronger employer brand that helps you be ready and easily recruit when you’re ready. 

Talent Pipelining

Even if you aren’t hiring, you should be still in touch with potential candidates to fill future positions. Pipelining is a proactive way to prepare your talent pool for when all systems are back and ready to go.

No one knows when the economic recovery will be complete and what the “new normal” will look like, it is never too early to plan for the future — and changing your mindset doesn’t require a single dollar.

Don’t let your hiring efforts come to a complete stop. Prepare the foundation for hiring now and you’ll be two steps ahead when the “war for talent” will start again.

Blog ITP

By Fabrizio Fornarelli
IT People Australia Pty. Ltd.

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