The global pandemic caused by COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on most industries. Several organisations are working hard to retain their workforce, employees are getting used to the new norm of working from home and job seekers are wondering if they will find employment and if so when. Today business expansion plans have been replaced by business continuity plans. While some organisations are letting go of some employees, there are some who are protecting their existing workforce while others are sticking to their hiring plans albeit at a much slower level.
Hiring in the midst of such a crisis is no easy matter. Stay at home and social distancing have made it a challenge to find the right candidate. While riding out the existing challenges, future focused HR leaders are preparing for an eventual upswing and a job market which is very different from what existed pre-COVID. A large part of ensuring success in the recovery period post COVID, will involve the workforce of the organisation. For some, it might be undertaking a lot of measures to ensure safe return to the organisation. While for others it would mean scaling up the workforce by making faster and better hiring decisions in these difficult situations which will spell success in the business longevity plan.
A large number of organisations are investing in keeping talents in the pipeline. This would mean reassessing roles which can be filled with contract workers, prioritizing more critical roles to hire, rethinking about the current talent management strategy.
While the ground continues to shift under our feet, the one thing which we can be sure of across all industries, is that the recruitment strategy will need to undergo a reboot in keeping with these difficult times.
Recruiting Right During COVID 19
Downturns and upswings in the job markets are common, but one of the biggest challenges in these times will be the process of recruiting itself. Since the possibility of in person interviews are not a possibility at all, all interviews will need to be conducted remotely, either by phone or by video conferencing. This will protect the employer and the candidate from any potential contact risks while at the same time continue to drive hiring efforts. For organisations previously considering moving to digital recruitment now is the best time to put the plan into action. Candidates today look for organisations with cutting edge technology while assessing them for possible employment options.
The future of businesses and their hiring strategy keeping in mind the current global crisis, is all still uncertain. The need of the hour for businesses is to be flexible and adapt to different ways of going about their work until face to face business is possible again. Listed below are few steps which can be practised in the hiring process in keeping with the times:
Let People Know You Are Hiring
It would not come as a surprise for qualified candidates to presume that companies are not hiring considering the prevalent situation. Companies must first let it be known publicly that they are actively hiring and moving ahead with their business plans. This will automatically attract talent. All positions currently open for hiring must be updated in the Company website as well as their social media handles and other marketing avenues in order to find the right candidate. The existing workforce can be encouraged to post such openings through their social media as well. Bigger the outreach, better the results.
Put In Place A Detailed Hiring Procedure
If the organisation intends to go ahead to hire fresh talent, a detailed plan must be drawn up and relevant procedures must be laid down. Video interviews are increasingly on the rise to assist in the recruitment process. Digital hiring will also play a big part in forming a positive opinion in this regard. A Yello survey revealed that a quarter of Gen Z job seekers would prefer to communicate digitally.
While the entire process is different, in being conducted virtually, it need not be a daunting task. The following tips will help employers ensure that the remote interview process is smooth both for the candidate and the employer themself.
- Being Prepared
The video interview needs to be handled with the same care as an in person interview. Ensure that the interviewer(s) are familiar with the job profile, candidate resume and the specific questions to ask.
- Setting Expectations
Candidates will need to be informed beforehand that the interview is being conducted remotely. The kind of software being used, mode of access to it and related information need to be conveyed in a clear manner. The expectations from the interview will also need to be made clear.
- Check the Technology
Ensure the technology is up and running before the interview in order to avoid any sort of technical glitches. The candidates need to be told to ensure the same too.
- Be Realistic in Your Offering
The company must be very clear about the extent to which they can support and sustain a new employee given the current situation. It must be understood that the situation prevalent now is likely to change when the crisis blows over. Therefore any margins or corrections or changes to manner of working must be laid down clearly.
Prioritize Remote Working Skills
Since remote work is here to stay and there is no way of knowing for sure how long it will continue, it is in the best interest of the company to place the focus on remote working skills while hiring. Effective communication, organisation and self direction are all useful skills in remote work. Seeking these skills in potential candidates can make their transition into the company working conditions easier and raise productivity from the beginning itself.
Utilizing Existing Candidate Pool
Many companies usually have a pool of candidates of those who have applied earlier at different points of time. If the company is not keen on an active recruitment campaign they can rely on the existing pool to cater to the needs of the company.
Recruitment is a way of building new capabilities and enabling strategic changes to business models and culture. The current downtime is a good time to rethink the kind of talent that is needed for the organisation and how they will work to take business plans forward in the future. Another major consideration that needs to be borne in mind is the fact that in addition to talent and qualification required for a particular role, candidates will also need to be able to communicate and work across digital channels with high learning agility.