Are you feeling deflated because you’ve been forced to freeze your hiring plans? Are you having to postpone interviews because of hiccups with technology? If you can relate, you’re not alone. In fact, 60 to 65% of interviews are expected to be dropped or delayed during the 2020 COVID-19 epidemic.
Since the start of the global crisis, many companies have been worried about their revenues. Unfortunately, this has to lead to thousands of employees losing their jobs, canceled interviews with potential recruits, and hiring plans that have been abandoned altogether.
On the other hand, some industries, such as healthcare providers, supermarkets, and voluntary sectors, may need to implement mass hiring campaigns. As it’s safe to say, niches like these are certainly feeling the strain to meet the increased demands COVID-19 has created for their products and services.
Whether you’re putting a stop to all recruiting, or need to facilitate an influx of new hires, adjusting your hiring plan will be imperative…and fast! But don’t worry, you’re in the right place. In this article, we’re going to reveal a few tips for adjusting your hiring plan to the new post-pandemic reality and maximizing your business’s productivity.
Let’s dive in!
- Reassess your hiring needs
- Focus on critical hires
- Reevaluate your recruitment budget
- Hire internally
- Upskill and reskill your current workforce
- Adapt your employer branding strategy
- Optimize your recruitment process
- Consider hiring international employees on a remote basis
- Update your job requirements
Before you continue
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1. Reassess your hiring needs
The recruitment plan that you so carefully prepared for 2020 is most probably not accurate anymore. That’s why it’s time to review it.
If you’re halfway through a recruitment campaign, you may already have a few candidates you’re considering for the vacancies you have open. So, ask yourself – does the company still need to hire all these people right now?
If the answer’s no, assess which jobs or new recruits you could do without at the moment. But, first and foremost, you need to establish the current needs of the company…and work backward from there. This is key to ensuring your workforce has all the skills, manpower, and experience it needs to work efficiently and effectively during these uncertain times.
Ask yourself (and your team) what products and/or services are currently in demand or the main focus to know what type of hires you need to prioritize, and which you can wait with.
Similarly, if you need to execute a quick mass hiring campaign, find out which departments need urgent attention. Ask yourself – which areas of the business need help? How will you expand your resources to meet the growing demand?
These answers will provide better insights into your current hiring needs during what’s likely to be a challenging time for your business. Use these questions and answers to generate a framework for ensuring you make the best use out of your money and time.
COVID-19 has brought unprecedented changes to many businesses and the priorities are changing fast. Talent professionals must reassess the business and hiring needs constantly to keep their companies as productive as possible.
2. Focus on critical hires
Which hires were you planning to onboard before COVID-19 happened? Are they no longer possible? Let’s look deeper into this…
You need to base your hiring priorities on the skills your business so urgently needs. So, this is your next step – identifying the skills, competencies, and experience your company requires to stay afloat during and after the pandemic.
You may find it useful to talk to managers across different departments to find out which primary skills are missing from their teams. Once you’ve spotted a skills gap, you can then tailor your hiring plan to recruit vital support for your business. Not only does this guarantee the addition of valuable new skills to the team, but it also ensures precious money, time, and effort isn’t wasted hiring those who aren’t a priority during and right after lockdown!
Once everything has calmed down, you can then go back and engage with candidates you were in contact with before the outbreak started.
3. Reevaluate your recruitment budget
Has COVID-19 prompted your company’s leadership to cut business expenses? During times of uncertainty, some companies rush to reduce their overheads to ensure they keep afloat. In light of that, you may find your recruitment budget is one of the first areas your enterprise makes a saving. So, as you go about adapting your recruitment plan, find out if your hiring budget is affected or whether it will be in the future.
You don’t need us to tell you that having a ballpark figure in mind is crucial for effective planning.
Take another look at where you’re spending money and which expenses you can cut. For example, you might lower your job advertising costs by advertising only the essential roles for the time being. Review your recruitment tech stack too and see if there are any tools that you won’t be using in the near future. You can consider freezing the subscription temporarily if possible.
If you’re currently unable to hire more workers, due to budgetary constraints, you may struggle to meet demands and see your business grow. If you find yourself in this predicament, suggest reallocating your companies resources, so they’re shared across different departments. That way, you might not have to throw your hiring plan (entirely) out the window!
4. Hire internally
Global crises bring with them a sense of ambiguity, which makes sticking to what and who you know, more comfortable for all concerned (and there’s nothing wrong with that). After all, a pandemic is probably not the time to be taking risks – which is why hire internally is a great idea!
When you hire from inside your company, you (or at least a fellow manager) should have a better gauge of whether the candidate possesses the required skills to do the job justice. Also, it rewards company loyalty. Namely, by showing you’re committed to furthering the professional development of your employees, which is likely to boost morale.
In short, hiring internally may save you from freezing your hiring plan for 2020 and from being unable to fill the critical roles quickly. Not to mention, it’s cheaper and takes less time than external recruitment.
However, for this to be successful, you need to develop an internal hiring procedure. This will involve communicating with all your employees what the company’s looking for. That way, they can rise to the challenge and meet, if not exceed, your expectations with their applications. Hiring managers also need to be aware of the roles you’re hiring for so that they can recommend their team members for promotions or new positions.
In the post-COVID-19 business world, filling key positions from within will become even more important.
5. Upskill and reskill your current workforce
During the lockdown, businesses may need to adapt their services to find demand. For instance, a sit-in restaurant may no longer have customers, so they adjust their business model to offer a takeaway and/or delivery service. This may involve waiters and waitresses having to adapt their skills from providing table service to driving and delivering meals to the doors of their customer’s.
In essence, the skills a business needs to survive the COVID-19 outbreak may be different from the skills and experiences they needed to grow their brand six months ago. As such, your workforce needs to reflect this drastic change.
So, rather than hiring new employees, it may be easier and cheaper to reinvest in the staff you have already by expanding their skill set. This means providing them with the education and training they need to adapt to a diverse range of demands.
Yes, you can argue that you could provide this same training to new recruits. But remember, they also need to familiarize themselves with how your business works – which is something your seasoned workers won’t have to do. Not to mention, if your workers are having to learn new skills together, this could be an excellent opportunity to foster team spirit!
6. Adapt your employer branding strategy
Most likely, the majority of your business will be affected by COVID-19 in some form of another, and your employer branding strategy is no exception. It’s imperative you adapt your employer brand to reflect the current crisis.
Use this opportunity as an employer to communicate with customers. Explain how you’re helping employees during this challenging situation and how you’re paying exceptional attention to their safety and security.
To get the ball rolling, ask yourself the following questions:
- How are you protecting your workforce during the current crisis?
- How are you minimizing your team’s exposure to the virus?
- Are employees working from home?
- If workers have to come into the office, do you provide staff with gloves, masks, and soap?
Reassuring customers you’re looking after your staff’s wellbeing conveys that you’re an ethical, empathetic, and supportive business to work for. Needless to say, these are all attractive qualities for both potential recruits and future customers.
The bottom line – adapting your employer branding strategy to reflect how you’re handling the outbreak, is likely to improve your reputation.
…and that goes for consumer as well as for employer brands. How you treat your employees and candidates in this challenging period will have a long-lasting impact on the outside perception of your business.
7. Optimize your recruitment process
Make the limited physical contact during quarantine work in your favor. Don’t let it become a barrier to recruiting. By this, we mean, optimize your hiring process to incorporate tech that can help you with remote recruiting.
For instance, you can set an assessment for candidates to take at home, which scores them on the relevant skills needed for the job. If you expect that your new employees will have to work from home at least part time, make sure to assess them for competencies like integrity and planning and organizing to make sure that they can work from home in a productive way. You can then follow up those who achieve a decent score with a virtual interview.
In general, adapt your recruitment process to the reality where physical contact might not be possible and find ways to engage with candidates throughout the process even without meeting them face to face.
8. Consider hiring international employees on a remote basis
It’s tricky to hire international talent at the best of times. On one hand, it widens the qualified candidate pool. On the other hand, new recruits often don’t want to risk packing up their homes and relocating somewhere new, away from family and friends, in case the job falls through and doesn’t work out.
So, make the most out of lockdown by using it as an opportunity to hire international candidates to work for you remotely. This will provide an accurate insight into the quality of their work, with limited costs attached!
You may consider relocating them once the crisis is over, by which time you’ll have had a chance to evaluate the mutual fit.
Many companies rely on international talent to fulfil their hiring needs. Relocating employees will be even more difficult in the coming period, so it might be the right time to consider alternative arrangements.
9. Update your job requirements
As we’ve already alluded to, you’ll likely attract candidates who have recently been laid off or made redundant as a result of COVID-19, even if they have experience from different industries. Many of these applicants will probably have other valuable, transferable skills they’ve acquired from their previous positions.
This is why updating your requirements for any vacancies you have open is essential. Don’t be narrow-minded – be open to skills and character traits you might not have considered before. Who knows? Doing this may also contribute something new to the company, that you hadn’t originally sought out. Use this crisis as an opportunity to recruit the cream of the crop from across various sectors!
Are you ready to adjust your hiring plan for the post-COVID-19 era?
Having read this article, we hope you now have a better idea about what you can do to adjust your hiring plan to accommodate the changes COVID-19 might have brought. Being flexible and ready to adapt your recruitment methods is essential for thriving during these challenging circumstances.
It would be unrealistic and unreasonable to expect everyday life and activities to go back to normal anytime soon, if at all. Companies need to use their initiative to revise their hiring plan to stay ahead of the curve. Yes, this current pandemic was utterly unexpected. Still, instead of wallowing, managers need to identify and seize every opportunity they get to make the most out of a bad scenario.
The bottom line – Managers need to revise their hiring plan as the battle against coronavirus continues to unfold. This kind of forward-thinking, flexibility, and planning, is what enables your businesses to remain current and in-demand (by applicants and customers alike) during these uncertain times.