Like most aspects of the workplace, recruiting norms have changed as organizations prepare their post-coronavirus plans. While unemployment rates remain high, many employers find themselves struggling to connect with the right candidates. Employers can boost their recruiting efforts in the current employment market by ensuring that their employer brand is resonating with those seeking employment, and importantly, meeting the needs of job seekers through updated recruiting methods.
This HR Insights is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as professional advice.
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Post-coronavirus Job Seekers
The employment market has changed swiftly. While many are out of work after recent layoffs, pre-coronavirus, unemployment rates had been at record lows. Despite the historically high unemployment rates currently—many organizations are now struggling to find qualified applicants for their open job positions.
Even as some employers may be receiving a high number of applicants, they encounter new challenges—such as meeting the specific needs of highly qualified candidates, who remain in high demand as most employers face unprecedented challenges. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, job seekers in the post-coronavirus employment market are looking for:
Employers should consider how their employer brand is resonating with the current employment market—and how post-coronavirus plans could include updates to recruiting methods.
Post-coronavirus Employer Brand
Employer brand is as important as ever—and your organization’s COVID-19 response can be effectively communicated to job seekers. When considering updates to your employer brand, topics may include:
- Safety—At the forefront of concern for current and future talent, is safety. While your organization may be going above and beyond to ensure the safety of employees, ensure that these efforts are highlighted in your employer brand—this can be done by:
- Prioritizing safety in all company branding—both employment and non-employment related
- Including safety-related expectations in job descriptions and postings
- Benefits—Job seekers care about health-related benefits such as sick leave and mental health support now more than ever. As your organization updates any benefits packages, ensure these changes fit into your recruitment efforts.
- Career focus—Much of the employment market has recently been laid off or furloughed, and hope to avoid a repeat with their new employer. Ensure that the career-orientation of your job openings are clearly part of your employer brand. Job seekers are looking for stability and the opportunity to build a career.
- COVID-19 impact—The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic should be a core component of your current employer brand. Consider having a specific section of your webpage dedicated to COVID-19. This pandemic has had a significant impact on the lives of most, and job seekers will appreciate this acknowledgment. Remain transparent, but ensure your brand includes takeaways such as:
- How did your organization respond to the coronavirus?
- What tough choices has your organization made? Why?
- How has your organization continued to contribute to society?
- How is your organization engaging in safe workplace practices?
Your organization likely has taken significant steps to be adaptable during this challenging time—make sure that applicants are aware of your efforts.
Post-coronavirus Recruiting Methods
While it is critical to have an employer brand that resonates with the current time, employers may want to think about the ways that they are engaging with candidates. Social distancing measures have changed the way that we interact, and there are ways that employers can use technology to best engage the job market. Considerations for employers include:
- Use online platforms—If your organization has not yet established your employment presence on platforms such as LinkedIn, Indeed and Handshake, consider doing so. Not only can you build your employment brand, but you can even make it easy for applicants to apply for positions directly.
- Be active and present—Don’t just create online accounts—be proactive and provide insight that impacts your industry.
- Align your employment brand and recruiting efforts—When establishing your employment presence online, ensure your post-coronavirus brand is reinforced through all recruiting methods.
- Participate in virtual events—Virtual events, such as career fairs, are a way for employers to engage with job seekers. By taking advantage of new initiatives, your organization can continue to be represented without physically attending events.
- Prepare for productive dialogue—When engaging with candidates, prepare to hear their concerns, and provide transparent answers about how your organization can address their needs.
Remote Work Considerations
Many employers are expanding remote work opportunities to more employees than ever before. Remote work practices extend to the recruiting and hiring process, including practices such as:
- Virtual interviewing—Often conducted over video, virtual interviewing is not only a safe practice in the wake of the coronavirus but also provides benefits. Virtual interviewing allows your organization to connect with a broader pool of talent and can ease the interviewing process for candidates when done effectively.
- Remote onboarding—Onboarding employees remotely can be a consideration for many employers and, if done correctly, can be effective when welcoming new employees.
Some job seekers may be enticed by the opportunity to work remotely, as remote work can offer many benefits. If your organization is using remote work practices, ensure remote work options are communicated with potential applicants.
Recruiting in Advance
Whether your organization has stayed open, is currently reopening or will be reopening shortly—have a proactive approach to recruiting. Many other employers are also eagerly trying to hire, and, as businesses reopen, managers will be faced with various challenges—recruiting and non-recruiting alike. By working ahead, your organization can prepare for a smooth transition.
Ongoing Recruiting Considerations
Employers can continue to consider how their business practices and branding resonate with current employment markets. Recruiting techniques will vary for every employer, but ensure that your core strengths are shared with job seekers in this challenging time. Remember that the workplace will continue to change, and employers should be prepared to adjust accordingly.
As laws and guidelines related to COVID-19 update, employers should consult with legal counsel when updating or changing policies. As your organization creates post-coronavirus plans, contact TPG Insurance Services for additional COVID-19-related resources.