With the global coronavirus outbreak, many countries have started shutting down public venues and even entire cities. Companies have closed most of their onsite operations and instructed employees to work from home.
From a recruitment standpoint, no matter if you are in-house or at an agency, it is evident that there is a significant downturn in the hiring needs and processes. How do you adjust your recruitment strategy to better cope with such an uncertain situation?
Shift Mindset and Re-Strategize
First and foremost, we need to accept that this worldwide “shutdown situation” will likely last for a while, although no one knows how long it could be. There will inevitably be a significant slowdown regarding the hiring needs and recruitment processes (let alone the global economy). However, that doesn’t mean that all recruitment activities are suspended; they just aren’t as active as usual.
For people like me who bury our faces in requisitions all day during normal times, it is now a perfect time to re-strategize, re-organize, and reflect on works from the past few months. We should also shift our mindset to ways we can optimize the recruitment process to get ready for future challenges.
As the middle person standing between hiring managers and candidates, we need to make sure that both sides are mentally prepared for the slowdown and adapt to the new interview approach – virtual meetings. Indeed, these meetings touch upon the following two points.
Follow up with the candidates who are already in your hiring pipelines. It is important to have candidates hear hiring updates from you. Let them know that they are still under consideration but that they should expect a longer timeline.
For candidates who have accepted an offer but cannot start on time due to the pandemic, frequently connect with them and reassure them about the offer. Meanwhile, have them keep you informed of any changes on their side.
If you are an in-house recruiter, keep your hiring manager up-to-date on your candidates’ statuses. If you are at an agency, reach out to your clients to find out the latest status, and keep your candidates informed. Plan your priorities accordingly.
While reaching out to both sides, communicate with a positive tone. You don’t want to add one more layer of anxiety. Things will get better.
Make Full Use of Remote Work Tools
On the bright side, this pandemic somehow forces companies to start looking into and adopting technologies that enable their employees to work remotely. A recent survey by Buffer shows that 99% of respondents would like to work remotely at least some of the time throughout their careers. Work flexibility has become one of the most critical criteria for job seekers. Working from home doesn’t have to mean difficult to manage; proper tools and communications could elevate work culture and employer brand.
Workable has listed several tech tools that can boost virtual workplace efficiency. However, it is our responsibility as recruiters to educate hiring managers and candidates – especially those who are not comfortable with such technologies – on how to take advantage of these tools and use them properly.
I’ve heard many people say that it’s like one of those movie scenes where people are panicked, and the streets are empty. Undoubtedly, this is a critical time when organizations’ and countries’ reactions are tested. However, we can get things under control during the coronavirus outbreak as long as we take timely actions and have our contingency plans defined.
Check out my another article to see how to create seamless remote employee onboarding process.