Recruitment Reimagined: 5 Tips for Hiring During a Crisis

June 1, 2020 Cox Media

Recruitment Reimagined: 5 Tips for Hiring During a Crisis

Recent events have changed, and even halted, how many businesses operate from one day to the next. But it hasn’t changed the need for quality employees helping your business achieve its goals.

While this crisis is creating turnover among businesses in the form of layoffs, furloughs and employees deciding to quit their job and limit their exposure during a period of uncertainty, many small businesses need to build up their talent pool and have the right tools to attract top applicants to their open positions. Yet many of these small businesses don’t use recruiters to fill their positions, which creates challenges in a time where face-to-face interviews and word-of-mouth advertising aren’t practical or feasible.

Recruiting new hires during an ongoing crisis is possible, but it requires a shift in your recruitment and vetting strategies. Here are five tips to help you spread the word about your open positions, and gain the attention of highly qualified applicants.

1. USE DIGITAL CHANNELS TO PUBLICIZE YOUR OPEN POSITIONS

With tens of millions of Americans currently unemployed, businesses are in a great position to drum up a competitive field of applicants for their open positions. The key to attracting these applicants is making sure you spread the word about your current hiring opportunities.

Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social networks could be highly effective options for publicizing information about an open position, and encouraging social sharing among a local audience. You should also feature a job listing on your business website, and consider using job listing websites if they’re free or within your recruitment budget.

Consider using your email lists to promote new opportunities among your current base of followers. By building awareness among people who already know and follow your business, you could help drive job applicants who are already passionate about your business and support its mission.

2. PRIORITIZE BUSINESS-CRITICAL POSITIONS

Periods of crisis don’t just complicate your ability to find new job applicants—they also impact your ability to plan for the future. Depending on how your business is faring during periods of instability, you may not feel as confident hiring for positions you had originally planned, such as roles designed to accelerate the company’s growth, or to tackle new business ventures.

For the time being, it might be wiser for your business to prioritize filling business-critical positions that help you maintain your current operations, without putting you at risk of overextending your company payroll. Other hires can be considered as you fill out your essential staff and get a better sense of business needs and challenges ahead.

3. DETERMINE THE IMPORTANCE OF REMOTE WORKING SKILLS

Many small businesses now require certain positions to be conducted from home, at least for the time being. New hiring positions may be for permanent remote positions, or for positions intended to be remote only until the current public health crisis is over.

Small business owners need to decide how important remote work skills are when hiring a candidate. If you anticipate permanent remote work for that position, either on a full-time or part-time basis, your hiring process should prioritize applicants who possess important remote-work skills, including effective and efficient communication, self-motivation, organization, and a fluency with the technology used to coordinate business activities.

Past remote work experience may also be helpful to confirm that employees are familiar with the challenges of remote work—although with such a sudden influx of remote opportunities, expect many applicants to be pursuing remote work for the first time.

4. USE VIDEO TO INTERVIEW & VET POTENTIAL CANDIDATES

Face-to-face interviews are one of the most common ways small businesses evaluate job applicants. When these in-person meetings aren’t possible, it’s still smart to use video-conferencing tools to match a face to a resume.

This is similar to the approach currently being taken by job recruiters: Roughly 80 percent of recruiters use videoconferencing to overcome the inability to meet with job applicants in-person. Small businesses can use tools like Zoom and Skype to conduct these interviews and get a better sense of the people seeking an open position.

5. DEVELOP A STREAMLINED ONBOARDING PROCESS TO QUICKLY PUT NEW HIRES TO WORK

Take advantage of technology to streamline your company’s onboarding process. Request digital document signatures to expedite paperwork for new hires. Use recorded video tutorials and webinars to educate new employees on how your business operates.

If you hire multiple new employees during this period of crisis, pre-produced documents, videos, and other onboarding materials will help you onboard employees faster, and save you valuable time in the process.

When recruiting for small business positions, one of the biggest challenges is making sure your job listings reach as many highly qualified applicants as possible. If you’re looking for a partner to help you maximize your reach and raise the bar for your prospective hires, contact us today to see how we can partner to use the right advertising tactics to attract the best applicants possible.

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