Prepare Today for the Post-COVID Hiring World

Getting to a post-COVID19 world is going to take some time. Even as we gingerly make our way to reopening our economy, California has been hit with a big increase in infections and some business restrictions have been reinstated.

But whether it takes months or a year or more, the hiring scene will return to some resemblance of how it was before the pandemic.

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Rather than wait months to prepare for that time, it’s wise for employers to start getting ready now.

Whether you’ve put hiring on hold, are hiring more than you did before March, whether you’re planning another reduction in force, or even if you’re worried that another complete shutdown is in the offing, here are some tips to help you prepare for the days when hiring returns to some semblance of normalcy.

First, some questions to ask:

  • How has the pandemic and the shutdown changed your particular hiring process? Many people have gone to a virtual interview process, but some have not. What do you see keeping and what will you change when the pandemic is behind us?
  • You undoubtedly are reading many articles such as this one that discuss what recruiting and hiring will look like post-pandemic. From your reading and discussions with others, how do you think your talent acquisition process – your sourcing, your talent pipeline management, your onboarding steps, etc. – will need to change?

Digging deeper:

  • Look at your recruitment strategies now. If you’re currently hiring, are you attracting the right candidates now? If you’re not hiring, were you attracting the right type of person before the pandemic started? Where were the roadblocks and/or weaknesses in sourcing, interviewing and onboarding and how can you fix them?
  • Technology can certainly help you now and in the future. Do you need to upgrade your video interviewing capabilities? Should you invest in some chatbot capabilities so that you can automate answers to candidates’ typical answers, thus freeing up your recruiters’ time for more important tasks? Time to purchase some resume screening software?
  • Could your recruiters themselves use some additional training or certifications so that they’re fully acclimated to recruiting/HR technology and laws?
  • What about your recruiting policies? Have you looked at them lately? Do they need updating to reflect the changes you’ve already made – and will make?
  • Are you reaching out to passive candidates? Yes, you’re probably able to choose among the best-of-the-best unemployed candidates now. But this employer’s hiring market will Connecting with – even hiring – passive candidates now so that they’ll return your emails later is a wise move.
  • Even if you’re not hiring now, keep in touch with the unemployed professionals reaching out to you now. After all, someone who contacts you even though there’s no current job opening is someone who is assertive, a hustler. Probably someone you might want on your team someday!
  • If you’re not already staying in touch with former candidates and passive candidates, invest in some regular email outreach (newsletters). If you’ve texted in the past, keep texting now. Regular communication now – even though you may not be recruiting – will pay dividends when you are.

Good candidates will become “hard to find” again

By taking the time now to look at what is and isn’t working in your current recruiting process, changing it as needed, and continuing to communicate with candidates past, present and possibly future, your company can create a great sourcing, recruiting, onboarding, and communication process now, ensuring that you’re ready for the future.

Are you getting ready for a big hiring push in the near – or far – future? Partnering with a recruiting firm now can help make that process run smoothly and effectively when you need it.

Contact Helpmates to learn how we can help with your recruiting needs now and post-COVID19.

Workplace Change: Constant and Disruptive

If there’s one thing employers and their workers can count on is that….they can’t count on much. What was there yesterday is gone today. Co-workers, clients/customers, technology: they all change.

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Change always has been with us, of course, but the rate of change today is unheard of (some are calling it “exponential”) and when it happens in the workplace it’s extremely stressful, resulting in fatigue, depression, illness, low morale, and….decreased productivity.

How often does change occur in the workplace? Gartner, a business research company, said in 2018 that the pace of change in business has accelerated considerably over the past 10 years, with the average organization undergoing five major changes in as few as just three years.

Helping Workers Deal with Change

The first – and critical step – to helping your employees cope with workplace change is to let them know that changes are coming. This sounds like a no-brainer first step, of course, but not all businesses tell workers of impending change, or they don’t give them time to process the fact.

Additional steps:

  • Before making the change, acknowledge the old way of doing things. “Formally” make note of the work done the old way, celebrate successes and help your team members feel appreciated for their previous work. Celebrating helps workers feel encouraged about taking on the change.
  • Be sure to explain the why behind the change and make it clear why the change will be happening now and not later.
  • Let employees know the outcomes you expect with the change.
  • Be sure your management teams understand how the change will be implemented, when, the tasks necessary to make the change, its timeline, and any challenges you anticipate.

There Will be Push Back

Your employees will complain. They will balk. They will be stressed.

It’s not true that people don’t like change, it’s that we don’t like change that we think isn’t to our benefit! To counter this, you need to understand the change from your employees’ perspective.

What could people be fearful of? They could be worried about loss of status or job security, fear of the unknown, fear of failure, politics within your company, etc.

Bottom line: you will need to carefully and over time (a few weeks) help your employees understand how the change will actually benefit them, both as a company and – especially – as individuals.

For example, if the scuttlebutt you hear is that members of your team are worried they may lose their jobs, emphasize that they’ll be learning new skills.

Keep Communication Open

Let your employees know they can go to managers and executives with questions and concerns. Reward the behaviors you want instead of punishing those you don’t. Make sure managers have the training and resources to help their team members make the transition.

Finally, provide coping strategies to employees: encourage them to exercise, eat well, get enough sleep. Make it a part of your company culture to take regular breaks that include stretching, walking around the block or even within building, maybe even meditating. (Could you provide quite places for this?)

Workplace Change: a Force for Good?

Done well – and that entails creating a plan well in advance of any large organizational alterations – change in your workplace can empower your employees as it (re)engages them with the work you do/services you provide. It can, basically: reenergize your workplace!

Do you need some help – whether temporary or long-term – during a time of workplace change at your company? Helpmates can provide you hard-working temporary personnel for a day, a week or months. Contact the branch nearest you for more information.

Retention in a Recession: Not Much of a Problem?

More and more economists say the U.S. is getting closer to a recession: as of about mid-August, most were predicting its start in early 2021, possibly even some time in 2020.

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No matter when it comes, a recession is coming: they always do, same as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. It’s a modern natural economic cycle.

Therefore, because it appears that one will be wending its way to us in a few months, what could it mean about employee retention?

Many people believe retention won’t be a problem. After all, recessions always mean more firing and less hiring, so employees “would be foolish” to leave a company when “every” company appears to be letting people go and not hiring new ones.

And this may be true, especially in the beginning and middle of a recession, when layoffs are rampant and the unemployment rate creeps up.

Recessions Always Come…And They Always Go

When the recovery occurs – and it definitely will – many overworked, tired, and stressed workers may start looking elsewhere: this is exactly what happened in the economic recover after the Great Recession (December 2007-June 2009).

In addition, if you weren’t a manager, hiring manager, CEO, or recruiter during the last recession, you may not have experienced how hard it was to find great employees, even though (as the link above states) companies (during the recession) were “reporting receiving as many as 1500 or more resumes in response to an ad on the national job boards. ….[Yet] we continue to hear the same message ‘where are all the good candidates?’”

What’s more, your top employees – the ones you kept during one or more layoffs – especially may decide to look elsewhere once the worst of the recession is over.

(Note: this also could benefit you, as you could end up hiring dissatisfied employees looking to leave their employer, what this post-Great Recession/2009 article dubbed a “turnover surge.”)

Bottom Line? Looming Recession or Not, Pay Attention to Retention!

Filling needed vacant positions is costly no matter how well the economy is performing. After all, recession or no recession, the current serious talent shortage will remain. Which means if you keep your top employees during a recession but let your second- and third- workers go in a reduction in force, you may wish you’d kept at least your second tier folks. Why? Because it could be quite difficult to find even good “B” players (see “where are all the good candidates?” above).

Helpmates can work with your managers and members of your HR team and create a workforce management plan that keeps productivity humming at your company no matter if the economy expands or contract.

Give a shout out to the Helpmates branch nearest you for more information.

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