During COVID – 19, many businesses face uncertainty when it comes to recruiting.  Should I hire?  Should I wait and see what will happen?  Should I hire on a temporary or contractual basis? Those are undoubtedly tough decisions to make. Even the most well-prepared company that does risk analysis or continuity planning probably did not have a virus as the number one threat that would disrupt their recruiting plans and practices.

Suddenly you are wondering what to do with your open positions. Some companies may go on with business as usual, but others may have to adjust their recruiting forecast. Whichever side you fall on, below are some best practices to consider as you navigate recruiting during COVID -19:

  1. Communicate your recruiting position – If you are lucky enough to continue or increase your hiring, share it with potential new hires. Use social media, current employees, and industry journals to get the word out. Help candidates find you. If you find yourself putting positions on hold, communicate that to potential hires, especially those who were in your recruiting pipeline.  If you place a temporary hold on recruiting, be creative, and have your marketing team create a message that resonates with your current landscape but gives hope to those desiring to work for you.
  2. Guard your brand – How you treat candidates during this time will influence the perception they have of your organization. Remember, you are dealing with a person, and behind every person is a family and a career. If you are hiring, continue to recruit to the highest ethical standards. If you find yourself laying off, help your employees, as much as possible, find new opportunities. Perhaps this is a time to team up with other hiring managers or companies or look to career transition services and recruiting professionals for help. Your ex-employees can be some of your best brand ambassadors, if treated well.
  3. Hire early retirees – Companies are offering early retirement packages, and many employees are taking them. Early retirees are looking to remain active in the workforce, while others are looking to shift careers. Please do not neglect the experience they can bring to your workplace.  Try thinking differently. Invite early retirees with different industry knowledge into your organization.  You may be tempted to overlook people who do not have your direct industry experience, but they can bring their desire to do meaningful work, as well as practical problem-solving skills.
  4. Offer flex or telecommuting work schedules. COVID – 19 has shown that many more employees can effectively work from home.  A policy does not have to be all or nothing – remote or in-office – it can be a combination of both. This allows for arrangements where candidates do not have to relocate for opportunities but can travel periodically during a month and still maintain their home base. It will help to position your company as family-oriented and environmentally friendly, and it can help with diversity and inclusion initiatives.

In summary – communicating your hiring position, guarding your brand, hiring early retirees across various industries, and revisiting your telecommute policies are recruiting practices that may need addressing because of COVID-19.

Shaunna Tyus, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is a human resources recruitment and retention consultant specializing in helping organizations create a workplace culture that results in increased employee happiness, productivity, and retention.

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