4 Ways to Shift Recruiting Strategy During COVID-19

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May 5, 2020
This article is part of a series called COVID-19 Coverage.

Over the past few weeks, the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has undoubtedly impacted all aspects of modern business practice. In fact, according to Gartner, it’s estimated that as many as 88% of organizations have either encouraged or required their employees to work from home – numbers that are indicative of a first-of-its-kind virtual workforce around the world. What’s more, some industries are experiencing an increase in demand for workers, and they are working hard to hire – aggressively. Just consider grocery chains, pharmacies, companies that provide technology to enable virtual work, and, of course, hospitals.

For recruiters and HR managers, this newly formed virtual working environment is bringing up challenging questions: How can you find and attract top talent when you’re not able to meet them in person? How can you quickly shift recruitment strategies in line with the company’s priorities for the new normal? Here are key insights that can help recruiters build their talent pools and strengthen their teams through this unprecedented and challenging time:

1. Expand your talent pool faster and get personal

Video conferencing matters now more than ever before in a world where you may not be able to meet people in person for many months. You will be able to attract a higher number of passive candidates due to the fact that candidates would not have to take time off from their work to get to the interview location and will be more motivated to interview. This flexibility in a candidate’s schedule expands your pool of passive talent and speeds up the interview process.

In the video interview, it’s now possible to get personal because candidates are now in their home settings working remotely due to COVID-19, and these new environments will automatically encourage candidates to become more personal than in a typical work setting.

2. Foster candidate relationships and keep connected

It’s critical to stay connected with prospective talent in order to nurture and build lasting connections. As we all know, recruiting is a long game, and it’s all about your network.

For recruiters and hiring managers, this means staying in touch with potential talent and following-up with them. Particularly at a time when personal connections are, unfortunately, considered to be few and far between, fostering these relationships – even virtually – can be incredibly advantageous in the short- and long term. Thankfully, relationship management tools can be a key resource here, allowing you to send timely, personalized content to candidates on a consistent basis.

Furthermore, recruiters should have a script about hiring during COVID-19 that allows them to consistently share appropriate messaging with candidates, so they know how the company is evaluating its priorities during this time.

All that said, being in constant contact with potential new hires is time-consuming and requires resources that you may not have during the pandemic. To help alleviate stress, you may want to consider digital technologies that HR managers and recruiters can lean on, such as using bots to pre-qualify applications before handing them over to a real person to move them through the screening process. We also recommend using Gem to build your talent community and stay in constant connection with your applicants.

3. Leverage video and social media channels for storytelling

For recruiters, now is the time to share information about the brand using both company and personal social media channels, especially when the opportunity to feature authentic employee testimonials and stories arises through video sharing. At least for the next few months, lack of physical interviewing is likely to make it difficult for applicants to get an accurate sense of company culture – potentially deterring them from moving forward with a position. The ability to provide an online recruitment process that can mimic the experience of in-person candidate experience is key to attracting talent now and in the future. In addition, leveraging social media to post photos, videos, or even short stories that convey a strong brand message, it’s possible to make an impact that goes the distance with prospective candidates.

4. Implement Online Cultural Assessments.

Because everything is online, you won’t be able to bring people into the office to ensure they align with the company’s core values and beliefs. You will need to have additional tools to support your video interviews. Instead, you’ll need to use online assessment tools to ensure that your company’s culture is a match for the candidate. You’ll want to be clear to the candidate that interviewing is a two-way street. At the end of the day, you want the candidate to be sure that the company fits their values, too.

Faced with the uncertainties of the working world today, it’s understandable that our first instinct might be to act extremely swiftly. However, now more than ever before, we should all pause, take a step back, and ask ourselves: What are the ways HR managers and recruiters can add value to the business? How can the initiatives we put in place today lead to expanded applicant pools tomorrow?

It’s our hope that recruiters everywhere will be able to learn new skills, stay connected, and build a network of top talent during this challenging time. As you can see, video interviewing brings core benefits to your hiring process in terms of broadening your talent pools while increasing flexibility in schedules to hire faster and getting more personnel with candidates.

Video will enhance your ability to attract and hire critical talent in today’s competitive landscape. This is an opportunity to incorporate video interviewing and storytelling (brand) along with online assessments into the hiring process to ensure it remains relevant and tuned into the needs of the modern job seeker.

The next great candidate is only just around the corner.

This article is part of a series called COVID-19 Coverage.
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