COVID-19 took us by surprise, leaving millions and millions of people unemployed – including several of my own family members. In the coming weeks and months, many more of us will be impacted or know someone who has been. Amidst the layoff and furlough announcements, there’s been some good news, too. There are employers continuing to hire and some are also increasing their hiring in response to the crisis.
Here at exaqueo, our team is taking questions from HR, Marketing, Communications, and Talent Acquisition professionals at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our goal? To offer support and guidance during this epic disruption. One question we’ve received a few times is:
How can I accelerate hiring efforts when we’re all in the middle of a global crisis?
As promised in the video, here are seven actions curated and organized to help you think through your approach in more detail.
1. Get organized.
Audit your candidate touchpoints and communications, including digital ads, job postings, drip campaigns, applicant tracking system (ATS) candidate communications, careers site, and anything else that’s on auto-pilot. Automated tech is great but now is the time to bring the human element back into the picture. It’s important to revisit all market-facing content to ensure it’s appropriate for the current situation, whether for customers, employees, or candidates. Content within context is key to managing your employer brand and recruitment marketing during a crisis.
2. Focus on HR’s digital transformation.
Human Resources has a real opportunity to take the lead in using technology to ensure talent continuity. We’re working with one client to create “hiring manager tutorial” videos to accelerate the internal adoption of virtual interview technology. Many organizations are putting plans into place to allow for virtual summer internships. Companies are lining up virtual hiring events. What’s interesting here, is HR can also make a positive impact on the company’s bottom line. By moving budget from in-person interviews and career-related travel, HR creates scalable, virtual opportunities that may offer cost savings over time.
3. Contact your service providers.
If you haven’t done so already, contact background check, reference check, medical screening, and any other pre-employment providers to see if and how their processes or response times have changed. This will allow talent acquisition teams to adjust internal timelines and better manage candidate expectations. Some organizations are still requiring pre-employment screens while others are proceeding without in order to hire more quickly. Continue to evaluate necessary processes during this time for opportunities to improve the candidate experience.
4. Be prepared to share WHY and HOW you’re hiring.
WHY do you continue to hire? Are you a retailer or grocery chain keeping food on people’s tables? Are you part of the supply chain helping to keep our stores and hospitals stocked? Are you a tech company trying to meet the increased demand for faster internet or streaming content? HOW are you ensuring the safety and health of your current employees? Your candidates? Update your content, communications, and recruiter talking points to ensure everyone knows and communicates the why and how rather than using breathless language that simply stats “hiring now.”
5. Put your PR hat on.
People want good news, and more of it the longer the pandemic draws on. So share the good news of your hiring—your “why” and the “how”—across your media channels and candidate touchpoints. Is there an opportunity to discuss hiring efforts with your local news? Are their lists and articles you can add your company’s name to? Are there PR opportunities that your Communications team can help uncover and make happen?
There are a number of open-source Google doc lists of companies that are hiring, journalists who are writing stories featuring companies hiring, and LinkedIn posts aggregating who’s #HiringNow. Don’t assume one channel will be enough to get your message out there. Think about all the ways to get earned media in addition to your owned media.
6. Reuse, repurpose, recycle.
Now maybe a good time to review existing content and recruitment campaigns that you can repurpose for a new digital advertising approach (since people are spending more time online these days). Turn internal communications into external ones. Review user-generated content and consider recycling it for a new campaign—that’s in the context of the current state of the world.
7. Build bridges.
Now is a great time to arm your brand ambassadors with content and calls to action to encourage employee referrals. People are looking for ways to help during this time, especially if they can’t be on the front lines. Many of us probably know someone who’s looking for a new opportunity. Help amplify hiring efforts by using the voices of your employees.
On a larger scale, we’re seeing organizations work together; connecting companies who have furloughed employees to companies who are ramping up their hiring. Can your business hire those who’ve been laid-off? Are your employees willing to refer? Though we may be physically disconnected from each other, we are seeing there are many ways to build connections and help others during this crisis.
Whether you’re accelerating hiring efforts now or thinking about the future, these seven actions will help you develop a thoughtful, people-centered approach. If you’d like additional HR, Employee Communications, or Talent Acquisition support in response to the coronavirus pandemic, we have several free resources you can download right now at exaqueo.com/covid19. And, if you’re looking for strategic advising and a customized approach, please contact us.