With companies announcing mass layoffs, furloughing employees, and hiring freezes, there are still many companies hiring amidst the Coronavirus pandemic. Grocery stores, retailers, healthcare providers, warehousing, supply chain, professional services, and transportation … all hiring to meet the increased demand their industries are experiencing. We’ve seen the public statements, the news articles, and posts shared on social media. But what can candidates expect from employers during these uncertain times?
Are organizations communicating about COVID-19’s impact on hiring and the candidate experience? Are employers anticipating candidates’ questions and proactively providing answers? The exaqueo team reviewed 50 career websites of some of the largest employers in the United States to find out.
Our question was simple: Are employers addressing COVID-19’s impact on candidates via their career sites? What we discovered is that nearly 75 percent of employers are not. (<—Click to tweet this!)
The companies and career sites represented a cross section of industries, including retail, grocery, banking and financial services, tech, food and beverage, hospitality, higher education, and insurance. While some employers are sharing relevant, candidate-centric content and updates via their branded social media channels such as LinkedIn and Facebook, in most cases, they are not pulling a consistent message across to their career sites.
We then took this one step further. In our Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the Employer Brand Industry survey, we asked participants whether their organization has added a COVID-19 statement to their career site. Only 20 percent responded “yes,” while nearly 50 percent indicated “no, and we’re not planning to.”
This is a missed opportunity.
According to the Talent Board’s 2019 North American Candidate Experience Research Report, “career sites prove to be the most valuable channel for candidates when researching an employer, and they’re still the first destination once a candidate has identified an employer and a job.” Employer brand and talent acquisition professionals need to ask themselves:
- How might our candidates be feeling right now?
- What are our priority candidate experience touchpoints?
- What is the message we need to share?
- What is the tone we should take in our messaging?
- What are the questions we can anticipate from candidates?
- How do we best connect our message with our candidates?
- Where is the best place to share our message?
What Can You Do Right Now to Improve the Candidate Experience
Candidates want transparency and information, and your career site is the primary, owned channel where you can offer just that. Those employers that are communicating via their career sites are taking a number of different approaches. Chipotle is a great example of a career site serving up a pop-up message the first time a visitor hits their site. If your career site is hosted internally or externally, talk to your IT partner about a possible pop-up. Progressive is anticipating candidates’ questions and proactively addressing them on an FAQ page. (A page like that can serve as great talking points for recruiters, too.)
These are no-cost, big impact steps you can take, today. Your candidates will appreciate it and you’ll stand out from other employers. At a time when many people are uncertain about their employment or are facing unemployment, there is one place they are going to go when looking for jobs—your career site. Communicating how COVID-19 is impacting the candidate experience will show your transparency and instill trust in the brand, or even alleviate some of the anxiety job seekers are feeling.
You don’t have to navigate this time alone. If you are looking for additional resources on how to respond during this crisis, visit exaqueo’s knowledge share page. You will find key resources for HR and talent acquisition and contact our crisis response center for customized support.