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Hiring During COVID-19

Although it feels the job market has been put on hold because of COVID-19, there are still a number of companies actively looking to add staff. They’re facing a logistical challenge never experienced before as well as uncertainty around the economy as a whole. Below are a few tips that will help to land the best talent in the market.

  • Make upfront assumptions about the process. Moving jobs, in general, is stressful. Moving jobs with so many unknowns in the world is even more stressful. Establishing the interview and onboarding process upfront gives the candidate some sense of stability. It’s safer to assume that the entire interview process will take place remotely as will onboarding. This avoids the feeling of a changing message from the candidate’s perspective. The “Let’s see what happens” approach regarding start-dates or interviews just adds to the uncertainty everyone is experiencing.
  • Expand the interview roster. One of the toughest parts of interviewing remotely is being able to get a feel for the firm’s culture. If a normal interview process involves having candidates just interview with the hiring managers, consider expanding the roster to include direct peers. Additionally, consider a “virtual social event” with broader members of the company to allow the candidate to further establish a feeling for your company’s culture.
  • Talk about the health of your company. Under normal conditions, it’s not easy to motivate an individual to leave a stable job.  Given the fallout that COVID-19 is having on the global economy, there should be a very clear message about the financial strength of your organization. Companies currently hiring should be very direct as to why the job is open, how their company is doing and why the candidate should feel a high level of job security as well comfort around any targeted year-end compensation.
  • Have a clear plan for onboarding. Starting a new job can cause some anxiety. Starting a new job remotely can be downright daunting. It’s a good idea to have a direct conversation detailing exactly how the remote onboarding and training will transpire. Candidates need to feel they’ll still be set up for success and will have the proper support to help their transition. Any certainty will be well-received during these uncertain times.
  • Stay actively involved through the transition process from a candidate’s resignation through their start date. Even in a normal market, this period is a danger zone for counteroffers and second thoughts. When you add in a global crisis and a very normal human reaction to seek stability, you have an elevated risk of losing your candidate to fear. Stay in contact, continue your message of why you’re excited to bring them on board and constantly re-emphasize your company’s financial health to quell any doubts that may creep into their thoughts.

The Point: Despite the fact fewer companies are hiring, it’s still very challenging to hire top talent. To put your company in the best position have a clear plan, communicate it from the beginning of the interview process and remain very engaged with candidates.


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