How to Adapt Your Hiring Plans in a Crisis

If, in light of current events, recruiting has taken a back seat for your business you’re not alone. For many trying to get through the Covid-19 crisis and the resulting lockdown means that hiring new team members and expanding the business has taken a temporary back seat so that they can focus on business as usual, taking care of employees and making sure the business can weather the storm.

However, the storm will clear. We all know that bad times don’t last forever. While your hiring plans are quite literally on lockdown, you’ll need to think about attracting talent again (hopefully) soon. While you’re remote working, you’re saving time that would be spent commuting and business may feel slower than usual while the world gets back on its feet; so there’s never been a better time to think about your hiring strategy and plan for when brighter days do come. While filling specific roles may not be a priority right now, there are certain things you can do to ensure that your business is ahead of the game when business is back to normal.

Here are our tips for adapting your recruitment strategy. Ensure that when the time is right, you’re ready to bring the brightest and best people to your business to ensure that you stay a step ahead of your competitors.

Over the next few weeks we’ll be going into more detail about all these topics, so watch this space as we help you to prepare for a future of talent attraction.

Identify areas to grow

All recruitment strategies begin with working out what roles you need to fill and where. Even when you aren’t thinking about a specific role, this is still essential. Take this quiet time as an opportunity to create, or re-evaluate, long-term plans.

Map existing talent in your organisation to gain further insight into available skillsets, as well as to identify areas where your business may be lacking. Take a look at your competitors’ company structure and the services they offer to identify areas in your business which may need improvement. This will help you to plan for training and expansion when the time is right.

Look at your industry, think of what is changing. It’s unlikely that you’ll have this much time to think creatively about your business again, so make sure you take full advantage. This is a time to innovate and think for the future. And as you have more downtime, lockdown is the perfect time to ensure that your strategic plan for the business and talent strategy is aligned. Do you plan to undergo a digital transformation to take your services to the next level? Then you’ll need to ensure you have the best tech and digital talent to take on the challenge.

Don’t get bogged down in specifics

Contrary to traditional recruitment processes, an uncertain time is not the time to plan for filling a single specific role. Instead, it’s time to think big. Review the skills you’ll need and the type of people you’ll need to fill them but don’t limit yourself to a single role. Sometimes an individual can be multi-talented, other times it may be that there’s scope for an entirely new department. Restricting your recruitment plans to a few specific roles will narrow your thinking and when it doesn’t look like you’ll be actively hiring for the foreseeable, why limit yourself?

You can work on the specific roles needed when it comes to crafting your job descriptions and advertising; until then there is potential to discover roles you didn’t even know you needed so do your research and keep an open mind.

Analyse your employer brand

You could also use this time to review your employer brand and how you’re perceived by potential employees. Your employer brand refers to how candidates and people that could work for your business view you as an employer; in a time of crisis, this is your time to shine.

Showcase how you’re supporting your employees on social media and shout about how you’re helping the wider community during these uncertain times. Caring employers are a priority for so many people, even the already employed may consider leaving jobs for a more conscientious business. So many organisations are receiving negative publicity over how they’ve treated staff amid the coronavirus crisis, and this will come back to bite them when the situation returns to normal; use this to your advantage.

While recruitment may not be your priority right now, if you focus on building your employer brand during this lockdown, it will make attracting talent much easier when it is a focus for you. Do people want to work for you? If not, what can you do now to change this, so they do in a few months? Think about your benefits package, consider making working from home a more permanent solution and work out how to become an employer of choice.

Develop the pool

Although hiring specific individuals may be off the table, it doesn’t mean you can’t register their interest. Jobs may not be open at your business until you reach a state of stability, and candidates understand that. However, it doesn’t stop you from collecting the details of interested individuals and preparing a talent pool that you can dip into as roles become available. Having an easily accessible pool of ready-to-apply candidates means that you’ll save money, time and resource when you do recruit. Talented people will be ready and waiting for you!

Use social media, landing pages and email campaigns amongst other strategies to attract and nurture your talent pools. Then the second a position becomes available; you will have applicants at your fingertips. Remember to cast a wide net to ensure that you’re attracting a diverse range of people; diversity will help to drive your business forward and open you up to new ways of thinking.

Change the candidate experience

If you are lucky enough to be in the position to recruit over the coming weeks despite the lockdown, then it’s likely that you’ll have to make changes to your traditional interview process in the interest of everyone’s safety. The majority of companies have adopted a remote working strategy and so remote interviewing comes as no surprise, especially when we’re only allowed to leave our homes for essentials. Phone and video interviews are about to become a lot more commonplace so make sure you’re confident in using any video interview software to avoid any embarrassing slip-ups.

Candidate experience is more paramount than ever as all companies are trying to tempt the best tech talent and individuals that will push the business forward through these challenging times. Downtime for the business created by global lockdown is the perfect time to refine the candidate experience so that lengthy applications, clunky processes and ignoring candidate enquiries become a thing of the past; this will only strengthen your employer brand.

So, there you have it, a global crisis may not be the perfect time to recruit but it is an ideal time to plan for the future. Use your lockdown wisely!

Talent Works offer a wide range of recruitment services from outsourcing parts of the process to helping build your employer brand. We use insight, knowledge and industry experience to help you create a robust recruitment strategy that will be ready to implement as soon as your business is ready.

Keep an eye out for more blogs on how to use recruitment services and strategy to plan for the future once the COVID-19 pandemic is over.