How The Coronavirus Is Changing Hiring And Recruiting Going Forward
I had a long conversation with the CEO of a manufacturing company that is looking at rehiring laid-off workers and finding new or better talent to fill the roles as he plans to open up soon. He said, “In my 60 years, I’ve seen good and bad economies, but this recession is going to have a long-range impact on almost all US businesses. Our online business helped us keep going, but I have laid off 70% of our 600 workers. I’m feeling uncertain about who should come back. I know that we likely will lose some people, we’ll drop some people, but my HR Director says recruiting is going to be a very tough job going forward.”
The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a seismic shift in the way many companies operate. “The fallout will fundamentally change recruiting and hiring practices long after the pandemic has passed,” says Jack Whatley, (website www.humancodeofhiring.com), a recruiting strategist. He is known for creating successful employer recruiting and branding campaigns that deliver highly-qualified job applicants.
“Safety and job stability are at the top of mind for the job seeker now – and that changes what they want in a job. Businesses will have to become employee-centric as well as customer-centric,” states Whatley. “Employers must be cautious in determining who to bring back to the workplace,” Whatley noted. “Employers will need to have a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for choosing which employees to rehire.”
More and more employers are reporting that they won’t be hiring everyone back. Those unemployed people just sitting this all out now collecting unemployment but passively waiting are making a mistake. (See Forbes article: Why Waiting To Start Job Hunting Will Prove To Be The Wrong Strategy.) The job market is changing underneath their feet along with the hiring process.
Employers are searching for new talent, while others have eliminated jobs that are now permanently gone. As a result of this disruption to everyone’s lives, workers will reevaluate their careers. Where are they going to go from here? What industry should they go into? Where will they have a more secure future? Needs have changed. Attitudes are different. Workers now worry about a stable paycheck and their ability to pay their bills.
What employees want now
Whatley discussed the human needs that he feels are a critical part of hiring. “Most people think money is the most important thing to consider when choosing a job. But it’s not the only factor in the decision-making process for job applicants to say yes to your offer. Now, a job hunter’s BS detector is going to be on super high mode because they don’t want to make a mistake and look like a fool by choosing to work at the wrong company.”
Jeff Rohrs, CMO at Jobvite a recruiting software company, reported in their annual survey that 81% of job seekers say company culture is very influential in deciding on a new job. How an employer treats employees will continue to impact whether new people want to work for that organization. In addition, career growth was deemed slightly more important than compensation when evaluating a job opportunity. In going forward, Jobvite’s survey states that 69% of people will still find jobs using online job boards, but 45% find positions through friends, 42% through social media i.e., LinkedIn, and 31% through professional connections.
Whatley has identified three items that top talent are looking for in a job that potential employers will need to address. Those things include the:
1. company’s compensation plan
2. company’s culture
3. company’s values
These are tangible factors that future employees will look at before deciding who to work for. And to secure the top talent, employers will need to communicate these things effectively.
“Recruitment is all about relationships. The human element is how companies will make the best impression on their potential candidates and create a lasting impression about the company as an employer,” reports Whatley.
Going forward, companies will need to streamline the process. “If the recruiting process gets backlogged,” Whatley says, “it causes problems for your current employees and an under-staffed company. It becomes frustrating for them, because they’re forced to work overtime, and the big workload kills morale and increases turnover.” The need to hire wisely will be the focus. Many organizations will need to determine whether they can hire quickly too.
“Most companies look at hiring people as a transaction – they need to fill a seat,” Whatley says. “They place a job posting and fill the job. In the new world, that will no longer be the case. To get the best talent, companies will have to engage people sooner, more thoughtfully, and put a higher priority on what employees’ value most in a job.”
Both Whatley and Rohrs agree that job security is going to be a hiring key to employees moving forward. Baby Boomers and current managers want employer stability too. Many managers have taken pay cuts, sacrificed bonuses this year, and saw their budgets dramatically reduced. They say they are grateful to still have a job, but some say they too will start looking as the country reopens.