May 17, 2020

Attracting Employees in the Wake of Coronavirus

The coronavirus has put millions of employees out of work, either laid off permanently or furloughed because of slowed or closed businesses. Large corporations like Disney, Vox Media, and Sephora have laid off or furloughed staff already.  

Even when the economy reopens, businesses may take their time rescaling, which means many people will be without work for a while.

This influx of unemployment is going to shift the job market from employee-centric to favoring businesses as fewer openings mean more competition for jobs. Not only will business owners have more applicants for a position, but the applicants will be more experienced.

Forward-thinking businesses will recognize this time as an opportunity to recruit top talent that may not have once been available. 

If you’re looking to attract new employees to your business in the wake of the pandemic, consider the following.

Beef Up Your Job Descriptions

With more applicants available, you should focus your attention on quality, not quantity. Developing a strong and descriptive job summary is a great step to weed out unqualified applicants early on.

Your job description is the first interaction most applicants have with your business, and it can mean a lot. Not only will it help the person determine whether he or she is qualified for the role, but it also sets the tone for the hiring process and your organization. 

A strong job description can show the applicant that you’re taking the process seriously and can help convince top talent to apply. A lackadaisical job description might imply the opposite and give applicants the wrong impression.

Look at various tools online to find ways to improve your job descriptions. For example, Textio will calculate a hiring score to see how your description compares to others in your industry. It will also identify any potential bias or discrimination in your posting. This insight allows you to post clear, unbiased jobs that attract the right talent.  

Set Up Skills Tests to Qualify Employees

There are multiple ways to reduce bias in your hiring and sort out the most qualified employees. Consider setting up skills tests to assess any candidate that applies. 

For example, a programmer would be asked to fix a few lines of code while an accountant could be asked to label and define different line items on a balance sheet. 

These skills tests can trigger automatically when someone completes a job application for a position. Then, you can take the top test-takers and review their resumes. This step will save your HR team hours of effort and streamline your hiring process.

Work with a Recruiter to Find Talent

If you feel overwhelmed by the number of job applications coming into your inbox, reach out to a recruiter who can filter top candidates for you. 

A recruiter’s job is to find and qualify candidates for open positions at your company. They will learn about your company and its culture as well as the requirements and needs of the position. Then, the recruiter will scour databases and resources to discuss the opportunity with people who fit your requirements. 

They will then sort through the piles of resumes and find the best applicants for the job. This process is optimal if you want to hire someone quickly but don’t have time to work through the resume review process.  

Look for Places to Market Your Open Positions

Websites like Monster and Indeed are great assets for reaching large audiences and growing a significant pool of candidates. However, if you need to hire for a niche position, look for a specialized website. 

Seek out local job boards, industry organizations, and other targeted places to list your job position. While you will get fewer responses, you may get higher-quality applications. 

Testing out these sites can also help you determine their response rates for future job postings that might not be as competitive or niche. 

Be Patient with Your Candidates

Just because you’re hiring doesn’t mean we’re back to normal. There is a lot of unpredictability right now as people try to navigate life amid a global pandemic. Therefore, businesses recruiting and hiring talent need to be patient and understanding.

Candidates have unique circumstances and responsibilities that may delay or distract them during the hiring process. Being aware of these hurdles and allowing your candidates to be flexible with the hiring and onboarding process will go a long way in retaining top talent.

Describe How You Took Care of Employees During COVID-19

If there is one question many of these available candidates will be asking of new companies, it’s “what did you do for your employees during the pandemic?” 

Many of these candidates worked for businesses that left them high-and-dry with minimal notice or support during the coronavirus. As such, they are going to be hyper-aware of company culture and crisis management when looking for their next jobs. 

Be prepared to answer this question during the hiring process and highlight any steps you took to protect and support your employees.

If your company took proactive measures and tried to help employees, brag about it. Show how you care for your staff and the type of company culture you have. This selling point will attract more people who want to work for your company because of its values. 

The coronavirus has certainly affected most employees and businesses negatively. However, thriving businesses or opportunistic companies can use this time to recruit top candidates who otherwise would be disinterested in switching jobs.

 You can use this time to rebuild and grow your company by finding more talented and skilled employees. If you’re looking to attract new employees in the wake of coronavirus, consider the tips mentioned above.

About the author

Derek Miller
Derek Miller
Derek Miller is a writer specializing in entrepreneurship, small business, and digital marketing. His work has featured in sites like Entrepreneur, GoDaddy, Score.org, and StartupCamp. He’s currently the CMO of Smack Apparel, the content guru at Great.com, and a marketing consultant for small businesses.

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