If your organization was hiring before the pandemic, attracting quality talent to fill open positions may have been one of the main challenges you faced. The low unemployment rate certainly made the competition to hire the best talent expensive and intense. And while it may appear that rising unemployment rates would favor employers who are hiring, recruitment is still challenging. Some of these challenges are new, but old challenges also remain.
The recruiting process: The standard recruitment process has changed. While many companies relied heavily on in-person interviews prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, the last several months have forced many organizations to adapt their recruiting process to a virtual environment, at least in part. Companies who are just beginning to embrace technology as a part of the recruiting process need to establish procedures and protocols that are efficient and create a positive experience. While this part of the process has evolved, companies still need to ensure that their job descriptions and postings attract the right candidates.
The orientation process: It has been our experience that the first 45 days of employment are critical to building rapport between a new employee and the company, their supervisor, and their peers. Beyond that, it can take 6-8 months before a new employee feels s/he is making a contribution to the company’s success. This is why orientation is so important. For companies that are performing all or most of their operations virtually, this is another area where the process may look different, but the goals remain the same. New employees and their supervisors need to have clear, reasonable, and aligned expectations, and new employees will need training to be effective in their new roles. Providing them with short term goals is important to keep them engaged, prevent them from feeling frustrated, and help them to feel part of the team.
Ongoing challenges: So what hasn’t changed about recruiting during this pandemic? First, it is still vital that the applicant screening process is thorough yet efficient so that candidates who may have overstated their experience and qualifications, or who may not meet the position’s minimum requirements, can be eliminated early. Second, for those highly desirable candidates whose skills, knowledge, and abilities are closely aligned to the position you are trying to fill, instability in the job market may make them hesitant to change employers (fearing they will be the first to lose their job in the event of a reduction in force). Make sure that you authentically represent the position and your company so they can make an educated decision regarding a move and don’t later feel they were a victim of “bait and switch.” Finally, another thing that has not changed is the cost of hiring; bad hires cost companies money. The US Department of Labor estimates that hiring the wrong employee can cost a company at least 30% of that individual’s first-year income.
Having an agile and efficient recruitment, onboarding, and orientation process is vital in order to face these challenges head-on. Companies still need to ensure that their candidates have a positive experience, and outsourcing your recruitment efforts might be the answer for you. We welcome the opportunity to speak to you about your company’s recruitment needs and how we can help you.