While the economy has been hard hit with millions of lost jobs, many organizations are still actively searching for good candidates. One of the most common worries I hear is the challenge of recruiting and hiring good candidates in all business sectors. From food services to manufacturing and health care, the frustration is the same. How do we find and hire qualified candidates during a pandemic?
While I don’t have a magic wand, I do have a few tips and thoughts that may help.
1. Get comfortable with technology. I believe virtual interviewing and onboarding are here to stay. Make sure you are savvy enough to trouble shoot problems if you are interviewing on virtual platforms such as Zoom or Teams. If the first five minutes of your interview is like a séance, with people asking, “are you there” you need to step up your game. Fix those technical glitches.
2. Think about creating a quick (1-3 minute) video to showcase your work environment. This can be shown during the interview or you can send it to the candidate with the invitation to interview. How you present your organization says a lot.
3. Squelch the anxiety about people coming to the workplace. Discuss up front the things your organization has done to continue operations during the pandemic. Masks, sanitizing stations, extra cleaning and disinfecting, temperature scanning, etc.
4. Learn to read body language in a new way. Virtual interviewing is an art. You are typically only seeing the person’s face and a bit of their upper body. Stay engaged. It is easy to become distracted with other things if you are not truly engaged as you would be if they were sitting in front of you.
5. Look for new recruiting streams and think out of the box. Have you hosted a “virtual” job fair? A “drive-through” job fair? If you have a large number of positions to fill, these are tools that can get a lot of candidates to you in a short amount of time.
6. Lastly, stay focused. Recruiting, as I have stated before, is not an 8 hour a day position. You should always be recruiting. Did you hear of a neighbor or friend who has been furloughed? See someone at an exercise class who may be looking for a new opportunity?
As business leaders, we have dealt with any number of unprecedented challenges during the past year. Stay the course. I believe the days ahead are much brighter.