Recruiting in a Pandemic: What HR Needs to Know

HR recruitment process

The pandemic has changed many aspects of the workplace, including the recruitment process. Hiring and onboarding new talent are more challenging with social distancing measures in place, especially if the majority–or the entirety–of your workforce is working remotely.

Furthermore, finding the right talent amidst a pandemic is not as easy as you may think. While it’s true that millions of working adults lost their jobs when the pandemic hit, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s much easier to find the right candidates. Why? Because remote work means that applicants are no longer restrained by physical location when looking for jobs. Moreover, there are a lot of other companies that are hiring remotely, and just like you, they are also looking for the best talent.

That said, how can you recruit the right people amidst the pandemic? Here are some strategies that can help.

1. Modify your ICPs

The shift to a work-from-home set-up entails the need to modify your Ideal Candidate Profiles or ICPs due to the changes that come with remote work, the use of new technologies, and the challenges that come with a non-physical workplace. Hence, your pre-pandemic ICPs may be a lot different from your ideal candidate now.

For instance, your new ICP characteristics may include the ability to work remotely with minimal supervision, knowledge in specific areas like ServiceNow security systems, and the capacity to resolve problems efficiently given the current situation, among many others. By modifying your ICPs before looking for candidates, you have better chances of finding the right talent for the remote positions you’re looking to fill out.

2. Communicate your company culture

Now that workplaces are going virtual, it’s impossible for candidates to get a glimpse of the company culture if you don’t clearly communicate it to them. They no longer have the opportunity to observe the workplace while waiting for their turn at the interview, and if you think about it, their first impression of the company can largely determine if they are a good fit in the culture or not.

For this reason, employers must make it a point to communicate the culture to potential candidates by focusing on the values you uphold, such as communication, teamwork, and collaboration, especially the cultural elements that you want to improve or maintain during the pandemic.

Free coffee, office parties, and happy hours no longer matter to candidates–they are looking for a company with a healthy culture, even in the virtual space, as well as values that align with their own. So if you want to attract the best talent, you have to make your company culture a main focus during the interview process.

3. Use technology to your advantage

The entire hiring process is going to be done virtually, so you might as well take advantage of new technology to make recruitment easier. Examples of useful hiring technology include applicant tracking systems, hard and soft skill testing software, and of course, video technology for conducting virtual interviews. There are so many technologies that you can choose from, and the best part is most of them are free or are relatively inexpensive.

4. Think about your onboarding process

The onboarding process is another aspect of recruitment that is going to have to change now that your company is working remotely. And since there are many crucial things involved in onboarding, hiring managers must:

  • Ensure that new hires have the hardware, software, and supplies they need to work remotely
  • Teach new hires how to use communication tools, file-sharing applications, and other necessary programs
  • Arrange regular meetings with new hires and their team members
  • Accommodate questions that they may have to help them assimilate
  • Provide a task schedule so that new hires can work independently even when their supervisor is not online
  • Conduct a virtual welcome party for new hires

5. Use social media

Apart from recruitment websites, social media platforms can also be great sources of qualified candidates. Using Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn can help you get a wider candidate pool by using hashtags and posting on recruitment groups. Moreover, using social media as a hiring tool can help you engage with candidates much easier than when using recruitment websites, and in turn, candidates can learn more about your company by browsing through your content.

Finding great talent is tougher now than ever before, mainly due to the social distancing constraints, but also because of the high competition between companies trying to find the best people for their ranks as well. Nevertheless, hiring personnel can adapt to the new challenges by making the appropriate changes, using the right technology, and continuing to find ways to make the hiring process more efficient.