Our recruitment network just completed a survey of our global recruiters regarding trends during these days of the COVID-19 pandemic. What we found is that there is still hiring activity out there, but much reduced from more normal times. Some of this reduction in activity allows recruiters and employers the time needed to hire, onboard, and showcase company culture in a completely new way.
So during a pandemic, the dinner meetings, lunches with prospective new hires and even the basic face-to-face meeting preceded by a solid handshake are things of the past. Good candidates and good matches for open positions are still out there, but the process to find and attract this talent needs some updating.
Industries including technology, health care, and financial services continue to hire even during the pandemic. The challenge has shifted from scheduling face-to-face interviews, to how can one get a good sense of an applicant over video? It is obviously difficult to show company culture even on live visits and tours of an office or facility. But now, applicants might be starting work from home in the initial days of employment. How can you maximize the likelihood that the new hire you started working from home will mesh with your culture?
Ask the hard questions early. Don’t be timid about what is involved in doing the work or fitting with the company culture. Candidates are also going to assess your methods and the information you share. No one wants to take a job that does not fit how they like to work, so offer more opportunities to be direct. Ask them to do more describing of what they want.
Don’t give up on group interviews. They will need to be done via video conferencing, but allowing many to observe and interact will give you clues not possible in one-on-one video chats. Behavioral interviewing is more critical than ever. Good open-ended questions are key. Look for evidence and examples of the answers offered.
Recruiters need to do a better job of describing cultures of their client companies. Employers must get very good at employer branding, talking culture, sharing videos, and conveying the work environment without a live visit by applicants.
And don’t forget the onboarding. Maybe you want to have GrubHub deliver donuts or a sub sandwich to a new hire, so that the team can join them for lunch. Get creative, think of talent like a customer not just an employee. They will need some extra care in the next 12 months to make this work!
What have you seen that is working?