The coronavirus outbreak has forced entire countries into lockdown. It has had a significant impact on the way companies did business, which, in turn, has affected the process of hiring employees. Employers are compelled to come out with innovative recruiting strategies for hiring employees.
The extended spell of lockdown has also forced many companies to rethink their business strategies, including their operations. More and more companies are embracing the idea of remote or virtual work. This new work culture has greatly influenced the process of hiring employees.
Their hiring strategy now involves searching for candidates who are culture fit for remote work or work from home. Because as companies go virtual, a culture fit workforce is essential to ensure timely delivery of projects. So, let us discuss how companies are adjusting their hiring strategy for hiring employees during the coronavirus lockdown.
Remote hiring and recruiting
The sudden transition to a remote work culture can be difficult for many companies. However, the situation is extremely beneficial for hiring employees. For instance, passive candidates, who are full-time employed with other companies and are now doing work from home, can enjoy more flexibility in searching and reviewing job options from recruiters.
So, employers should formulate a hiring strategy that targets passive candidates, as they will not be under the influence of their parent company. And working from home may have forced a change in their perspective about their current employment.
Furthermore, the pandemic may force several employees to rethink their assumptions about life goals, which may open their scope towards new opportunities. As a result, many in your talent pool might be willing to consider new opportunities.
This is a great opportunity for recruiters and hiring managers to attract the best talent for the team. Plus, the companies also need to make sure that recruiters can keep a constant candidate pipeline. This means you need to equip your HR teams with the right technology to allow them to conduct interviews remotely.
How to onboard candidates and communicate with them during the lockdown
As in all critical junctures, your hiring strategy needs to evolve even during this pandemic. For starters, your company should follow proactive recruiting strategies and try to direct all open candidate conversations into an effective closing pitch for all active candidates. After all, with all the chaos going around, candidates will value a company that is still able to function properly and can inform them about the proceedings in an empathetic and personalised way.
Just a simple activity of inquiring about their wellbeing and sharing their current status can work wonders in developing trust and reliability with the candidates. Small etiquettes, such as addressing candidates by their given name and replying with a personalised note instead of an auto-generated email response, will create a huge impact in the hiring process.
With the pandemic looming large over the entire world, you may need to establish procedures for remote onboarding of employees. Employers who can design job roles and responsibilities that facilitate work from home will become successful in attracting the best talent in the business.
Additionally, as a part of the remote onboarding process, the employers should ensure that they follow the right system by first introducing the new hires to the organisation through online virtual gatherings and encouraging your existing employees to welcome them warmly into their fold. Try to provide a virtual tour of the office to the prospects, or make a presentation to create a positive brand image and enhance the overall experience of the candidate.
Focus on leading performers
The recruitment strategies of a company should focus on hiring industry star performers. According to expert economists, lead performers are up to five times more productive than average performers. The latest survey even rates them at eight times more productive than the average hires. No doubt, star performers come with a heavy price tag, but, the difference is negligible when you consider the boost in productivity which they provide to the business. In simple words, star performers offer good value to your business.
This perception is not limited to a specific sector or industry — star performers are a universal resource. Regardless of your sector or industry, your hiring strategy during coronavirus should centre around attracting and persuading star performers in your industry to join your company.
Your hiring strategy will need to be more effective, especially when you are left with limited resources for hiring employees. You need to marshal your resources accordingly to get you hands on the star performers in the industry. For this, the employer has to develop evidence-based, systematic methods to evaluate the candidates and identify the top performers.
Minimise the risk by recalculating the compensation
Star performers know why they are being persuaded by companies to join them. They know their value, and hence, they will command a high salary even during this pandemic-created recession period. While the extra expenditure may seem small in comparison to what the star performers deliver to the business, there are areas where the offer could be adjusted to lessen the risk associated with an expensive new hire. For instance, you can try to offer less in terms of basic salary and compensate it with bonuses based on performance. Plan to set the bonus payout at predetermined values or benchmarks if possible.
Corporations can even consider the option of offering equity or stocks as performance bonuses and try to seal the deal on the organisation’s profits. After all, equity markets always rise as long as the company makes profits. So, if the organisation is built on strong fundamentals and is poised for good performance, top performers will recognise this opportunity and will try to cash in on the long-term profits gained through equity. A hiring strategy that is based on providing an equity/stock-heavy package to its star employees reduces the cash outflow of the company to a great extent.
Finally, the best hiring strategy during coronavirus is to supplement your existing full-time workforce with “gig” or contract workers, as they will perform well and come with fewer liabilities. After all, you need to get things done. Their initial cost may be higher, but you will save money on the costly benefits that a permanent employee is entitled to. Plus, the liability of the gig worker is limited to the project or time. So, you can ensure better outcomes with smart investments. This doesn’t just save money; it also reduces the impact of hiring a bad candidate. And, you will get your task done within the required timeline.