While the world is “on pause” right now, we’ve been speaking to clients among our community of HR/hiring managers, and we’ve found one thing is certain in these uncertain times: We all have questions on how to best navigate these unchartered waters.
We wholeheartedly believe that this is the time for us to share, collaborate and strategize collectively, so we can come out of this, winning together.
At BlueSky Personnel Solutions, we’ve been in business for 2 decades now, and we’ve had to weather some major storms in that time, such as: 9/11, SARS, and the 2008-09 recession among others.
Of course, nothing prior had risen to the level of a global pandemic, but nevertheless, we believe there are still some principles and best practices from previous crises that can guide us now.
To that end, I recently sat down (virtually, of course) with our long-time marketing partner, Keka DasGupta who facilitated our Q&A discussion on the potentially daunting topic of: Hiring Amid a Global Pandemic.
Our full session is available on our YouTube channel. But below, we’re highlighting 6 key guiding strategies that we can all consider today:
- Keep context, with your eye on the horizon: It’s completely normal to experience feelings of helplessness from time to time during this pandemic as many business processes screech to a stand-still. After this current pause is over though, many standard operations will ramp up very quickly. So, it’s important to keep going now – to do as much of the back-end/leg work as possible, as this can give you a significant competitive hiring advantage in the future.
- Keep cultivating relationships and building your network: Hard-to-find French/Bilingual candidates who are working from home now, have much more availability and flexibility in their calendars to partake in a virtual job interview. Even if your hiring plans are on pause right now, reaching out to candidates to make a meaningful connection, and to “plant a seed” is a very worthwhile long-term strategy. One of BlueSky Personnel’s greatest competitive advantages in the industry is our candidate network, and we practice what we preach every day – calling and having important relationship-building conversations.
- Get creative on solutions with suppliers: When working with third-party suppliers such as recruiters and staffing agencies during these volatile times, take the liberty to brainstorm creative solutions on working together that can produce win-win results. In times of crises, our BlueSky Personnel Solutions team has created flexible fee options for our clients if needed. Some clients may decide to hire on a temporary basis instead of permanent right now to have more flexibility, etc. Good suppliers will be open to adapting processes to better meet your needs along with theirs – you just have to ask.
- Communicate new processes to prospective job candidates: You may be surprised to hear that the #1 question we are getting from job seekers in our outreach right now is: “Do I have to go into the client office for an interview?” They do not want to do so, but worry that that is an obligation. This highlights how important it is to communicate to the jobseeker audience, the changes you’ve made to your hiring processes, to practice physical distancing. These changes can be shared on job postings, social media, and on career-focused areas of your website, etc.
- Over-communicate: For your current team, this is the time to keep communicating with your team regularly, even if there’s nothing to really “communicate.” It is more about offering reassurance that we are all in this together, promoting personal and group connections among a remote team, and being open, transparent and honest, to build trust. Over-sharing in this way helps employees feel like they are more in control of their situation, which can allay their fears.
- Get vulnerable: What used to be thought of as a weak trait in old times, is now recognized as a powerful leadership attribute. Sharing vulnerability during times like these, can be even more impactful at strengthening team bonds. It allows your employees to relate to you, feel connected, and often feel validated in the emotions they are experiencing too. It also shows your team that you trust them enough to open up and share, so they in turn want to do the same.
This pandemic pause is giving many employees a chance to become introspective at home, to really evaluate what is working for them both job-wise and life-wise, and what is not.
We suspect that once these days of physical distancing are over, and once the economy begins to bounce back, many people will be much more open and ready to make moves in their jobs that will better suit them in an entirely new era where “normal” is re-defined.
It will be important for our community of HR/hiring managers to be prepared for when that time comes.
At BlueSky Personnel Solutions, we recognize that your recruitment and hiring needs remain vital for your business continuity amid this global COVID-19 pandemic.
The Ontario government recognizes recruitment as an essential service, and we are grateful to say that our stellar team has been working remotely for years. All of our work can and is being done virtually.
Please contact us today for all of your hiring needs. You can reach us at: 416-236-3303, [email protected].
We look forward to serving you!