Ep. 15 – 6 Ideas to Ensure Productive Recruiting During Covid-19

The coronavirus crisis is an unprecedented event that has sent shockwaves through virtually every industry in the world. It has affected the way we interact, the way we work, and—especially relevant to us—the way we recruit and hire.

Most of the businesses we encounter have seen a major shift in hiring in one of four ways:

  1. Not Currently Hiring: The organization is struggling and unsure if it will continue to be viable, let alone hire new employees (e.g. the restaurant industry).
  2. Hiring is On Hold: The organization is still viable, but hiring is on hold due to future uncertainty.
  3. Continuing with Key Hiring Only: The organization is still hiring for vital positions but has slowed down less essential hiring.
  4. Drastically Increased Hiring: The organization is hiring with more intensity and urgency (e.g. the healthcare industry).

Although these situations are drastically different depending on your industry and geographical area, all organizations (but particularly those that are experiencing a reduction in hiring) should now be planning for how they will maintain a strong position or even come out stronger on the other side.

These are our 6 steps to maintaining and strengthening your hiring process during the coronavirus crisis:

1. Keep Candidates Informed of Your Current Hiring Situation

What you do now will impact how candidates view your organization in the months and years to come. They’ll remember the organizations that were kind and considerate, and they will remember which were unsympathetic.

That’s why, as soon as possible, you’ll want to update your job listings to reflect your organization’s current hiring status. If hiring is on hold or your interview process has changed, let candidates know through your various channels—including your career site, newsletters, email signatures, and of course, the job content itself. You may still find it worthwhile to collect contact information so that you can email candidates once hiring resumes. However, now is not the time to have candidates complete lengthy applications if they will only sit in your pipeline for the next few months.

2. Use Social Media to Stay in Touch While Social Distancing

While it may not feel like it now, sometime in the future the quarantine will end, and when it does, you’ll want to ensure that your organization is still in a strong hiring position.

More than ever, social media will be an essential tool to maintain your organization’s online presence and ensure that your candidate base keeps you in mind even if you’re not actively hiring. (Remember, as many people find themselves unemployed or working from home, we’ll likely see an uptick in time spent on social media.) And yes, people don’t typically turn to Facebook or Instagram to find a job, but it is where they tend to spend a lot of time passively consuming content—including any important information that you need people to see.

You can use your social channels to communicate your current hiring situation, post relevant industry information that complements your employer brand, or just to let people know that you’re still around and ready to resume hiring as soon as it’s safe to do so.

3. Target Newly Available Candidates for Hard to Fill Positions

Workers have been hard-hit by the coronavirus crisis, and we’re now seeing a new base of recently laid-off candidates that did not exist a month or even a couple of weeks ago. That’s why, if you have a particularly hard-to-fill position that’s been sitting vacant for a prolonged period, now could be the time to find someone who fits that need within your organization.

Do some snooping into which companies may have recently laid off a large volume of employees or areas of the country where industries have mostly shut down. This is where you’ll find some of these skilled candidates who were not previously available. Also, reach out to existing talent communities to make it clear that your organization is still hiring and to drive those candidates to your CRM.

4. Boost Your Employee Referral Program

If your organization is like most, it’s likely that you’re in possession of a largely untapped and underutilized recruiting asset. We’re talking, of course, about your own employees.

During this time, many people are searching and applying for jobs across industries, and you may want to target those candidates who have not have previously considered your organization as an option for them. That’s where a strong employee referral program can make a difference. Industries, particularly those involved in industries like healthcare, should encourage existing employees to utilize their connections to help bring in fresh talent for support roles and other in-demand areas.

And the best part of an employee referral program? Even if your advertising dollars are frozen at the moment, you’ll still be able to proactively bring in new candidates.

5. Update Your Company’s Job Board Content

Now more than ever, qualified candidates are flocking to job boards like Glassdoor and Indeed to find the information they need to make important employment decisions. They’re turning to your company’s profile page to learn more about your culture and benefits. They’re reading reviews in the hopes of finding honest opinions on the details that matter to them. Finally, they’re scrolling through Q&As to answer their relevant questions. That’s why you need to make sure they’re finding the most accurate information possible.

Especially if hiring is on hold for your organization, now is the time to respond to reviews, answer frequently asked questions, and update your company profile. These are simple steps that often get neglected in the usual hustle and bustle of hiring but are eminently vital to attracting the right people.

6. Use Self-Isolation as a Chance for Self-Evaluation

It seems like everyone has lofty goals for self-improvement while they’re stuck indoors—from learning new skills to finally getting in shape. Why not apply that mindset of self-improvement to your hiring processes and infrastructure?

It’s likely that you’ve found yourself with a bit more bandwidth as hiring slows down, and although 2021 may seem far away, using this extra time to prepare will give you a better chance to plan your expenditures for when things return to normal. Take this as an opportunity to catch your breath and focus on the big picture projects that will benefit your organization in the long run. For example:

  • Career Website: Does my career website work to entice, educate, and engage your candidates?
  • Technology and Software: What software and technology are currently supporting your pipeline development, and is it effective?
  • Media Spend: Are you getting the best value for your media budget?
  • Competitive Analysis: How does your online hiring presence (website, social media, job boards, etc.) stack up against your competitors?

The coronavirus crisis has impacted us all in often drastic and unpredictable ways, and it may be some time before businesses are able to resume hiring as normal. However, in the meantime, there are steps that all organizations can take to strengthen their position and make themselves more competitive in the future.


At S2E Solutions, we consult with businesses to enhance their recruitment marketing strategies, utilizing the most powerful technologies and the most experienced people to help you attract your next great hire – fast. Contact S2E Solutions today for expert insights—all the way from strategy to execution.

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