Use this Pandemic to Re-focus and Reflect on your Recruitment Efforts
It is an unprecedented time to recruit for new talent, priorities are shifting across the board for everyone. COVID-19 is not a virus that has impacted just one part of the country, a select population of people, or a specific industry and/or company. It is something that has affected all people, businesses, and industries around the world. However, as Recruiters, there are opportunities to show your value during this unique time while mitigating any challenges that may be presented.
Keep Your Candidates Warm
We will not be in this situation forever so start by keeping in touch with your candidates or “keeping them warm”. First, be honest with the candidate. Let them know their current status and that hiring for the time being is on hold (if that’s the case within your business). After a few weeks, check-in on your candidate, ask them how they are doing along with their family. Also consider providing insight into your company’s current hiring status and let the candidate know you will be in touch once normal operations have resumed.
As this is not a typical situation, you may want to reach out periodically to keep you, the Recruiter, and your company top of mind. While we hope this does not occur, should a hiring freeze remain in place, continue being diligent in your communications and as well as being honest about the position and your company’s hiring status.
Collaborate with Your Hiring Manager(s)
Speaking of keeping people top of mind, your hiring managers are just as important. While they may not be actively working with you to recruit for qualified talent, this could change in a moment's notice. Engage with your hiring manager by asking them about the process prior to COVID-19, what was working during the recruiting process, what did they want to improve, how was the candidate pool, which candidates in the pool should be released and/or moved forward in the process, and should the advertisement be updated.
Connecting with the hiring manager is not only beneficial for you as the Recruiter, but also for the hiring manager. Recruiting is not always a priority for hiring mangers and can take a “back seat”, so remaining an active participant will keep the process less reactive and more proactive upon returning back to work.
Stay Connected with Colleagues
Now that you have kept in touch with your candidates and engaged with your hiring managers, how about connecting with your colleagues. During this unique time, the workforce has gone from being in the office and actively engaging with one another on a daily basis to being 100% virtual.
Although you may not see each other physically, many companies have invested in technology to ensure their workforce can work in a virtual capacity. Use these virtual tools to stay connected with your colleagues, discuss recruitment processes and procedures that have been successful and for those processes that have been unsuccessful, look at process improvements. Use that feedback to develop a plan of action and present these findings and process improvements to your manager and/or leadership team. When you present your findings, take the time to look at how you can so improve your processes virtually as well as in-person. Take the feedback you receive from management and determine the best means to implement these changes. As an added step, create benchmarks to evaluate if the new processes put in place have improved any policies, procedures, and/or process.
Upskill with Professional Development
While you have shown your value to your candidates, hiring managers and colleagues, use this time to continue growing your personal brand. Investing in yourself is just as important. Several companies are offering webinars during this time to grow recruitment skills and they could be at no cost to you or your employer.
Additionally, speak with your manager and/or leadership team about potential opportunities to cross train in other areas of your company or to work on projects that may help with internal company growth. Exposing yourself to other areas of your company broadens your horizon to company operations and there for will aid in your having a better understanding when recruiting for positions within your organization. Also, taking on projects furthers your leadership skills for future initiatives.
Grow Your Personal Brand
Outside of taking on initiatives to grow your skillset, grow your brand via social media. Let candidates know who you are as a Recruiter, share your insight and knowledge of the recruitment industry, post articles about recruitment trends and best practices along with articles that promote positivity in the workplace, new legislations, and networking opportunities (although for now, these networking opportunities will be virtual).
COVID-19 has directly or indirectly affected businesses and industries, changing the classic work environment. As a Recruiter, use this moment of pause to reflect on your current recruitment portfolio. Given the decrease of the pace in the recruitment cycle, take this time to find ways to refocus your candidate pool as well as ways to improve professionally as a Recruiter.