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Successful recruiting in a post-coronavirus world

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on recruitment. The lockdown and isolation policies mean that many businesses have been forced to shut or downsize. Mass layoffs and a significant reduction in working hours across many industries have meant that most recruitment has also been put on hold until the crisis ends.

But remobilisation is starting, and the future looks very different than it did before. The steps businesses need to take, today, to adapt and avoid losing out on top talent and continue to strengthen their employer brand will determine their survival in the ‘new normal’.

Here we point out a few things that a successful post-Covid HR & recruitment strategy should look to incorporate:

Get ready for interviewing online

A considerable number of candidates are going to expect to be interviewed online. Seeing this in a positive light and embracing the benefits should be the first thing you do. Offering the option to interview from home in a familiar environment will be well received by all parties involved in the process. Most companies do a terrible job preparing managers and executives to hire effectively via remote interviewing, and while help is out there, some work will be needed to put candidates through an in-depth workstyle and personality assessment.

Address flexibility and remote working culture

Flexible working and the option to work remotely used to be considered incentives – however, these are now requirements. Which means you need to be prepared to manage employees that are operating in this way. From an business owner’s perspective, renewed attention to their wellbeing and mental health will become fundamental in successfully running a remote workforce. The rewards? Well, we’ve been working for many years with people who have chosen virtual working as a profession, and we’ve seen that this has not only made them happier, but created more engaged and more passionate professionals as well.

Actively look to reskill your workforce

The skills needed for the post-Corona workplace are going to become an important factor in your future hires. The entire workforce has been impacted by Covid-19 and the resulting trauma has left huge gaps. It will not just mean adapting, but also, given the new reliance on virtual working, developing employees with more critical digital and cognitive capabilities, social and emotional skills. Customer and client demand will be unpredictable for a while, and ensuring that your team is prepared – i.e. with the ability to work autonomously, and to adapt to rapid change – will be key.

Develop a long-term focus on recruitment strategy

Company culture in general, and very likely your own business’s identity, will change as a result of Covid-19. It’s up to you to determine if the ongoing situation will bring your employees together or drive them apart. This will require a solid large-scale strategic approach to planning how you want your workforce to look. At PA Business Support, we focus on recruitment that supports our clients’ long-term plans, and have partnered with many businesses to create more deeply engaged and flexible workforces. We genuinely feel that this kind of expertise can really help make the transition smoother and less traumatic for a successful business, especially one coming out of lockdown.

Become a new kind of leader

Company culture starts from the top. A global crisis such as Covid-19 strips leadership down to its most fundamental element: making a positive difference in people’s lives. Empathy has already become an essential attribute during lockdown, with all of us exposing our personal lives (e.g. those calls at home with your dog and kids running around!) and a need to feel a more human connection during isolation. Therefore, qualities like being a good listener, honesty and humility, which were once simply personality traits, are now the essential skills of a successful post-Corona leader.

Conclusion

Economic lessons from past crises have taught us all that companies must act quickly to build up critical workforce capabilities. However, rushing that transition or playing it by ear can be setting yourself up for a fall. Spending the time to talk through your recruitment strategy with someone who has years of experience doing it, as well as access to an extensive database of highly-skilled professionals, can make sure that transition is smooth and effective. If that’s what you’re after, then get in touch with us – we can help.

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