Our world has changed quite a bit in a short period of time. As employers work to create their workforce and recovery plans, they should not overlook establishing a revised process for their recruitment and selection efforts. The candidate experience should be top of mind when recruiting for talent in the COVID-19 era. These six tips will help your company be set up for success:
- Treat the candidate as your customer. Establish messaging throughout the process to stress that the safety and wellbeing of employees is a top priority for your organization. Update your job postings, your career webpage, and include talking points in your interview to showcase what your organization has done, and is doing, to support employees during these challenging times. Partner with your marketing team to align this messaging with your brand.
- Leverage technology. Utilize technology, such as phone screening and video conferencing in place of in-person interviews. Explore “on-demand” video interview options, which can enhance the candidate experience by allowing added flexibility to the process.
- Clearly communicate in-person meeting expectations. If you conduct an in-person interview as part of the final stage in your selection process, ask the candidate what would make him or her comfortable and share your meeting plan with the candidate in advance. Clearly communicate the safety measures that will be taken:
- Will the candidate be required to complete a survey or have his or her temperature taken before entering the building?
- Ensure the meeting room is large enough to allow for social distancing.
- Eliminate panel interviews and invite additional interviewers to join via video conference.
- Sanitize meeting rooms between meetings and encourage use of hand sanitizer upon entering the room.
- Replace handshakes with a thumbs-up or head nod.
- Assess your preemployment screening. Connect with your third-party vendors who facilitate your background checks and preemployment physicals/drug tests to understand how their services may have been impacted by the pandemic. Are they experiencing delays in their turnaround time? Do they have different protocols in place? Check in regularly with your vendors and ask for updates. Determine if your organization will continue to require such assessments or temporarily suspend these aspects of the selection process.
- Take onboarding virtual. Gone are the days of inviting all new hires into the conference room for a half-day new employee orientation meeting. Send employment paperwork and forms in advance for completion from home. Create videos that can be viewed remotely, to introduce your leadership team, mission, vision, and values. Consider recording a short video from HR to review the employee handbook. Utilize video-conference technology to bring new hires together to answer questions and cover other mission-critical information.
- Monitor for results. Check employer review sites (i.e., Glassdoor) and monitor comments on social media. Check traffic on your career page.
Keep in mind that it is considered a best practice these days to show realistic images of your workplace, either on your company website or on social media. For example, it is encouraged to use images of people practicing social distancing and wearing masks. Images and or videos that demonstrate what your organization is doing to keep its people safe during the pandemic is an important part of your message and your brand. Your Brand = Your Reputation as an employer!