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Recruiting During a Pandemic

3 MINUTE READ | May 12, 2020

Recruiting During a Pandemic

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Leslie Baucom

Leslie Baucom has written this article. More details coming soon.

When times become uncertain, the first thing companies do is put a hold on hiring while their teams search to understand the greater impact a pandemic can have on a company. Let’s face it, no one exactly knows the answer, so we are all in these unchartered waters together. As a recruiter, it’s easy to panic, question your job security, and wonder what you are going to do for the next 30, 60, and 90+ days when everything seems to have hit a massive pause button…but should we be pausing? 

Typically with recruiting, all hiring needed to happen yesterday. Our recruiting team almost immediately went from 100mph down to 10mph, and I found myself wondering how to use this time to our advantage. All those great ideas that ended up in the “someday project” pile quickly moved to the frontline. We can all use this time to be proactive, build our network, and maintain transparency about the situation while still continuing the conversations. 

This is a great time for reflection to understand what’s working and what’s not in your current recruiting process. Dive deeper into your candidate survey results and make any changes that need to be made. Stay productive. If you are working in a new home environment like us, it’s easy to get distracted. As a team, keep the Trello communications going by listing out items that need to be done in order to hold each other accountable.  Understand what your evergreen roles will be, and start building a plan to source potential talent for future hiring dates.

Practicing some sort of normalcy is essential to keeping your sanity. Therefore, instead of tossing away hiring goals you had for Q2, let’s modify those goals to be pipeline-driven and set your own targets/metrics for the network you are building. 

“We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right.” 

As we see companies lay off individuals, work to get to know those companies’ landscapes. Do they have a similar tech stack as your current environment? Flag this for future engineering needs. Start your own Google Doc database of those companies that have been affected by the pandemic and build from there. Knowing what’s happening with other companies and how they are handling this pandemic is great insight to share with the recruiting network. Reach out to your employees and communicate your plan of action so they know to keep the recruiting team informed with these industry updates.

My last recommendation is to keep the conversations alive. Everyone is in the same boat. Many companies have halted the hiring process, and passive candidates are probably wary of making a move during this uncertain economic time. As recruiters, we can build the rapport with those candidates now.  Not to mention, everyone’s availability just got a little better working in solitude. Continue operating in the mindset of business as usual. Just imagine — the pandemic has passed, the skies have parted for the sunshine, and you have 15+ people per role because you were resilient amid this time.

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Your hiring teams would be stoked, and so would you.  I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to keep the momentum going. Like Nelson Mandela said, “We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right.” Just because the hiring has gone on a pause doesn’t mean we need to!

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