No one knows exactly what the hiring landscape will look like in the coming months. When you put a pause on businesses across the board, then re-open, then slow the breaks, then re-open again, and then wait in anticipation for whatever the next phase will be, you're stuck in a muddle of hiring, rehiring, laying off, and shuffling the deck all over again. And how this affects businesses is never the same—many industries dealing in essential services are swamped, while others are seeing a hiring freeze. All the while, recruiters are having to navigate this new, strange landscape.
But when we get to the other side, there will be a new normal. The great shutdown isn’t just a simple pause; it can vastly shift candidates’ and recruiters’ perspectives on the nature of work. What will the new normal look like, what will make it better, and what do recruiters need to focus on now to stay ahead?
Build a Post-Pandemic Pipeline
Right now there is a high unemployment rate, but that doesn’t mean hiring will be easier post-pandemic. Even though many people will be looking for work, the shutdown has caused an economic shift like we've never seen before. Re-opening will come with even more unprecedented shifts as multiple organizations gear up their hiring all at once. Essentially, the hiring landscape will be flooded—with vacancies and people who need jobs too. It won’t be a recruiters’ market, but it also won’t be a job seekers’ market.
In order to stay afloat in this post-pandemic hiring flood, keep your talent pool engaged right now. Be open and communicative about hiring timelines and any new decisions that come from decision-makers that may affect the hiring process for particular candidates. If nothing changes, you should still make sure candidates are in the loop and that you keep the lines of communication open to simply say that things have stayed the same. Any acknowledgment at all will be much appreciated.
How you treat candidates during a pandemic can make a lasting impression—now, even pre-hiring, is the time to make sure you are treating people well. Thinking more broadly, cultivating your brand, and engaging recruitment marketing can still be effective tools during the slowdown because candidates are still searching online, with jobs at the back of their minds. Now is a great time to get (or keep) candidates interested in your organization before the positions are ready to be filled.
There is a lot to consider when figuring out how to keep your organization running during a pandemic. If the plan has to change month-to-month (and it probably will), higher-ups may only be thinking about the fires they have to put out right now. Proactive recruiters will open the lines of communication with decision-makers to prioritize hiring needs in the coming months and draft a comprehensive hiring plan. Much of the vacancies that will need to be filled will already be clear—right now, come up with your list of vacancies in the order you need to fill them so you can make hiring decisions efficiently when you are flooded with positions to fill. You should also get the steps of the hiring process that involve prep work, like the job ad description, ready to go so you can start as soon as a hiring freeze ends.
Gear Up with Efficient Tech
Post-pandemic may also be a time when your organization might need to engage in high-volume hiring, where efficiency gains will be vital to recruiting talent across multiple vacancies before the competition can get to them. Now is the time to make the case to higher-ups for these technological needs—during this hiring freeze, compile the evidence to explain the tech pieces that will assist you most post-pandemic and provide the best return on investment.
For example, a programmatic recruitment platform can be the vital first step of the hiring process to target quality talent quickly. This type of tech will afford recruiters the ability to handle multiple job campaigns at once because it uses AI technology for targeted advertising, budget allocation, and evaluation of job ad effectiveness in real time. Faced with the inevitable heavy workload post-pandemic, recruiters and organizations overall will have the upper hand when it comes to growing their hiring and their business in the post-pandemic economy.