What HR Managers & Recruiters Can Do When They Can’t Hire

What HR Managers and Recruiters Can Do When They Can't Hire Publié le 7 August 2020 Par

As the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have dramatic effects on virtually every industry, the job market continues to be hard hit. Even though Canadian unemployment numbers fell in the past month, shrinking from 13.7% to 12.3%, a major factor was employees who had been temporarily laid off being called back to work. The total number of new hires remains much smaller than this time a year ago, and many companies have even completely paused hiring for the time being. This calls into question what HR managers and recruiters can do when they can’t hire new employees. These roles still have an important part to play, however, in the continued operation and success of a company. There are a number of important tasks that HR managers can do when they can’t hire, including:

  • Rethink the recruitment process
  • Revamp job descriptions
  • Update policies
  • Maintain office community/culture
  • Prepare for the virtual office
  • Keep recruiting

Rethink The Recruitment Process

Many traditional aspects of our work lives have changed dramatically over the past six months, culminating in an unprecedented rise in remote work and work from home roles. For businesses that want to remain successful, change and adaptation are key. The recruitment process must evolve as well in order to reflect the current reality of the job market. Preparing for this future is a very important thing that HR managers and recruiters can do when they can’t hire. The nature of work has changed, and the recruitment process must change to reflect this. Recruiters should prepare to discuss details regarding remote working arrangements, including time tracking, any equipment requirements, workflow programs and anything else that will affect their daily work performance. Job candidates will want to know what a company has done to adapt to the crisis, protect employees and ensure that they are still being supported in the workplace.

Revamp Job Descriptions

One simple way that HR managers and recruiters can improve the recruitment process is by revamping job descriptions that will be featured during future recruitment campaigns. The old days when hiring ads consisted of a simple job title, one or two line description and a phone number to call are long gone. During the recruitment process, power has now dramatically shifted in favour of the applicant, and 70% of job seekers now view job benefits to be essentially as important as salary. HR managers and recruiters now need to make a real effort to appeal to qualified candidates, and job descriptions can be an effective way to do so. While it is still important to include information like the job title, basic responsibilities and salary in a job description, now is the time to expand it to feature more about the additional benefits that matter to job seekers. These include health coverage, vacation days and sick leave, work environment, flexible scheduling options, and other benefits that will make a workplace more appealing to a qualified job candidate. Does your office feature a shaded rooftop patio that’s the perfect spot for lunch? Include this in the job description. Job seekers want to know that they will be happy on a day-to-day basis, not just content to know they will receive a salary.

Update Policies

The daily reality of work has changed for millions of people, and human resource departments need to change as well in order to meet the needs of employees. Policies regarding office structure, performance and conduct must be updated to include guidelines for the virtual office. These are new types of working arrangements, and HR managers and recruiters need to work with employees to craft policies that will still protect and support employees, even as they work remotely in different locations. This process includes research, consultation and implementation strategies, and takes time in order to be performed correctly. This work is important, and will ensure that these HR policies will be in place to support new employees when hiring is again possible.

Maintain Office Community/Culture

Corporate culture and workplace community are vitally important to the continued success of a company. Multiple studies have demonstrated that building a culture based on respect, support and collaboration makes for happier employees, better work and a strong work environment. Team building should be the goal of all office leaders. This becomes much more difficult, however, when employees are working from home. It is possible to maintain a strong corporate community and workplace community while working remotely, but it does require concentrated effort. HR managers and recruiters can spend this time reaching out to employees, ensuring people feel supported and seen, and arranging virtual activities to maintain the team bond. Organizing a virtual happy hour to celebrate a colleague’s birthday, for example, is something HR managers and recruiters can do when they can’t hire that will help keep a work team together.

Prepare For The Virtual Office

The transition to working from home was sudden, and required hard work and patience from everyone in order for offices to adjust to this change. Now it’s clear that remote work will be the new normal for a sizable number of businesses in different industries and fields. This change will also affect human resources departments and the recruitment process. Preparing for the virtual office as a long-term mode of work is different than the short-term change it appeared to be at first. HR managers and recruiters can work to create a virtual office that is organized with a smooth workflow, with a system in place for collaboration and support between employees. This way, when hiring for new roles can be resumed these new hires can be quickly trained and onboarded, and be able to step into a functioning virtual office and get to work as soon as possible.

Keep Recruiting

There is more to the recruitment process than just hiring. Proactive recruitment is an ongoing process to identify potential candidates who would excel in certain job roles. Even if these job roles are not available right now, collecting resumes, cover letters and profiles is a very important thing that HR managers and recruiters can do when they can’t hire. New job boards are far more interactive, allowing for customizable profiles, candidate scoring and automated sorting, all of which needs to be reviewed and analyzed by experienced and knowledgeable recruiters. This way, once a company is prepared to resume hiring there will already be a robust database of qualified candidates who can be contacted.

With many businesses laying off staff and attempting to deal with the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, it may feel like there is little impact the human resources and recruiting departments can have on the current situation. Fortunately, there are still several important tasks that HR managers and recruiters can do when they can’t hire. This will ensure that their office will continue to function well and work teams will remain supportive as remote work becomes long-term, and will put their company in a position to hire the most qualified job candidates once hiring can safely resume.

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