Entering the eleventh month of the declared Covid-19 pandemic, we are already quite clear that this is a totally new challenge to the job market and recruitment, for its prolong and permanent impact. As predicted by experts, the pandemic itself can last to a maximum of five years, if not interrupted by any other new emergence. So, do we really think we can just treat it like every time before with measures taken previously? The answer is maybe not.
You might now want to consider both the immediate measures and also the long-term adjustment plan suited this new norm. It is not our tradition to be bold and taking drastic move when encountering challenges of any kind, it could be a painstaking process. But who knows, the difficulty for now will not be our momentum to plenty of future opportunities?
1. Grabbing Talents
Right before the outbreak, you had your company fully set up and SOPs for every situation at hand, whatever crisis came by you knew exactly what kind of procedures to be applied and most of your staff just need to follow suit. However, right after that outbreak point, the order of the world had shuffled a bit, new setups and future planning are therefore unavoidable. Before the point, most or all of your staff can be followers and things work just perfect, but now you might need a few more talents or leaders who can think and act differently to be in your office, in order to help out the system rebuilding process.
These talents are most often the grade A workers who had pioneered new trends or developments in their field or industry, who are rarer species and thus highly sought after in normal days. But now the pandemic offers two conditions where you will have more excess to these potential employees. First is that some of them are from the seriously affected sectors and of course the heavily struck industries, notably from the hospitality/catering, tourism/travel, media/publishing, and health & beauty care industries, as recorded by the recent JobStreet survey. Another condition is reported by the same survey, which is the fact that a lot have to work from home now with their job happiness obviously dropped. This could be the right time for you to hunt or fish for potential candidates as they have more free time stuck at home waiting for opportunity.
2. Hunting & Fishing
Hunting is to find and approach potential employees by any means, while fishing is to do your company branding well so that applicants can find their ways to you.
If you do not plan to leave your head hunting task to professional recruiters, you might need your internal recruiters or hiring managers to conduct recruitment research, so to ensure that you only recruit high quality candidates. This is of course more costly and required staff with this kind of expertise, but the recruitment can be more successful since your internal recruiters have a deeper understanding on the particular needs of the vacancies and hiring departments.
The fishing task is about to be attractive enough through creativity and quality of recruiting materials such as your company website, write-ups of recruitment advertisement and so on. When doing this, do keep in mind your massages should be clearly conveyed. Since Malaysian companies usually are more conservative in doing their branding or promoting their company cultures, this is going to make your company truly stand out. Our unemployment rate had reached new high but when you search the term “job” in Google Trend, you will find a plunge of number of searches by people in the middle of March right at the onset of the MCO, it then resumed in June and gradually declined to remain at a lower average if compare to the past five years data. The same happened to the US where a high unemployment rate is accompanied by smaller pool of candidates. At this moment, to be able to give confidence to the job seekers is becoming even more important.
3. Filtering through a Mass of Applicants
Wow… now what, when others stop hiring at all, you are having trouble to handle a high volume of applicants. Those who will face this problem are for example from the logistics, medical supplies related and e-commerce sectors. You are lucky to be in these flourishing sectors but to efficiently filter out and match up applicants to the vacancies is no other than real challenge. Besides relying on recruitment sites and human recruiters, try recruiting software too if your company has a really high demand.
4. Adjust your Hiring Process to a Remote Style
Work from home, online meeting, virtual event… what else? The omission of “remote hiring” from this new norm is just unacceptable.
Imagine anytime there can be a movement restriction launch and your scheduled interviews with, let say, 50 candidates have to be cancelled and rearranged. Or in a worst scenario, one of your interviewees is diagnosed and the whole office has to go into isolation for two weeks.
If remote hiring still sounds alien to you, no worries because you can always learn it through an online virtual course!
The changes may be overwhelming for now but in a long run, you will be able to enjoy the convenience and having cost saved from the new system. Good luck, recruiters!