In the wake of COVID-19 global pandemic, we have honored frontline health care workers and essential workers for their dedication during this significant health care crisis.
When coaching leaders, I identify the critical application of proactive leadership during volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous times, which equips leaders to make a huge impact. From that concept, we must bring attention to what will be the next wave of frontline individuals whom I consider the job seekers, recruitment, and human resources departments.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the economy shed 701,000 jobs in March. The job market being described as the worst month for American job loss since the depths of the Great Recession in March 2009. What this means is on the other side of the pandemic (1) job seekers will make every effort to secure employment (2) recruiters and human resources departments on behalf of their companies will be on the frontline for hiring at what I project to be unprecedented levels.
Organizations’ leadership will play a critical role in supporting efforts to getting talent back to work. Leadership actions should focus on putting processes in place to empower their recruiters or human resource professionals to reinvent and adapt to meet hiring needs. Doing so will allow frontline recruiters to be more effective, resilient, and have more of an impact on creating and shaping new hiring processes. Job seekers will be looking to identify organizations that were proactive in preparing and have established cultures where their staff will feel safe, engaged, informed, and useful. Organizations that have prepared for the turn-around in the economy will attract top candidates to uplift organizations back to its normal operations.
Surveys show that recruiting and retaining top talent is one of the key things that keep CEOs up at night; therefore, investing practical recruiting efforts is critical—and that starts with frontline recruiters or human resources professionals in driving the results.
We should not view job seekers or human resource professionals as independent – they are uniquely interdependent. We need to explore and establish opportunities where both groups win. Positive shifts can occur. For example, companies have welcomed out-of-the-box concepts such as going 100% virtual. How can we use this creative thinking approach as we bring talent back to work once things get better?
Call for Action
- Consider how things have changed: Today’s realities are quite different than they were. Be flexible, be adaptive, and be willing to establish positive talent strategy alternatives.
- Transparency: Provide as much access and resources to job seekers. Companies may have created a resources page for COVID -19. Think of creating a job seeker resources page and share more information about the company culture, recruiting process, and specific needs. Create virtual videos highlighting the company’s work environment.
- Over-invest in communication: No one has ever been faulted for over-communication. Be realistic about the hiring and recruitment process but be positive. Consider highlighting how the organization has used lessons of the pandemic to improve its corporate culture, work environment, flexibility, and employee benefits.
- Retain the personal touch: Attracting the right candidates amid so much uncertainty includes finding creative opportunities to showcase your company culture, team dynamics, and opportunities for advancement.
- Find new ways to create connections: Never underestimate the power of relationship and networking. Relationships are critical. As organizations seek to rebound after the pandemic, they may be inclined to consider people who previously applied for a position or people who actively follow and interact with the organization on social platforms such as LinkedIn.
- Remember to be authentic: Build a career plan and make sure it incorporates your unique skills and values. Recognize that the new normal may not be so normal after all. Be flexible, be creative, but at the same time, be extremely focused on your game plan week-by-week and day-by-day. A calm but diligent approach to job-seeking will always produce better results than an erratic process, with many stops and starts. As human beings, we crave the familiar, especially after so much global upheaval. Creating a routine will help keep you calm and motivated.
- Invest in communication: Be deliberate and find ways to be as visible as you possibly can. Create a game plan for frequent communication and communicate with credibility and optimism. Consider incorporating short videos into your social media presence and your online portfolio.
- Manage yourself: Self-care during times of crisis or transition is vital to ensure you stay balanced and to feel and portray the best version of yourself. Incorporate mindful moments or relaxation and recharge moments during the day to remain focused and determined without feeling too overwhelmed. Staying balanced and make time for the people who are most important to you.
Recruiters and job seekers both become the new frontline as the nation emerges from the crisis. The ultimate goal for both parties will remain the same. Job seekers want to work for an organization that aligns with their values and needs and embraces life/work balance. Human resource professionals want to attract and recruit talent who will easily assimilate and who will be committed to the organization and its mission.
We have an opportunity after this pandemic to take our collective experiences to make improvements in our world. Human resource professionals and their organizations should use these lessons to improve the recruitment process so that firms can better identify ideal candidates. Job seekers have an opportunity to find new ways to express and share their uniqueness. Together, we can reduce stress and improve the recruitment process to ensure a win-win outcome for the organization and the job seeker.
Joyce Weru is a Certified Executive Leadership Coach, Thought Leader, and the Founder of Rise Above Coaching. To learn more about her coaching programs visit her website.