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Closings. Curfews. Corona. How to Keep in Touch with Employees

Danielle McClow
April 13, 2020

You know the meme: 2019 Couch Potato = 2020 Superhero. It’s an upside-down world now where staying home means actively “doing something” for the world.

While these are (cue the media lingo) “unprecedented times” and “unchartered territories,” we can hold on to one truth – we will be stronger for it.

Every day I see headlines that make me want to crawl up into a ball: “Curfews.” “Closings.” “Corona.” But I also see headlines that make me smile and encourage me to hold on to hope. We have Girl Scouts donating cookies to essential workers and teachers, family members doing drive-by happy birthday songs, and novice seamstresses fashioning masks for healthcare workers. We’ve stepped up our game for the betterment of society and the hope that it will lessen our house arrest. Click here for 10 inspiring stories that will restore your hope in this weird time.

But what really has me excited is what I’m seeing in the business world. I’m a marketer. I pay attention to the nuances of words and the overall vibes an organization puts out there to sell their product. And today, smart businesses are focusing on their employees.

While they can’t control external factors, corporations can control their brand presence and are figuring out what it means to function in this “new normal.” A big part of that is staying connected to current, furloughed, and prospective employees. To get it done, savvy employers are looking to recruiting software to help them out.

The easiest way to do it is to use mobile recruiting software. These mobile applications range in what they are and what they do. Today, the products that are changing the game are solutions that can:

Keep communications fluid and consistent with text apps powered by HR

Automated text message campaigns from a HR department help to socialize new safety and health requirements, updates, and procedures. This keeps current employees informed and protected. It also is an effortless way to notify employees about office closures/openings, org updates, and any other need-to-know information.

By integrating text message campaigns with an existing HR system, employers can rest easy knowing that every employee received the info. Also, they can tell Legal to chill because employees can always opt-out, if needed. HR departments are scrambling to get real-time data to their employees that are on a job site or working remote; this is a simple way they can set up messages and then deliver them to their teams quickly and efficiently.

Maintain a strong connection to prospective and furloughed employees

If you’ve gotten a delivery this week you know that the retail business model has shifted into high-gear, high-volume hiring. But what about those companies like Marriott that have furloughed most of their worldwide staff? At some point hoteliers will need those workers back on the job. How do you stay in touch with these workers (and in their good graces)?

Sending text messages and email campaigns help keep prospective and furloughed employees updated on hiring statuses and open roles. Employees are eager to get back to work, so they’ll really appreciate the updates —even if it’s just to say, “We’re still waiting on government guidance.”

While no one likes to see a good employee leave, chances are that some of an organization’s furloughed employee base will move on to new opportunities. Maintaining connections with interested candidates, even during a hiring freeze, can fill candidate pipeline for when the time comes to fire up the recruitment engine again. It’s a win/win for your employees and your business.

Overall, as a person who works for a company that helps organizations hire top talent, I’ve seen that organizations who show that they care about the safety and well-being of their employees are the ones I remember and want to do business with. I’d wager that how a corporation responds to COVID-19 today will set the tone for how their brand is perceived in the future.

You can see how some of iCIMS customers are hiring (and staying connected with furloughed workers) here.

Need more resources on virtual recruiting and how to maintain a strong connection with your workers during this global pandemic? Then check out our webinar: Connecting to Your Essential Workers on the Frontlines.


woman on phone - connecting to your essential workers on the frontlines


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