If your hiring is on pause there’s a silver lining. You now have a chance to optimize all the processes and practices you use to build your workforce, from your application to your reports to your candidate communication.
To learn how to make the best use of this time we called upon our customer Erin Braaten, the Vice President of Human Resources at Rise, Inc. To support the non-profit that provides disability services, an industry where turnover is high, Braaten typically hires up to 200 people a year. This spring her organization went from a workforce shortage and constant job postings and fairs to more applicants than there were jobs. Her team made a quick pivot to virtual interviewing for jobs that were open and caring for their existing staff. With less time needed for sourcing, Braaten’s team then turned their attention to preparing for the future.
Here are three big takeaways from that conversation:
Takeaway 1: If your hiring has slowed or come to a halt, take that time to do “quality of life” projects.
Like so many employers, Rise has drastically slowed their hiring. Her team is instead focusing on cleaning out their applicant tracking software and re-evaluating reports and workflows.
“Our goal is to be able to evaluate a lot of data before we start hiring again, so we can make smarter decisions on spending and recruiting strategies,” Braaten said.
Here are a few “quality of life” projects you and your team can tackle in the pause:
Takeaway 2: When states reopen, and hiring picks back up, prepare for a higher volume of candidates.
The job market has drastically changed in just the last 12 weeks. Organizations who are hiring are seeing a spike in candidate volume. If your hiring has slowed or halted, you’ll need to prepare for when you re-open job opportunities.
“I was in recruiting through the 2008 financial crisis, and the unemployment numbers are much higher this time around,” Braaten explained. “These numbers are going to be much higher. It was a candidate’s market earlier this year, but employers can now be more picky.”
Evaluate your screening questions and automation triggers inside of your ATS to ensure your organization is ready for the candidate boom. Look for opportunities to input automated communications with a personal touch. Evaluate adding chatbots into your recruiting strategy and expanding your candidate communication strategy to include text messaging. You can also use this technology to stay connected to your employees in the field.
Takeaway 3: Keep focused on your employer brand and candidate experience.
Regardless of the number of candidates coming through your system, Braaten says it’s important to keep their experience in mind.
“Your employer brand is your reputation. Even if there’s 400 people applying, you want them to have a positive experience with your brand,” Braaten said.
Keeping in mind that many of your candidates may have gone through the traumatic experience of being laid off or furloughed is extremely important. Inject empathy and compassion into your communications to candidates, as well as your current employees. Click here to for an example of an employee newsletter that works.
Many iCIMS customers have shared some of the ways they are changing up their messaging. In the short-term, organizations are concentrated on ensuring their safety strategy is at the forefront of career pages and employment brand. Make sure to also highlight any great ways your organization has helped the community or initiatives they’ve had for their employees to highlight what makes their company a great place to work.
Learn more about making the most of downtimes and prepare for rehiring in the future. Download our guide to hiring in up and down times.