Your Guide to Hiring Workers During a Pandemic

By Alex
January 15, 2021

We often hear the phrase “new normal,” which is a sort of acceptance that the world has changed and that we need to get used to it. Living with COVID-19 as a constant threat has impacted every aspect of life. That includes the workplace and recruitment.

Success will depend on how businesses adapt to this change. Hiring workers, attracting talent, and retaining talent while ensuring employee safety is all at the heart of surviving the economic downtrend associated with COVID-19. It’s noteworthy that even after the COVID-19 pandemic is over, there will be many changes that the workforce will want to retain

In this article, we’re going to give you a guide about hiring workers during the pandemic. You’ll be prompted to consider not only the safety issues but the wider strategic choices that’ll affect the operation of your business as you bring on new employees.


Light Touch Recruitment

Typical recruitment processes can be time-consuming and cumbersome. Many businesses are adapting to a more agile and leaner approach to the recruitment process so that they can fill needed positions more quickly. Whether you can imitate such practices will depend on the industry you work in and your employee turnover.

Virtual interviews are a game-changer in overcoming previous limitations of time and location. Using well developed video-conferencing platforms enables meaningful interactions with potential candidates.

In some ways, if a candidate can ‘connect’ with interviewers and present in a way that stands out while using a virtual platform, this adds a layer of screening that’s arguably superior to in-person interviews.

Many businesses are moving their recruitment operations online. They’re deploying a wide range of technology tools to enable that. This includes videos that explain the recruitment process.

Some are using electronic signatures for application forms and various consent forms. Using focused questions more closely aligned to the necessary competencies in the job descriptions is also a good idea.

Remote Working — Previous Experience

If you’re hiring employees, then you’re wise to consider how remote working fits with the job description. If employees don’t need to be in the office, then there are many advantages to allowing them to work from home. In fact, for many people, this is one of the ‘good’ things that has come out of the pandemic.

People are used to working at home and they even prefer it for a whole host of reasons. That means when potential employees are looking for positions, they want to clearly know what the remote working arrangements are. So, if you want to attract interest, you need to develop your job specifications in such a way that the remote working terms are clear.

Not everyone is well suited to working from home. It takes discipline and also competence in using online collaborative tools for communication and ensuring productivity. When you access the applicants’ resume, look for experience of remote working and any measures of success while working from home.

It stands to reason that people who are already experienced with home working will be able to hit the ground running. They’ve already developed the personal attributes needed to be productive while at home.

One measure of success might be how long they’ve stayed in a previous position. Lots of brief jobs may indicate they struggle to deliver when working in a remote environment.

COVID-19 and Safety

Your business needs a clear policy on managing COVID-19 health and safety considerations. These employee guidelines need to be closely informed by the national guidance. This is not only to protect your existing employees but also to reassure potential employees that your business is a safe place to be.

Employees with symptoms of COVID-19 or contact with someone else suspected of having it will need to self-isolate. You may feel there is an advantage to sending existing employees or even potential employees for testing first. Check out this COVID testing site as an example of what services are available. 

Contractual Considerations

Hiring workers during a pandemic can be a nerve-racking experience. It’s understandable you may have reservations about employing people you haven’t met in person.

You may want to consider hiring freelancers. This is a flexible approach that you can control. Many freelancers have a lot of experience that you can use.

You could also hire on contract first. If they do well, you can transition to more permanent arrangements. This will allow you to develop longer-term relationships.

Attracting and Retaining Talent

It’s true that there is a large pool of workers out there that you could benefit from. Remember that talented individuals will know their own worth and you will need to make your offer attractive. That doesn’t just mean remuneration in the form of a salary.

Consider other benefits that show you’re a caring company. For example, complimentary delivery services for groceries. Or, a subscription to a wellness app and other such things will go a long way. 

Start Hiring Workers Now 

In this article, you’ve read about hiring workers during a pandemic. As you’ve seen from this guide, you have a lot of options. You can hire temporarily and transition to more permanent roles, or you overhaul your recruitment process so that it’s better equipped for now and the future.

You can be sure that many of the changes that COVID-19 has prompted will be with us long after the pandemic is finished. It makes sense to adapt and integrate some of those changes now. You can read other articles on our site that’ll keep you informed during these challenging times.


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