Hiring During the Coronavirus Pandemic
It’s a strange time to be a recruiter or hiring manager. It’s a strange time to be a human being for that matter. Over the past few weeks, we’ve had to come to terms with just about every part of our lives changing due to the outbreak of COVID-19. Nearly all jobs are affected by the coronavirus pandemic, but the hiring process has become especially unclear. Social distancing and shelter-in-place mandates have made it impossible to meet with job candidates and we don’t have a clear answer on when things will go back to normal. We hope this guide will help you navigate recruiting and hiring in these difficult times.
The New Hiring Landscape
In the months before the pandemic, the job market was extremely favorable for job seekers. In fact, the US unemployment rate in February 2020 was a staggeringly low 3.5%, the lowest number in fifty years. Recruiters had a hard time filling positions with quality candidates and businesses struggled to retain their top employees.
Fast-forward just a few weeks later and we’re living in a very different world. Although some industries are experiencing a hiring boom, the coronavirus outbreak has already caused millions of Americans to lose their jobs or have their hours significantly cut. In the third week of March alone, an estimated 3.4 million Americans filed for unemployment, per the US Employment and Training Administration. That number alone represents 2.2% of all jobs in the country. The unemployment rate ballooned from 3.5% to 5.5% in one week. It’s the largest spike in unemployment in history.
So, what does that mean for the hiring landscape? Obviously, there is going to be a lot more competition for jobs moving forward. That means there will be a lot more applicants for each job posting on average, so recruiters and hiring managers will have their hands full assessing candidates. But having more applicants isn’t a bad thing for your business. The job market did a complete heel-turn overnight and instantly became an employer’s market. A ton of previously inaccessible talent is now available, so hiring managers can be a little pickier with their hires – if they know how to properly evaluate candidates.
How to Source Candidates During COVID-19 Pandemic
Candidate sourcing is probably the part of the hiring process that’s been hurt the least by the pandemic. It’s already done almost exclusively online. Obviously, job fairs and recruitment events are off the table now, but it’s business as usual for online job boards like LinkedIn, Indeed, ZipRecruiter, Built In, and JobFlare.
If we had to offer one piece of advice, it would be to allow any new positions you’re hiring for fully remote. The thought of going into the office, even months from now, makes people feel uneasy. Job seekers are open to remote positions now more than ever. Plus, hiring remote means millions more potential candidates!
How to Conduct Interviews During Coronavirus
The standard interview process has been completely turned on its head by the COVID-19 outbreak. The initial phone screening interview is pretty much the only part of the process that hasn’t changed. You’ll have to get used to conducting your entire interview process without ever meeting candidates face-to-face. The best way to adapt is to use video conferencing software like Zoom, GoToMeeting, Cisco Webex, or Microsoft Teams. Make sure you provide your candidates with clear instructions on how to install and use the software. You’ll also want to check that you have a solid internet connection, as well as a high-quality webcam and microphone.
How to Onboard New Employees Remotely During Coronavirus Quarantine
Remote onboarding of new hires isn’t ideal. Training can be more difficult because it removes all elements of hands-on learning. Plus, it’s much harder to make the newest members of your staff feel like part of the team without them meeting anyone face-to-face.
Tips to Make the Remote Onboarding Process Feel More Natural
- Provide your new hires with an onboarding schedule and training syllabus in their welcome email.
- Have IT set up your new hires with accounts for video conferencing, email, and workplace chat.
- Make sure new hires have a good work from home workspace.
- Start each day with a video conference call with your new hires.
- Demonstrate tasks in real-time by screen-sharing during training sessions.
- Assign exercises and projects to complete between training sessions.
- Ship your new employees custom merch to make them feel welcomed.
- End the work week with a video happy hour.
Finding the Diamonds in the Rough – Identifying Smart Applicants with Limited Experience
The jobs most at risk during the coronavirus pandemic are jobs that are either entry-level or don’t require higher education or experience. That means there will be a lot of job seekers out there whose resumes don’t exactly fit your job description. But that doesn’t mean that those people wouldn’t make fantastic!
Relevant experience and formal education only get you so far. Intelligence, aptitude, persistence, determination, and character separate a good employee from a great one. That’s why aptitude tests and games are the single best predictor of job success – more than experience and education.
How We Can Help
These are difficult times for everyone, especially those tasked with hiring. JobFlare is here to lend a hand. Using the JobFlare app, candidates can showcase their cognitive ability through game-based assessments that measure intelligence and aptitude for free. Candidates get two scores from playing our brain games – an achievement score and an ability score. The achievement score tracks game progress and the ability score measures attention to detail, focus, memory, vocabulary, communication skills, and numerical prowess. As an employer, you’ll have access to both of these scores for our entire userbase through JobFlare Connect! The ability score is the best predictor of workplace success, so you can use that as an additional data point when ranking your applicants and deciding who to interview. You can even view scores for users who have not applied for your job posting.