Oct 14, 2020

5 Tips for Managers hiring Post COVID-19

The job market has changed during 2020, so how you hired this time last year, is possibly not the best approach right now

Back in June, we wrote a blog for our clients who were asking ‘Is now a good time to be hiring?’ Our answer was emphatically, YES if you can. The upheaval of 2020 has created some wonderful opportunities for businesses to pivot and for talented candidates to re-apply their skills and breathe innovation into new industries.

However, the job market itself has changed dramatically during 2020, so how you hired this time last year is possibly not the best approach right now. Getting it wrong potentially adds hours to your screening and shortlisting process, means you fail to attract top talent, or worse, overlook your ideal candidate.

Here is the top advice we are giving to our clients right now.

  • The rise in application numbers doesn’t mean more quality. This varies dramatically by role and industry of course, but it’s important to consider. You must still be diligent in your process. 
  • Many roles are attracting more candidates than usual. Therefore, it’s key that you have a relevant application form to help you screen. Think about the ‘must-haves’ vs the ‘nice-to-haves’ and frame your questions in a way that quickly identifies that.
  • Ensure your advertised job title is SEO-friendly. Remember that the number one ‘job board’ today is actually a search engine – Google. This means you must have the right keywords, otherwise, your advert won’t turn up in a job seeker’s search. Is your ideal candidate searching ‘HR Officer’ or ‘Human Resources Officer’? Knowing this can make a BIG difference to the success of your campaign.
  • In areas where restrictions have lifted, companies are looking to grow again and we are actually seeing MORE ads in the market now than this time last year. This means there is greater ad competition, so you need to focus on WIIFM (What’s In It For Me). A fatal mistake is thinking that because the unemployment rate is up, there are lots of candidates out there, so you can deliver a lazy/uninspiring/poorly-constructed advert.  Don’t be fooled: the same rules apply – the best people apply for the best ads.
  • Reference checks are still critical. “I lost my job due to COVID” doesn’t necessarily equal a reluctant redundancy. Unless their previous employer closed altogether, a manager made a decision on who to let go and who to keep. There may well be underlying issues, so make sure you question well at the interview stage and delve right to the root cause. We recommend asking the specific question, ‘Did your role get made redundant?” rather than simply accepting ‘I left because of COVID’ as an answer.

Assisting clients with interview questions, application forms and writing good job adverts is what we do. Our approach blends technology and good, old-fashioned human expertise to make hiring easier. If you are a small-medium business or organisation who doesn’t have the budget for a big recruitment agency but still wants the best possible candidates, let’s talk.