I know if you are a company of any size right now especially smaller in nature its natural to panic during an unprecedented crisis like the one we are going through with Covid-19. Therefore the first defense mechanism to set in is "button down the hatches" and stop all hiring. Then the next move an organization contemplates is work force reductions and who is expendable. I'm here to tell all the Business Owners and Leadership before you do anything, take a deep breath, pause and reset your mental thoughts. Reacting out of panic is the worse thing you can do!
Now if you are a small business that is barely surviving "living paycheck to paycheck" that is a different story. However the focus of my message is to smaller Emerging Technology Firms who were doing well before this crisis "blindsided" all of us. My message specifically to these firms who have a great technology product or service is step up your recruiting efforts to find the talent you need going forward, and PLEASE PLEASE consider NOT laying off any personnel. How companies react or DO NOT React is being judged by candidates that may consider working for your organization in the future.
I urge you to explore other alternatives to get by for a few months if at all possible. People are your best assets in a crisis, your Employees are your best assets! Your organization invested a lot of time to find and train these people, to panic and let them go will harm your ROI in the long-term. Especially when this crisis passes and business gets back to thriving, you will realize how much you needed them and not having them is impacting business.
RECRUITING vs. HIRING
Now when I speak about step up your Recruiting Efforts that doesn't mean necessarily hiring. Recruiting and hiring are very different functions, let me explain difference. Hiring is actually adding people to your staff where you are paying them salary and taking on the cost of benefits and training. Not much more needs to be said beyond that. Now recruiting, that is a completely different story!
Recruiting can be as little or as intense as you want it to be. The main goal is to engage your audience which is a company's Hiring Profile Avatar on some level. Again this doesn't have to be a full fledged recruiting effort that you would normally conduct when you are actively hiring. It can be as little as reaching out to a handful of candidates on a weekly basis in your niche space that your business normally hires for to say hello and introduce yourself. Let them know what your business does and that you would love to have an open dialogue to get to know them and network. Mention that your company is always on the search for talent with their skill set and even though you are not hiring now, you hope to be in the near future and want to make the connection. You can be even more passive then that if you like. Maybe you send out videos or blogs on some interesting projects your firm has done in groups on Social Media where your candidates hangout.
RECRUITING IS A GREAT WAY TO BRAND YOUR ORGANIZATION DURING A CRISIS
By not "letting up on the gas pedal" with your recruiting efforts during a crisis says a lot about your company to the outside world from a branding perspective. When you are staying active talking to candidates and letting them know about the passion behind the work you are doing, and you plan to continue doing this work past the crisis this will create positive energy and a sense of good will for people about your brand. It shows that your company is strong and refuses to be defined and handicapped by the crisis. More important, your company creates a positive brand image to the outside world that your organization is forward thinking and a place that has big plans for its future.
Steve Rosen-HR Talent Acquistion Strategist