As we are all settling into social distancing and staying home, the country is seeing companies enact plans to respond and try to mitigate the damage from the ongoing pandemic. Due to massive hiring initiatives, some of our large grocery sector clients are experiencing an almost 700% increase in the number of applications being submitted, compared to the weeks leading up to the mandated stay home stay safe rules. Conversely, some of our other retail clients are going the other direction with plans to lay off staff and close their brick and mortar locations. For those that are not hiring, client application submissions saw around a 200% decrease. As these staffing plans play out to respond to the crisis, does your organization also have a plan to enact when the crisis is over?
This pandemic has shown how essential the hourly workforce is - a fact that Cadient Talent has long recognized. With this at the forefront, companies need to develop a talent acquisition plan now for life after Covid-19. The big X factor is “when” and that can come at anytime as we are all learning new details about the virus daily. While most would agree we want that “when” to be ASAP, what if it comes a lot quicker than expected? Is your company going to be prepared to hire new employees fast, train them properly and staff stores adequately? Readiness to do so will be key.
Are you a hiring manager in the retail, restaurant or hotel industries and is your plan to simply rehire the staff you had to let go over the past several weeks? If so, you may be blindsided by the fact that many of your workers have taken jobs in the grocery and healthcare industries and may not want to come back. On the flip side, there will also be millions of people looking to work again. Your company will need strategies to deal with both scenarios. Does your talent acquisition software have specialized features to help hire better hourly workers fast? There are best of breed solutions on the market designed to hire hourly workers for evergreen jobs. It will not go unnoticed by the consumer if your business is understaffed and not ready for the potential influx of crowds caused by pent-up energy and eagerness to get out and shop when restrictions lift.
Develop your plan now before you need it. While organizations will formulate their plans differently, here are some actions that all businesses can take.
· Leverage your employees’ networks to find candidates quickly with an employee referral program. Is your current plan automated, used by your employees and efficient? Referrals are one of the best ways to recruit quickly and increase retention of top talent.
· Keep the lines of communication open with laid off employees. Update them frequently on the status of your industry, business and hiring plans. Keeping in touch with former employees will increase the likelihood they’ll come back to work for you when needed.
· Decide how you are going to market open jobs and which channels you will use. Sourcing analytics will be a big help here. Make sure you have the resources available to hire swiftly and utilize your talent acquisition software to its fullest. This should include partnering with your client success manager to gain insight.
· Develop other plans to quickly find and compete for top talent such as hosting pop-up job fairs or offering signing bonuses. Don’t let your competition grab up the best candidates while you are stuck in the planning stage.
When the time comes, with a well thought out plan, your organization will be as ready as possible to deal with the grand re-opening of the US economy after Covid-19, and for future situations that are similar in scope.
Stay ready. Stay safe.