Post-COVID Hiring Roulette: Get Your Game On

After a long and stressful 2020, workers are stressed out and burned out—and they want new opportunities. And they’re no longer willing to settle. Companies are struggling in a huge way to fill positions, and candidates are few and far between.

Pandemic Burnout. It’s No Joke.

If your company plans to continue a remote or hybrid option, you may find it easier to retain your employees. If your company is mandating a return to the office and expecting business as usual—think again. After a stressful year filled with COVID, lockdowns and kids’ remote learning, workers are re-evaluating their priorities, and many are willing to walk away from a job.

The days of companies wooing candidates with fancy coffee bars, office Segways and other perks are long gone. In 2021, pragmatic is the name of the game. Employers need to be tuned in to candidates and their newly minted desires for flexibility, career advancement, benefits and money!

Employers: Do Your Homework

The good news: candidates are open to new opportunities given the looming “My employer is expecting me to go back to the office at the end of the summer.” The bad news: candidates post-COVID are picky. Very picky. They aren’t jumping at just any opportunity.

When you get a candidate on the phone, be prepared to ‘WOW’ them—sell the opportunity and the company. Most important, paint a picture of how they will fit into the team and company culture.

To maximize your company’s chances of attracting and getting those acceptance letters from candidates, Newbold offers the following tips for employers:

Permanent Positions:

  • Be open about your company’s return-to-office policy. If your company requires employees to be onsite and fully vaccinated, say so up front. Be prepared to discuss options for those candidates who are not vaccinated.
  • Discuss long-term career paths.  Give examples of others hired into similar roles and rising to the top.
  • Talk specifics.  Candidates want to hear about a “day in the life” of someone in this role. Hint: Set up a meeting between the candidate and direct manager, or even potential colleagues.
  • Forget interviews—have conversations. A candidate should feel comfortable enough to ask questions—an interview is not an interrogation.
  • Talk technology. Talk about your company’s technology and how it makes the job easier. Hint: New technology vs. antiquated systems will win every time.
  • Benefits, benefits, benefits. Let’s face it. When someone is interviewing for a job, they want to hear about what you offer in healthcare, 401K, pension, equity, tuition reimbursement, and PTO. Do you offer childcare or gym memberships? Remember: COVID has breathed new life into the idea of work-life balance.

Contract/Consulting Positions:

  • Be specific. KNOW the specifics about the team, and role—what will the contractor be doing day in and day out?
  • Talk remote work options. Hands down, offering remote work options will net you the best talent. The pandemic has sealed the deal for many “road warriors” who now know they can do the job successfully without setting foot in an office.
  • Set expectations. Be candid about the contract duration. Candidates appreciate honesty—they don’t like bait and switch. They want to feel valuable and recognized for their areas of expertise.
  • Money talks. If you have a short-term contract, you had better be willing to pay up or someone else will.

Most important: avoid dragging out the hiring process. If you insist on interviewing multiple candidates over weeks and months, you will lose good talent. When you find someone you like, make sure your internal recruiting process is streamlined—you don’t need seven approvals to make a hire—to pull the trigger quickly.

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