The statistics of a COVID-19 economy are staggering. According to research from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment-to-population ratio is 52.8%. This demonstrates that nearly half of the American workforce remains unemployed. Furthermore, estimates show that businesses must create 30 million jobs to replicate a more successful economy. But with a skilled yet out-of-work labor force comes an opportunity for employers to seek out displaced COVID-19 workers. If your company is still expanding during the pandemic and you need workers, use these tips to facilitate the process.
Where to Seek Displaced Workers During COVID-19
To some degree, people still aren’t looking for jobs, especially as another round of stimulus checks and unemployment benefits make its way through Congress. But other workers can’t sit idly for months on end. Between long bouts of rest and relaxation, the urge to take up employment becomes vital to mental health. Therefore, employers may have more places to find short-term and long-term employees than they may realize. Here are some of the top options.
As a leader in remote job postings, Virtual Vocations gives employers the opportunity to post 100% remote jobs. When they sign up, employers can find thousands of eligible, talented workers to fill necessary positions. Employers can also choose to become employer partners, which provides a bevy of additional perks and resources for a one-time vetting fee. This list of benefits includes:
- Free job postings on approved telecommute jobs
- Easy-to-manage employer dashboard
- Direct applications from email or the employer website
- Application tracking statistics
- Featured job listings in emails that reach 800,000 workers
- A dedicated account manager
In addition, they can view a potential employee’s online portfolio, which showcases their work with a few clicks. Employers also don’t have to post to a specified geographic location, allowing them to reach as many candidates as possible, effectively expanding the talent pool.
LinkedIn is another valuable resource for employers seeking out displaced COVID-19 workers. While these companies can post jobs on LinkedIn, they can also find potential employees through their professional networks and LinkedIn groups. Within their job headline, many individuals seeking work will write “available for work” or “open to employment opportunities” on their profile. Plus, the tagline about their experience (akin to a cover letter) and their resume are right there for your viewing.
Employers can also use LinkedIn’s “You Might Be Interested In” feature, which sends relevant job postings to potential jobseekers.
Like LinkedIn, Facebook allows employers to post job listings for vacant positions. The only caveat is that the employer must have a company profile. But once they have a company Facebook page, the platform allows you to post as many classified ads as you want. And like Facebook ads, employers can boost their job postings to reach a wider audience, giving them a better opportunity to find the best candidates.
An oldie but a goodie, Craigslist may have fallen out of style with many employers and jobseekers. But when you’re trying to reach a broader audience, Craigslist is another great tool to utilize. And with each post costing as little as $10, it’s an affordable resource to reach potential hires. The only downside is that you have to post in a specific geographic area, effectively limiting the scope of your search unless you post in multiple cities.
Consider Various Skill Sets
Employers transitioning to a fully remote workforce may have more needs than they realize, especially with current workers that have never telecommuted. Therefore, employers should consider various skill sets that will improve the overall operations of their company. These skill sets consist almost exclusively of telework soft skills, such as:
- Motivated self-starter
- Autonomy and self-management
- Conflict resolution
- Personality conducive to company culture
- Strong work ethic
By eyeing or recruiting candidates with these soft skills, employers won’t have to monitor every step of the onboarding process.
Boost Opportunities for Social Interaction
Employees in a traditional work atmosphere typically love social interaction. Not only does it invigorate the day, but it also provides an outlet to discuss work or other topics. As such, remote employers seeking out displaced COVID-19 workers should constantly strive to boost opportunities for social interaction. The good news is that the ways to do this are seemingly endless. Some ideas for social interaction include:
- Virtual morning coffee
- Use of collaboration software (such as Slack or Asana) to allow workers to chat about non-work-related activities
- Virtual trivia nights
- Virtual show-and-tell
- Other team-building activities
In addition to presenting this company culture as a potential job perk, social interaction can also help new hires feel integrated with the rest of the team. If you have limited time or resources, you may want to seek out a current employee who is willing to volunteer for these activities, giving you the ability to focus on other areas of the business.
Retune and Refocus the Onboarding Process
The onboarding process used to be a few days of training/orientation and passing out the employee handbook. In the remote world, this doesn’t translate nearly as much. That’s why many successful remote employers are now retuning and refocusing the onboarding process—an idea that will help recruit top talent. To implement this idea, employers should space out training and onboarding to allow the new employee to absorb information at a comfortable level. This should help attract workers, as well as provide bite-sized training modules that get the employee up to speed in a dynamic virtual world.
Remain Flexible and Attuned to Employee Needs and Privacy
Another effective hiring method for employers seeking out displaced COVID-19 workers is to remain flexible. The flexibility of employers plays a pivotal role in attracting new hires, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of the current situation, many workers have to juggle unemployment, a job search, parenting, homeschooling, and other errands and chores all at once. For many, this assortment of tasks is overwhelming.
As a result, employers should have empathy and flexibility to the best of their abilities. This may include flexible working hours, more autonomy over how potential hires spend their workday, and “going with the flow” when situations arise.
In addition to flexibility, employers should also be wary of employee privacy concerns. While remote employers don’t have to worry about positive COVID-19 tests affecting other employees, they should keep discussions private if an employee or potential hire becomes stricken with the virus. So if an employee was furloughed, lost their job, or have remained unemployed due to COVID-19 or a COVID-19 infection in their family, employers shouldn’t make this information public if it won’t impact other workers.
Make a Realistic Offer
When employment opportunities are at a premium in a sluggish market, many employers feel that they have the upper hand. Unfortunately, low-ball offers aren’t the way to recruit great employees. In fact, such offers will alienate the most talented candidates. Instead, employers seeking out displaced COVID-19 workers should present offers that are reasonable and in tune with their employment packages prior to COVID-19.
Although employers shouldn’t overextend themselves to land a prized candidate, they should still provide a competitive pay and benefits package that encourages long-term employment. Employers that are apprehensive of such a policy—especially due to a transition from onsite to remote work—should discuss a 60- or 90-day probationary period to see if the new hire works well. If not, the hiring process might be delayed, but employers aren’t stuck with a person who doesn’t fit their company culture or work ethic.
Don’t Forget About Applications On File
According to statistics from Workopolis, only 2% of applicants to a given job land an interview. The reasons for such a low percentage are numerous. But in most cases, it’s simply because the number of applicants is often in the hundreds. But if you’ve had applicants who made the first or even final round of interviews but didn’t get the job, chances are you still have their application on file.
When you need to expand your staff, these applications are a valuable asset. Perhaps you had five applicants that you could’ve offered the job to. Or you offered the position to a candidate, only to find that they declined the offer. Whatever the reason for holding their application on file, you have qualified individuals that are already familiar with your company. All you need to do is go back through them, send some emails, make some calls, and you might find that ideal worker.
Managing the concerns of potential employees during the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t as simple as it seems. But by employing these above tips, you can hone in on talented workers currently seeking jobs. You just might find that ideal employee that fits in with your company culture and contributes to the goals and vision of your company. At least you can find solace in that.
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