The first half of 2020 felt very much like the UK economy had hit pause, hiring was something that was put on the back burner as economic survival became the priority. However, the cyclical nature of economic downturns and resurgence means that at some point the economy will start to grow again and that will trigger a need for talent. That’s why recruitment planning for a post-COVID world is important, even now.
What should you consider right now?
- Investing in a virtual environment. Virtual technology has become crucial for keeping businesses afloat in socially distanced times and has a lot to offer in terms of future resilience. From video interviewing to virtual performance management and online learning tools, digital options can provide a significant operational upgrade.
- The importance of succession planning. Who takes over the decision making if key people are sick? It’s essential to have succession planning in place where recruitment decisions are concerned.
- Nurturing brand awareness. You may not be ready to hire right now but building an awareness of your brand, the business culture and where you want to go can be a huge asset in terms of attracting the best people. Put the work in now when it comes to the perception potential recruits have of your brand and when it’s time to start hiring again your business will be ready.
Looking to the longer term
- Engage with the remote working world. If your business is allowing remote working now but planning to return 100% to a workplace in the future then you may be reducing your potential pool of candidates. Working from home has opened many employees’ eyes to how much better life can be with flexible working. There are benefits for businesses too and those that are willing to embrace this – and integrate it now for the long-term – are most likely to reap the rewards.
- Plan for potential uncertainty. For example, you may have to fill some roles very quickly to be market responsive – that may mean making interim hires even if that’s not something you have done before.
- Stay on top of benefits trends. Pay and benefits packages have always been a key part of hiring and retaining the best people so it’s important to make sure yours are up to date when it’s time to start recruiting again. Trends right now are towards benefits such as extended sick pay or those that support mental health as a priority.
- Start adjusting internally. This is likely to mean different things to different businesses – for example, you may have found that being more transparent and communicative has been beneficial for your culture and that this is something you want to continue into the longer term. Or it may be time to upgrade and update HR policies so that they better reflect the reality of working life after COVID-19 for your staff.