Woman making video call for interview.

Keeping Candidates Engaged in the Midst of COVID-19

As all of us have watched the coronavirus spread across the globe, we know that it’s no longer business as usual. However, because of the speed with which it struck, most of us are finding ourselves part-way through normal business projects that now seem to be on hold indefinitely. At TalentSpark, we recognize that this is especially true for hiring: very few businesses outside of those critical areas are hiring, and even fewer people are willing to make a professional move during a global pandemic.

But we know that life will eventually return to normal, and the positions that needed to be filled will once again need candidate pipelines. The most successful companies will be those that are able to pick up right where they left off and quickly fill mission-critical positions with candidates already in their pipelines.

So, how can you keep candidates engaged in the recruiting process even when we know that hiring will be delayed? The good news is that recruiting best practices are always the same, even in a global pandemic. And, as is always true, the companies and recruiters that are creative about engaging with their candidates will come out on top.

Frequency

With the news moving so fast and things changing day to day and hour to hour, a day can feel like a week and a week can feel like a year. With more than half of all Americans under some sort of “Stay At Home” or “Shelter In Place” order, many of us are looking for anything to take our minds off of what has become our new normal.

This presents an incredible opportunity for recruiters to step in and provide some relief. The general rule of thumb has been to touch base with candidates once per week. Recruiters who increase that frequency to twice per week will be in a place to capitalize on that investment in the relationship when the time comes.

Transparency

While there are some companies and industries hiring, most businesses have hunkered down and put hiring on hold.

Whichever end of the spectrum your organization falls on, let your candidates know. If the need is immediate, make that clear up front so that your candidates can make the best decision for themselves. But if you know hiring will take a while, be transparent about that. The rules have changed (at least for now) and few high-quality candidates will hold it against you for delaying a decision.

Creativity

The logical question to ask is: after I tell a candidate that we aren’t hiring for a while, how the heck do I send them two messages per week?

Thankfully, COVID-19 hit us at peak meme time, and with all of our extra downtime, many of us have been wading deep into the internet. Since every one of us is in the same boat, funny videos, memes, or articles are a welcome relief from the day to day monotony.

Many of us may have been close to sealing the deal with a candidate to fill a critical role that has been put on hold. For those purple unicorn candidates, consider making a small investment in keeping them engaged. Many local Boise restaurants and shops have started delivery and could use any revenue possible. The loyalty a candidate feels toward a company that sends them a box of much-needed cookies is nearly impossible to measure.

As crazy as these times are, we know that life will eventually get back to normal. And when it does, those companies that have kept their candidate pipelines engaged will reap incredible benefits. Make sure you’re staying on top of candidate communication in any way possible.

If you are ready to start planning for your company’s recruiting future, contact us today and we can help you get the ball rolling! And don’t forget...wash your hands!