How has COVID-19 changed recruitment?

Although many people have lost their jobs during the pandemic, a large number of small-to-medium sized businesses and franchises have still found it tough to recruit new staff.

This is largely because the Australian government has provided financial assistance to the unemployed, underworked, and students leaving the country to return home during COVID. While this has been a much needed help for many, it has also meant that a number of those who’d normally be on the hunt for work have put off the search.

Unfortunately, it has also resulted in candidates applying for work simply to claim Centrelink assistance, regardless as to whether they are a good fit for the role. For many businesses, this has meant the calibre of job seekers hasn’t been particularly high. 

While COVID has been a tough time for business in many respects, the good news is that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. With government payments scaling back from January 2021, valuable candidates will be on the hunt once more, and those hard-to-fill positions should become easier to do so.

Tips for finding new staff during a pandemic

COVID has meant businesses have had to change the way we operate, and this includes how they go about recruiting new staff. 

We’ve come up with some easy to action tips to help you to hire at this time!

Hire someone to do your hiring

Businesses are swamped by applications and it can feel overwhelming.

With the number of resumes being received by companies (Coles received more than 36,000 CVs during a recent recruitment drive) – it can take hours, if not days, to sift through them all and weed out the good ones. 

If you are a small business owner, chances are you don’t have the time to do all of this work, so the simple solution is to pass it on to someone who can (like us!)

By hiring an external recruitment agency, you can take the load off your shoulders and have a list of the most well-suited candidates in front of you in no time at all.

Keep an open mind

The pandemic has turned the way businesses hire – and who they hire – on its head. 

While you might previously have wanted someone who has five years’ experience, now it can be a struggle to find such people. The plus side is that many people are likely to be cross-skilled that you can leverage. 

Keep an open mind during the recruitment process. Even if you feel that the candidate might not be the perfect fit, remember that you can train them to give them the additional skills they need to work within your business. 

Remember that you can also hire someone on a contractual basis to test them out, and if you feel at the end of the contract they’re still not the right fit, you can search for someone else. But who knows – they might surprise you. 

Video interviews are the new normal

Video interviews are almost expected now and candidates are therefore open to this type of screening process. If used effectively, it can save you time when you recruit, allowing you to interview more candidates in a shorter space of time. 

It also allows you to record the interview and play it to other managers for their feedback – with the candidate’s permission of course.

Because Zoom is being used more frequently for recruitment, it has also opened up other avenues for hiring. For example, submitting cover letters in the form of a short video is one trend that many businesses are hoping are here to stay. At SRS, we prescreen shortlisted applicants with video interviews which our clients love as there’s more context than a simple resume. 

Most candidates have access to a smartphone and being able to record and send a quick, one-minute video is a great way for you to get an idea of the candidate’s personality, maturity and confidence levels. It’s a good way to screen a lot of applicants quickly, and to save the best ones for a further one-on-one interview.

Pivoting leads to a promising future

If COVID has taught us anything, it’s that businesses need to adapt to change swiftly in order to survive. 

This includes the way we hire – it’s important to use innovation and the tools around us to make sure we make the hiring process as smooth as possible. 

Want to hire new staff during the pandemic but unsure what steps to take? Get in touch with us today and see how we can help.

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