With unemployment rates increasing, many individuals are on the lookout for new jobs. While this is exciting for companies looking to hire, it’s also a challenge.
How can employers creatively position themselves as a best place to work during a hiring freeze?
We asked 12 thought leaders for their advice on the topic–here’s what they said.
Even during these challenging times, it’s important to make all candidates feel valuable.. Take the time to explain the vital role they all play. It’s ok to be transparent about how the pandemic has impacted finances and what that means for short-term hiring.. The best thing you can do to make your company stand out is to be honest and make the individual feel confident and secure during these uncertain times.
Let Your Reaction to Crisis Strengthen Your Reputation
This pandemic has caught most businesses off-guard and it is a real test of leadership and the organizational culture. How a company treats its employees during a crisis, especially when facing lay-offs, will echo for years to come and it speaks more loudly than any careers page ever could. For instance, when people hear true stories of company leaders who take pay cuts themselves to save the jobs of their employees, they will likely think “wow, I want to work there, because they really care about their people.” Companies have a unique opportunity to build and strengthen their reputations as a premier employer brand by supporting their people.
Don’t Let Remote Work Limit Company Culture
When your team is mainly remote, company culture becomes more important than ever. Your company culture is not dependent on being in a physical office space and you can use this as an opportunity to see how your values, ideals, and ways of working have shifted to accommodate these difficult times. Take this chance to look at how your team’s mission and values support collaboration and understanding through change and, if it is lacking, explore how you can better support your employees.
Create Initiatives to Celebrate Your Company’s Talent
It’s important to use this time to focus on retaining the great talent the organization has, so anything an employer can do to celebrate and recognize the talent it has is vital. Continue to offer professional development and education so your workforce continues to grow. Consider financial incentives to reward employees for extra efforts until more staff can be hired. Use employee testimonials and continue to market your organization as an employer of choice because, hopefully, you will be hiring again soon.
Colleen J. McManus, Senior HR Consultant
Take Care of Your Current Employees
Communicate truthfully and frequently and act with empathy. Our industry is a very tight-knit community. If an organization isn’t taking care of its people, word spreads like wildfire. So Candidates know where to go to be treated respectfully. As an organization, our Founder and CEO makes a weekly company address to discuss the current state of the company and the organization from his perspective. He has been at the forefront of engagement from the onset of our current situation and he is respected deeply for it. Having a leader proactively communicate their perspective will put out a lot of fires before they happen.
Make Them Feel Wanted
Let the employee know that you want them just as much as they want you. Making the prospective employee feel wanted as a valued member of your team will increase their desire to work with you. It is also important to back up the things you are telling the person with valid examples. Use your social media platforms to celebrate employee spotlights and employee anniversaries. This will show that the company values its workers and that if they work for your business, they will receive the same treatment.
Upload Employee Testimonials on Social Media
Employers can post on social media to demonstrate the culture their company has. During this time, many people have been laid off and are spending a lot of time on LinkedIn searching for jobs and growing their network. When a candidate sees a post about some cool thing the company did last year, it will make the company seem great to work for. Also, posting employee testimonials of reasons why they love working for the company can be an effective way to shed some positive light on the business, even during a hiring freeze.
Jessica Schocker, Recruitment Consultant
Show Up and Serve
Organizations that show up and serve during these difficult times will come out on top — for both their customers and future employees. Whether we talk about it or not, we’re all noticing the companies that are doing this versus those who are pushing through with their plans, seemingly oblivious (and painfully insensitive) to what’s going on right now.
Highlight What Makes Your People Better, Together
Show off and share what makes you unique so others can benefit from your ideas. I’m not referring to the latest video meeting theme; everyone does that. Seek to highlight what makes your people actually better, together. Keep interviewing and focus on candidates who are not on an urgent timeline; create a clear path for them to get to know your company. Be intentional about when you anticipate hiring again and if that timeline works for them.
Noah Wisnia, Head of Talent
Communicate Your Company’s Position to Prospective Candidates
Any companies on a hiring freeze must immediately communicate that to their employees. With the high percentage of unemployed and furloughed professionals, there is an increased number of people seeking work. It is beneficial not to have potential applicants who meet certain qualifications to invest time in accepting and forwarding resumes and communicating with HR if there are no open roles. Companies should be positioning the hiring freeze in the most transparent way possible. The company should make its current employees and job security a priority.
Kelsey Herbst, Senior Marketing Specialist
Demonstrate Emotional Support
Employers should demonstrate how they’re supporting their employees emotionally during an unprecedented crisis. Right now, some companies are using employer brand channels to highlight quirky moments on Zoom calls, but prospective candidates are more likely to remember authentic and human-centric leadership.
Alex Lahmeyer, Diversity and Inclusion Lead
Focus on Talent Branding
Employers should really be focusing on Talent Branding during their hiring freeze. That includes creating material to help make candidates become more excited about the role. Provide workshops or support to those on the job hunt. Candidates are going to be seeking out the companies that showed how much they value their employees.
Tasia Anderson, Recruiter