A lot of businesses and employees have been hurt by the Covid-19 pandemic. Many companies have had to shut their doors permanently, leaving their workers unemployed. Based on my years in HR, the best advice I have to offer is, if you are in a leadership role in one of those lucky companies that has survived, you should use this time to be resourceful and imaginative in order to build your talent pool of current and prospective employees as it will benefit your business for years to come.
Take the time to do some research.
As more and more businesses feel the effects of the pandemic, you should stay up-to-date on which businesses in your industry are laying off employees or shutting their doors forever. Take, for instance, a leading manufacturing company shutting down due to the pandemic that has put many longtime skilled employees out of work. If you're in HR at a manufacturing firm, here is your time to reach out to these employees. Don't overwhelm yourself with attempting to reach out to all of them at once — start with just a few. I have learned that once one person is interested in the opportunities you present, the others will follow.
There are many ways to search for those who are recently unemployed. My preferred method is LinkedIn and the daily local news, but find what works best for your industry or the position you're hiring for. While this is not a good time for the economy overall or many companies and employees, if your organization is able to add a few more employees to the payroll, searching for these talented individuals could bring fresh perspectives and new skills to your whole team.
Reach out to prospects.
Once you've found prospects, get in touch with them. As I mentioned, I use LinkedIn and send about 10 messages a day to candidates after reading over their profiles or résumés. You would be surprised at the responses I've received and nine times out of 10, I gain my strongest employees from this type of situation. While you might not hear back from every person you contact, all you need is one response and oftentimes they will recommend other potential candidates. It is a useful network for sure.
During this time, I have found some of the best candidates yet, many of whom had been with their previous company for many years and had valuable experience, but unfortunately, their company didn't survive. Although these are challenging times for everyone, there are opportunities to grow your team that you shouldn't pass up as a recruiter.
Don't only focus on those who are unemployed.
Recruiters shouldn't only look for people who are unemployed but reach out to those who are employed as well. You would be surprised to learn who is going to be without a job soon due to the pandemic. Again, don't overwhelm yourself by reaching out to an entire staff. Reaching out to just one person could open a world of wonders for your company. Once, I reached out to one single person and that one person gave me three referrals within the next two days that were highly qualified for the positions we were looking to fill. These individuals weren't unemployed yet, but their contracts were soon ending due to Covid-19.
If you put in the time and effort that it takes to seek out talented employees, you will start seeing a change in your organization. You'll notice a difference in things such as your turnover and scrap rates and potentially even a jump in your KPIs. This is not something that will or can happen overnight, but once you begin this process, there will be no stopping it because every successful new hire you land will be a win for the company and the new hire who was looking for their next career.
Stay strong during this difficult time and push through those late hours of searching for the right candidates and I promise you will hit that gold mine sometime soon, allowing you to fulfill the needs of many unemployed or soon-to-be unemployed people. It all takes work and effort but once it's done, you will feel amazing about the extra work you have put in.