Ready to Rehire? Five Things Employers Need to Know

Ready to Rehire? Five Things Employers Need to Know

By Tricia O'Connor

You’ve established your COVID-19 workplace safety protocols and procedures. Your office is a picture-perfect model supporting physical distancing. Your reopening guidelines are set. Now, you’re ready to rehire. 

But just as your operational efforts have had to change to accommodate for this pandemic, so do your hiring strategies. Your candidates may have new expectations. You may have different talent needs or acquisition requirements.

Here are five tips to help you recruit the right people in our new normal.

1. Flexible Shifts

As the demands on working parents continue, so do their needs for flexible employment. In many parts of the country, summer camps remain shuttered. Reopening schools in the fall is still questionable in most states. Parents are looking for jobs that offer remote work, alternative shift times, or jobs that are performance-based as opposed to time metrics-based. 

There are mounds of evidence these options attract qualified working mothers who’ve been forced to leave the workforce to tackle a larger share of household and child care responsibilities during the coronavirus outbreak. The latest economic research shows women provide nearly 70 percent of child care among married couples who both have full-time standard working hour jobs.

Providing flexible working hours for mothers may also help attract qualified men, especially if the position is remote. Allowing fathers to work from home also helps retain female employees. Men who work remotely do about 50 percent more child care than men who can’t, finds one leading researcher.

2. Social Screening Scrapes

The rise of social media as a recruiting filter can not be underestimated. Before the anxiety of COVID-19 and the resurgent attention on racial equality even began, 70 percent of employers used social media to screen candidates during the hiring process.

A 2017 CareerBuilder survey shows employers won’t hire candidates for the following reasons:

  • 40% – provocative photos
  • 36% – drinking or drug use
  • 31% – discriminatory comments
  • 26% – criminal behavior

With high rates of unemployment, more people working from home, and flared tensions because of recent events, the number of people spending time on social media is skyrocketing. Although it might be appealing to try to get a sneak peek at candidates’ online behavior yourself, conducting internal social media checks without proper training is risky, cost-heavy, and filled with holes.

A social screening report provided by a globally accredited screening firm like EBI, helps you make informed hiring and monitoring decisions with credible, compliant, and accurate information. Click here to see how we do it.

3. Drug Testing Goes Remote

Studies show substance abuse increases dramatically during a national crisis and remains at elevated levels for months afterwards. Drug overdoses have risen in some areas during the pandemic. People are using marijuana for comfort.

Here are some of the effects drug use can have on returning workers:

  • Greater risk of a workplace accident
  • Lower productivity
  • Increased absenteeism
  • Higher medical costs

Elevated levels of substance use among the greater population is prompting many employers to create or revise their policy against the use of drugs while working at home or at the workplace. Many employers are turning to contact-free, tamper-proof, non-invasive oral fluid testing that can be self-administered by candidates and virtually monitored by an HR professional. The simple 3-step process can be performed at home or at a job site and is sent to a lab for a large-scale drug panel test.

4. Beware of Open Hiring

Now that you’ve shifted from surviving COVID-19 to reopening plans, you may be considering a swift talent acquisition plan to fill positions fast. At first glance, an open hiring policy meets that need. It’s basically a first come, first served technique that employs the people who want to show up and work. It’s efficient. Straightforward. Cost-effective.

Open hiring is also considered a fairer hiring practice because decision-makers don’t have the time or access to the resources often attributed to creating biases in people. Without a criminal background check report, for example, more ex-offenders may be able to get jobs through an open hiring policy compared to the traditional application process.

Finding viable and cost-effective measures to shorten time-to-hire is a goal for every employer, even more so following a pandemic. However, eliminating certain types of background checks to speed up the process leaves your company, customers, and visitors vulnerable. In an environment where every business transaction is meaningful to your survival, cutting corners this way carries too much risk.

While an open hiring policy could help you fill positions faster and could help people overcome past mistakes, industry experts say the risks are too great. Businesses could face negligent hiring accusations if an un-vetted hire causes harm to another employee or a customer.

5. Focus on the Candidate Experience

Job seekers are stressed. Generation Z is worried it will never get a foot in the door. Mothers (see point #1) are worried they either can’t keep up with work, or that they’ll never get back through the door. People with chronic health conditions are worried their physical and emotional safety will be compromised if they go back through the door.

What does all this mean to you? You may need to re-evaluate your hiring process and experience through a post-COVID-19 candidate’s eyes. These job seekers are not the same people they were before this pandemic hit. Using empathy to understand what they’re looking for in a recruiting process can be a useful tool in developing a solid, yet streamlined, hiring policy.

On Thursday, we’re going to dive deep into the candidate experience and discuss how to make the most out of virtual interviews and virtual onboarding.

Get to Know EBI

What do you think of our five tips? What other considerations are you making? We would love to hear from you! Feel free to email us, connect with us on our LinkedIn page, or speak with one of our experts.

And, as always, we want you to know you’re not alone. Our goal at EBI is to advocate for your business goals and help propel you forward in our new climate. To help in this process, we’ve created EBI Workplace Health & Safety. Check it out!

About the Author

Tricia O'Connor

Tricia O'Connor

Writer. Digital marketer. Storyteller. An award-winning writer and editor, Tricia O'Connor is the Marketing Content Manager at EBI. Tricia worked as a broadcast and print journalist for nearly two decades writing and producing programming for high-profile networks like ESPN Radio, History Channel, and Hallmark Channel, as well as contributing editorial work to publications nationwide. Tricia joined the EBI marketing team in 2019 and is responsible for content strategy, development, and engagement. Tricia earned a master's degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and is a proud undergraduate alumna of Wheaton College in Massachusetts.

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