Should You Stop Hiring During a Pandemic?

Should You Stop Hiring During a Pandemic?

By Tricia O'Connor

No matter where you look in the news, there are stories about the economic impact the coronavirus pandemic is having on businesses. From micro-businesses to enterprise organizations, COVID-19 has, in many cases, completely altered their outlook for the rest of the year.

Hiring is one of the biggest concerns businesses are facing. Should they continue posting jobs and creating positions if they don’t know what the economic future holds? Is it responsible to keep hiring for certain positions when you’ve had to layoff other workers? Should employers hit pause on all hiring – even for candidates who’ve already started the onboarding process?

EBI has these tips for businesses trying to navigate this unprecedented challenge.

The Big Picture

Despite the bleak news, there are several glimmers of hope:

  • Not every industry is slowing down during this pandemic
  • Not every company within a hard-hit industry is slowing down
  • People are still getting hired
  • Hiring still happens even during an economic downturn

There are still opportunities for both employers and job applicants to capitalize on. So, to answer our initial questions:

  • Yes, businesses should continue to hire for essential positions or extended workforce positions to fill emergency needs.
  • Yes, it’s still okay to hire for certain positions even if you’ve had to layoff or furlough other workers. This crisis has forced some employers to ramp up hiring in certain areas (delivery services or IT) while trimming in non-essential areas (public relations and events).
  • Not necessarily. EBI understands some clients may need to pause their hiring pipeline, especially if you rely on international operations and travel. We encourage you to speak with one of our Account Managers who can best advocate for your current business needs.

Change the Scope

COVID-19 has changed the hiring landscape. In response, you may need to change how you hire. If you’re able to continue hiring, there are some strategies to help you succeed during this challenging time. Businesses need to know how to attract and onboard new employees quickly. Applicants need to know where to look and how to stand out in an increasingly crowded field.

One of the best hiring improvements businesses can make during this tumultuous time is to work closely with your human resources department to ensure you have a swift, concise, and accurate recruiting and onboarding process. If you are narrowing hiring to essential positions only, or increasing hiring for a specific extended workforce, you may want to re-evaluate the scope of your pre-employment background screening process. For example, while background checks are still necessary to ensure a safe hire, you may not need to perform an MVR check for positions that don’t require driving.

Case in point: Walmart. On its website, the big box store says applicants can now get hired and begin working in as little as 24 hours. The previous process took about two weeks. 

ICYMI: What Businesses of all Sizes Need to Know About COVID-19.

Industry Matters

If you’re in one of the industries fortunate enough to be ramping up recruiting to meet increased demand, you also need to re-examine your screening provider. You need to make sure your existing screening partner can handle the surge, stay compliant, and maintain the accuracy and data security you need. 

EBI is operating at full capacity using a 100% US based, remote workforce in accordance with the highest security standards in the screening industry. We are not affected by any overseas governmental decisions. All these proactive steps have been taken to ensure the safety of our entire team and to minimize service disruptions.

It’s critical to maintain core compliance checks during a time-sensitive hiring surge. It’s also critical to find out if your screening provider is taking the necessary steps to meet your demands safely.

MORE INFORMATION: COVID-19 has caused changes to Form I-9 and E-Verify. Watch this video with attorney Montserrat Miller for updated laws and regulations.

Case by Case

Just as we began this post with some positive news, we’ll close with an encouraging outlook. Because we can all use some good news, right?

If you can continue hiring during this pandemic, or find creative ways to keep your current employees in their positions, you will be in front of your competitors when the eventual economic rebound begins. Highly skilled people who have lost their jobs during this crisis will want to re-enter the workforce as quickly as possible. You can scoop them up before other businesses have even cultivated a comeback.

When you’re ready to hire, EBI is here.

We are known for our customizable screening packages for businesses of all sizes and we are working every day during this pandemic to craft unique background check solutions for our clients. If you’d like help now, get to know EBI and speak with one of our experts.

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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