Talent Acquisition Responds Creatively to the Coronavirus

Talent Acquisition Responds Creatively to the Coronavirus

By Tricia O'Connor

Employers everywhere are concerned with risk mitigation. It started with abrupt lockdowns, swift deployments to fully remote workforces, and in some cases, layoffs and furloughs as COVID-19 reached stateside. Several months into the pandemic and in various stages of re-opening, businesses are now exploring how to continue to reduce risks while still meeting operational needs.

Hiring poses a specific challenge. How do you adequately source, interview, and onboard candidates in the age of social distancing?

And what new safety-related roles might you need to create to keep employees, clients, and visitors safe?

Here is an initial postlockdown talent acquisition playbook to keep handy.

New Jobs 

Let’s start with jobs and work our way backward.

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) reports this public health disaster has created a range of roles linked to factors like disease containment or consumer confidence. Most of them involve return-to-work plans and strategies like EBI Workplace Health & Safety.

Some of the more popular new jobs are:

  • Contact tracer – identifies and contacts people who may have been exposed to the coronavirus; provides health guidance and assistance ($17-$25 per hour)
  • Temperature screener – takes the temperatures of employees and/or guests; may ask survey questions ($14-$25 per hour)
  • Health monitor / tester – administers COVID-19 tests ($20-$45 per hour)
  • Safety culture consultant – facilitates workplace physical modifications OR facilitates employee emotional safety reassurances (salary unknown)
  • Workplace reconfiguration specialist – modifies the layouts of workplaces to encourage physical distancing ($42,000-$53,000 per year)
  • Workplace safety technician – responsible for installing physical distancing and safety modifications (counter shields, plexiglass dividers, etc.) ($14-$20 per hour)

Virtual expertise roles are also in demand as more work events, conferences, trainings, and networking conventions are held online. Experts who can facilitate these virtual gatherings and coordinate the digital tools needed to pull them off, will continue to be a surging profession. The typical salary range is $40,000-$50,000 per year.

New Recruiting Techniques

All the way back in April (doesn’t that feel like FOREVER ago?), we explored the topic of virtual job fairs. At the time, the idea for these remote recruiting events stemmed mostly from the bundle of new college graduates who would soon be seeking jobs. Instead of traditional in-person career fairs, most colleges moved to virtual career fairs where students entered chat rooms to interact with recruiters.

Turns out, these virtual career fairs were a sign of things to come. Recently, curbside job fairs have begun popping up across the country. Candidates pull up in their vehicles, recruiters conduct an intake interview, and then deliver callbacks if an applicant is matched with a position.

Staffing agencies have been the biggest user of this new recruitment model, but if there is a sharp uptick in hiring and social distancing still poses a problem, it’s a safe bet more businesses will entertain this idea.

New Onboarding Strategies

Just as recruiting has gone virtual, so has employee onboarding and orientation. It makes sense considering many businesses are operating remotely and using employees who are primarily working from home.  

The biggest takeaway from implementing remote onboarding is that it requires structure. Whereas an in-person onboarding being conducted in an office lends itself to an organic approach and encourages employee interaction, a virtual orientation needs to be charted, dynamic (keep it moving), and informative.

LinkedIn’s Talent Blog has a strong tutorial to help you create an effective virtual onboarding program. If you have questions about how to structure your onboarding, head there. But, if you’re looking for an employee perspective, check out this post. We recently interviewed a woman who was in the middle of her virtual onboarding and orientation to ask her the benefits and challenges of starting a new job online. It’s a can’t-miss perspective straight from a new employee.

EBI Advocates for You

As always, we want you to know you’re not alone in this new enterprise climate. Our goal at EBI is to advocate for your business goals and provide useful tools, knowledge, and tips to help propel your business forward.

We would love your feedback! Email us, connect on our LinkedIn page, or 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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