With local economies beginning to open back up, business owners expect an increase in demand for many of their goods and services. However, the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index found that a record 42% of business owners are having difficulty filling roles to meet this demand.
Some, for instance, may have a hard time convincing previous employees to come back to work, whether due to re-evaluated priorities or the risk of contracting COVID-19 in the workplace. Women, in particular, have decreased their workload or left the workforce entirely to take care of additional household and child care duties during the pandemic.
Of course, that doesn’t change the fact that you need to restaff your team. And the longer you spend on recruiting, the more time and resources you spend that could be allocated elsewhere.
If you’ve already exhausted all of the typical recruiting practices or would like tips on how to recruit new talent in the midst of the current health crisis, here are five creative ways to attract employees to your business.
Implement virtual recruiting and hiring practices
Technology has come a long way in recent years, and since the COVID-19 pandemic began last year, many of us have become all too familiar with remote work-friendly platforms like Zoom and Slack.
Use this knowledge to your advantage and update your recruitment process to reflect the current situation.
Consider hosting a virtual open house event on Facebook Live so potential applicants can learn about your company directly from the people they’ll work with. Conduct interviews with promising candidates over Zoom or another video-conferencing platform, and when you find the right one, use electronic signature software to complete their onboarding paperwork remotely.
Because many people still have worries about contracting the virus, virtual recruitment practices can help to reduce their anxieties while still helping you find the best talent for your business. Plus, updating the process for the modern age comes with a few additional benefits for your company.
A 2019 study from Yello found that 54% of the latest generation of jobseekers, Gen Z, won’t apply for a role if the company uses outdated recruiting methods. Meanwhile, even a blended approach to hiring can be beneficial, as ones with both virtual and in-person hiring processes still save companies time and money.
Leverage paid advertising opportunities on social media
With people spending more time in front of their phone, computer and television screens during the pandemic, one way to get your job opening in front of more people is by advertising them on the platforms your candidates spend time on.
Although LinkedIn is the go-to choice due to its focus on professionals and career-minded people, don’t stop there. Consider Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even Pinterest as well.
With the chance to get new eyes on the opportunity, you’ll also want to advertise any competitive or unique perks that your company offers, if you have them (more on this in the following sections).
To be sure, though, this strategy is best executed if you or someone on your team knows how to manage paid ad campaigns on these platforms, so make sure that you have that expertise before you get started. That’s especially true if you decide to take out a loan to help you cover the costs of your advertising push.
Offer signing bonuses or hourly wage increases
In the months following the start of the pandemic, Indeed’s Hiring Lab found that job seeker interest in the US dropped by 36%. Since then, the median hourly wage for nonmedical essential workers has increased by 1.9% to reflect the risks that employees take on in these roles.
Studies like these indicate that workers are weighing the risks of coming in to work against the benefits — and they’re gravitating to companies that can pay them accordingly.
You can show candidates you care for your team by offering boosted pay to hourly workers or signing bonuses to salaried ones. Their work helps make your business great, after all, and the additional incentive can help you fill these roles faster.
Offer flexible schedules and benefits that support employee health and well-being
Today’s workers don’t just want monetary compensation for their time and effort, either. They want to know that their employers will support them in other ways as well — including promoting a healthy work-life balance and their overall well-being, especially in light of the current crisis.
If you can afford to, consider offering additional perks outside of the conventional mix of company-sponsored retirement plans, health insurance and paid time off. Some examples include:
- Flexible schedules
- Reimbursements for childcare or remote work expenses
- Meal stipends
- Online fitness classes
- Financial wellness programs
It may help to think about what people really need during this time, or what would make their lives a little easier or more joyful.
A recent MetLife study found that workers are especially interested in non-traditional benefits like increased paid time off, COVID-19 tests for onsite employees, telehealth services and even professional development credits. Other surveys have pointed out the current lack of support employers have offered working parents — and mothers especially — and indicate they could be better served with a suite of benefits that set them and their children up for success in a post-pandemic world.
Perks aimed at supporting a person’s overall health encourage people to apply for the jobs that provide them — and may motivate them to stay for the long-term.
Create an employee referral program
If you’re running out of steam and feel like you’ve exhausted all the leads in your network, you may choose to capitalize on the opportunities in your employees’ networks with a referral program.
By offering a reward (monetary or otherwise) to employees that refer qualified candidates, your workers do most of the heavy lifting for you and even pre-screen people in their networks for great culture fit. In fact, up to 48% of new hires come from employee referrals, making it the most popular channel for hiring.
You can typically count on your employees to refer solid candidates, as they may not want to refer someone that will give them a hard time with their own responsibilities. They have their own reputation to consider, too.
It may take some more work and additional resources, but going the extra mile in your recruiting efforts has its benefits as well. Look at it as a way of investing in the quality and health of your workforce — and therefore, your business.