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Navigating Staffing Challenges During a Pandemic

By Michael Klazema on 4/23/2020

With the spread of the novel coronavirus and a global surge in cases of COVID-19, the global community and its economy face perhaps the most disruptive event faced in generations. At a time when many businesses find themselves closed or operating in a drastically altered state, tough decisions about staffing seem to be around every corner. Businesses must determine both how to support existing employees and how to plan for a post-pandemic economy.

Many companies find themselves faced with the need to suddenly downsize their workforce. In doing so, businesses must exercise care and caution to fairly eliminate positions. Now is not the time to "clean house," as companies should take care to avoid exposure to wrongful termination liabilities. For those who must remain at work, providing a safe and healthy environment is more essential than ever, while adopting alternative workplace frameworks should go to the top of the to-do list. For some businesses, now may even be the right time to hire — but that presents a different set of challenges, too.

What about employee background checks for individuals who will need to work from home? Should businesses continue to invest in vetting even for remote employees? Maintaining consistency in policies still makes sense, especially if you intend to retain any new additions to your team going into the future. Remote employees may still have access to sensitive information on company servers, and ensuring an individual's trustworthiness remains a top priority in the hiring process.

Aside from safely and effectively augmenting your staff during this trying time, employers must think carefully about supporting their existing payroll as much as possible. For some businesses, their pandemic response plan may make or break their reputation in the aftermath of the event. Those known for rapidly scaling down their workforce with little regard for staff may find it even more of a challenge to regroup in a post-crisis world. 

The price of replacing employees later must come into consideration, too. Hiring is an expensive process, and finding the most talented individuals can take weeks to months of vetting candidates. Weighed against the costs of temporary furloughs or paid leave, it's often clear that retaining the talent you have now will be much simpler than replacing it later. The job market was already experiencing a talent crunch prior to the arrival of COVID-19 — that shortage will likely continue.

At backgroundchecks.com, we continue to support our partners with flexible vetting solutions and fast results, with operations experiencing only minimal impacts from the ongoing situation. Whether your business can continue to on-board new hires during this time or you must prepare for bulking up your workforce in the future, our employee background checks remain a valuable resource. Obtain instant results with the US OneSEARCH and our other products today so you may continue building the best team to respond to new challenges.


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