While the pandemic is not over, the job market has reached a point of relative stability compared to March and April. In June, the United States economy gained 4.8 million jobs and dropped its unemployment rate to 11.1 percent. Official numbers aren’t available yet for July, but economists are predicting a gain of 1.7 million jobs. These statistics show that employers across a range of industries and geographic areas are hiring once more.
If your organization is filling positions again, you might wonder how a smart post-pandemic (or mid-pandemic) hiring strategy should look. Here are a few best practices to consider:
- Go digital with the hiring process. Be sensitive about the fact that job seekers may want to avoid close contact wherever possible, including in the interview process. Going from office to office interviewing for jobs heightens COVID-19 exposure risk not just for a job seeker but also for the existing employees at your workplace. Implementing virtual interview strategies—or continuing them if your organization adopted such technologies during quarantine—is a smart practice to create peace of mind and keep everyone safer.
- Consider shifting new and existing positions to remote work. Many employers pivoted to a work-from-home model during the pandemic. Some of them (including tech giants such as Twitter and Apple) continued to allow remote work after stay-at-home orders lifted and the economy started to reboot. Consider converting both existing positions and new jobs that you are trying to fill to total or partial work-from-home arrangements. Shifting jobs to remote work temporarily or permanently can enable easier capacity control in your office or workplace, peace of mind for those worried about going back to work, and an expansion of the candidate pool as you remove geographic barriers.
- Examine your benefits and perks. Especially if you are pivoting to a work-from-home structure, consider using this time to examine the benefits and perks that you offer to your employees. For many employers, those perks are tied to the workplace—such as office lunches, on-site daycares, and workplace gyms—and may no longer be accessible or applicable if some of your team is working from home. Consider finding ways to support team building and camaraderie, working parents, and employee health and safety from afar. Review your health benefits—a significant topic during a public health crisis. Now may be the time to add new benefits to your health plan (such as reimbursement for mental health services) or reduce deductibles so that healthcare is more affordable for your team.
- Review your background check policy. If you are hiring new people, don’t forget background checks. A thorough vetting process remains essential, even during a pandemic. If you have typically used paper documents to deliver disclosures or collect authorizations to run checks, review those materials with your lawyer and convert them to documents that you can deliver, track, and secure through digital means. Consider expanding your background checks to include stronger verification checks (such as for education or work history) or reference checks. Especially if you are hiring someone for a remote position, you need to know that they possess not just the skills to do the job but also the initiative to work as a self-starter. Verifying their resume and speaking with former employers or references can reveal how a person works and whether they are the right fit for your team at this time.
At backgroundchecks.com, we can help you put together a new background check approach for mid-pandemic hiring. Contact us today with your questions.