16 Jun Forging Ahead: Hiring During an Internal Crisis
Let’s be real – you’ve navigated many crises through your career and you’ll likely experience many more. Each crisis presents a unique set of challenges and impacts your organization differently. Whether it’s a massive restructure or a major shift in product offerings, crises require us to reimagine all kinds of business practices.
One of those is hiring. Recruiting top talent will always be a priority for many organizations, and your hiring process must be able to handle any additional stress. But, hiring while managing an internal crisis can be difficult, to say the least. You may be distracted, anxious and unsure of how to proceed.
Begin by digging in with your recruiting firm and utilizing their experience and knowledge of successful solutions being implemented. With their assistance consider the following:
- How critical are your vacant roles? Can you afford to wait on these hires? Are they still the “right” roles to fill?
- Do key decision makers have the time to devote to hiring right now?
- Do you need to reimagine your process to obtain the information you need to make hiring decisions?
- Are you risking employee morale by openly recruiting during this crisis?
If, after thoughtful discussion, you decide to move forward, use these four best practices that we have implemented ourselves to ensure a successful path ahead.
1. Create a strong candidate engagement plan.
To hire game changers, you need to engage candidates and demonstrate why they should want to work at your company. Because so much of the hiring process is now conducted virtually, be ready to make more of an effort – for a few reasons. Distractions are everywhere, personal connections are harder to establish online, and culture is difficult to demonstrate over zoom, to name a few. Each step of this engagement plan needs to be carefully orchestrated; email templates should be created, and check-ins scheduled.
2. Weed out and THEN pre-screen candidates.
This may be a great time to introduce psychometric behavioral and cognitive assessment tools to your process. When you have a very large pool of candidates to sort through, these tools can really help and will provide great insights. Come up with matrices for ideal candidates and use them to narrow down your list before you even begin screening.
3. Tee up your interview team and have them ready to go.
Your first and second round of interviews will likely be virtual. Make sure your interview team is well versed in video conferencing and can confidently host a virtual interview. You’ll want to spend extra time prepping this group and confirm they have the time and mind space to devote to this. Utilize your recruiting firm to help with the interview schedule to ensure this is a synchronized and efficient effort. Consider asking for training assistance or tips on interviewing virtually.
4. Monitor and adjust.
Check in frequently with your interview team, your recruiting firm, and your candidates. How is the process going from their perspective? What kind of impact have these changes had? You must continuously and objectively monitor as you go and then be committed to adjusting accordingly. Be ready to pivot suddenly if your situation changes.
What if it’s NOT the right time for you to recruit? Consider rolling out a drip marketing campaign. Use this time to sketch a strategy and conduct some market research. Differentiate your organization in the marketplace and position yourself as a place people want to work. Use this time to train your team on best practices. Explore all your options, be thoughtful and don’t be afraid to try something new. Remember, there is a great deal of top talent out there and with the right firm supporting you, like The CFO Suite, and a plan in place, they could be your next new hire.