Amid the pandemic, workers across the globe were forced to accept new norms, learn to perform their duties virtually, and adapt to a fluctuating economic landscape. A year and a half later, our world is still uncertain, however we have seen that many businesses are returning to normal, or what we could consider the new normal. Nevertheless, many industries are facing hiring crises as an unforeseen consequence of the pandemic. Quarantine and working virtually seems to have changed the priorities of the workforce, and resulted in resignations and career changes. Evidently, companies in the current economic climate need to give precedence to hiring and retaining high-quality employees in order to remain competitive.
When sourcing new employees, virtual interviews and online hiring events can help your business become more efficient – it saves both time and money, while allowing for more interviews to be conducted. Furthermore, speeding up the hiring process will prevent applicants from becoming discouraged or landing another position during the process.
One major change that is necessary for organizations to adapt to during the current hiring crisis is to improve the candidate experience. There has been an existing need for more transparent and efficient application and interview processes and, now that employers are struggling to meet their needs, it is the time to enact these changes.
In order to attract candidates, businesses must strive for clear communication and minimize the hurdles applicants face. In order to do so, they must:
- Find a balance between a detailed, informative application without making it overly tedious and repetitive.
- Enhance transparency by providing details ahead of each step, keeping them informed of their progress, and providing them with timely feedback will keep potential employees interested in the company throughout the hiring process.
- And finally, in order to continuously improve, organizations should evaluate and adapt by asking successful candidates for feedback on their interview process.
To retain employees, one key to maintaining their satisfaction is transparency about their work environment whether that be virtual, hybrid, or in-person work. Managers must try to be cognisant that different working styles have become more pronounced over the last 2 years, and while some may be eager to return to a fully in-person schedule, some may dread the thought of returning to a formal work environment.
If the end-goal is to return to an office environment and given there is a considerable percentage of the workforce that is hesitant to revert to business as usual, brainstorm ways to make their return more enticing. While at work, allow more time for employees to take mental breaks. Give people the option to take a walk, have a snack, or check in online during the day if they need to take a pause. By working at home, many people were able to give their mind a rest for a few minutes throughout their day without being judged or punished. People are shown to be more productive and creative when allowed time for their brains to pause, process, and perhaps see things from a new angle.
It is imperative to emphasize the benefits of coming back into the office that matter to them, and not just the benefits to management. Take a walk down memory lane…if pre-pandemic, there were monthly company-sponsored happy hours, recreational sports leagues, or general water-cooler chatter, reassure them that these activities will resume and remind them of the things they do like about in-person work.
To retain your workforce, an essential step will be rebuilding in-person employee engagement which could include social events to boost coworker connections as well as employee recognition and development. Prioritize long-term retention initiatives, like employee loyalty bonuses, and higher base pay. Define a career path with training, options for growth, and professional development. By rewarding high-performing employees, your organization can continuously maintain motivation and competition, while reducing burnout.
Finally, include employees in the bigger picture for the business. If workers are involved and invested in the overall success of the business, especially if there are incentives for company growth, they are more likely to stay on. Monetary incentives notwithstanding, by involving employees in the greater conversation about the company’s future plans, strategies, and development, there is a better attachment formed between team members and management. Building loyalty takes time and concerted effort, but is worthwhile to keep high-value employees. Listen to employee concerns, be amenable to making changes based on their criticisms, and keep an open dialogue. Communication is key.
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