Hiring during Covid-19

The more things change – the more they remain the same

Not a single day goes by without a colleague, family member, friend or client asking me if we’re doing ok in the midst of this weirdness. My response is – YES! Hiring is still happening, great people are still in high demand and you still have to compete for top talent. So, what HAS changed and how do you adapt your hiring approach to accommodate these changes?

  1. Furloughed professionals are open to new opportunities. There are a bunch of very talented people who have been furloughed by their employers. The longer they are on the bench the more disengaged, anxious and bored they become. As a result, you have access to highly skilled professionals whose loyalty to their current employer is waning and who are looking around for a company where they can contribute and make an impact. Impact is big right now – so talk about your impact.
  2. Highly motivated career changers are plentiful. Consider bringing on some less skilled but experienced individuals with transferrable skills. Former event managers make great project managers. Hospitality professionals are amazing customer success specialists. The retail and travel industry is getting hammered across all functions—look for engineers, accountants and analysts in these industries who are excited to join a team that isn’t dependent on people going into public.
  3. Your geography has opened up. Startup founders are often very committed to having an office with all of their employees in it. At this time, that’s not an option – and we don’t know when it will be again. So, this is a great time to try recruiting fully remote employees. Why? Remote employees can live anywhere and that gives you access to a MUCH larger pool of talent. In addition, you can save some cash by hiring people who live in smaller cities, middle America or rural communities. Finally, you can make strides toward increasing diversity in your employee population by looking outside of the local market.
  4. Office perks are no longer a draw. Let’s say you’re the founder who doesn’t like table tennis, skateboards and beer on tap. This current situation is just what you needed. Now you don’t have to compete with free lunches and kombucha everywhere – and that levels the playing field. Candidates will evaluate you on your company values, your impact score, compensation and benefits – much more equitable in my opinion.

I am absolutely certain we’ll all come out of this madness in a better place. I am enjoying uncrowded outdoor activities and less traffic. I’m also in awe of the innovation that is happening right now. It will likely be a long time before we get to enjoy live music, theatre and festivals again, but in the meantime, we can work on staying connected with our teams and centered on what’s truly important in our lives. Enjoy the rest of your summer – and Happy Hiring!

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