Hiring a Fresh Workforce After COVID-19: Checklist and Guide

Are you looking to bring in a new workforce after coronavirus? Here are some steps and processes to consider.

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Recruiting, interviewing, training, and business travel tips for a post-COVID workplace

A new obstacle from the fallout of the coronavirus has reached small business owners: hiring a fresh workforce. When layoffs first began, many business owners thought their employees would be eager to get back to work. It turns out, that’s not always the case. A lot of employees are preferring to stay laid off or furloughed for as long as possible for numerous reasons.

This leaves hiring managers scrambling to hire new workers to the company, which is exacerbating the reopening process. It would be a lot simpler to bring back the original workforce who wouldn’t need training for their job on top of new post-coronavirus training — but that isn’t possible in many cases.

Recruitment, interviewing, onboarding, and everything else is going to look different during and after COVID-19. Exactly what it will look like can vary business to business. For example, if you own a fast food franchise, there’s a pretty good chance that you’ll still interview in person since the position definitely requires a physical presence.

Many other positions can opt for a remote interview. Here are a few things to think about when it comes to hiring a new workforce.

Recruitment, interviewing, onboarding, and everything else is going to look different during and after COVID-19.

Read more: Best Practices for Hiring Remotely Amid COVID-19 and Beyond

Where are you recruiting?

Where you recruited workers before (or by what means) might look radically different during coronavirus concerns. For example, if you own a restaurant and usually depend on foot traffic to see a “we’re hiring” sign in the window, this might not be the best approach for a while. It might be one of your first forays into recruiting online, but where do you get started?

It depends on your location, the nature of your business, and in some instances, what kind of recruits you want. Sometimes platforms, such as Indeed, LinkedIn, or ZipRecruiter, work. Other times, Craigslist or social media posts are a better fit. You might benefit from some trial and error — or work with an HR support organization to take care of these tasks for you.

How will you interview?

You have 2 options: in-person or remote.

The biggest difference during coronavirus is that a lot more small businesses will be interviewing remotely even for what will eventually be an in-person position. After all, if you end up needing to interview 10 people to find the one, that’s a lot of unnecessary in-person exposure. The most popular option for virtual chats of any kind has been Zoom, although Skype also remains popular. An old-fashioned phone interview can also work. It’s all about what feels best to you and what might be most appealing to the ideal candidate.

What about training?

Onboarding training might be an opportunity to start new hires remotely if you can provide video training modules. However, that’s not the right fit for every position — or employee. If you’re hiring for a position that requires a lot of interaction, a candidate might want that job because they don’t have to spend a lot of time alone looking at a screen.

Again, consider the final parameters of the role. Virtual onboarding training is a natural fit if the job is completely or mostly remote. If the role isn’t, you might want to adopt the latest safety procedures and restart your in-person onboarding process.

Virtual onboarding training is a natural fit if the job is completely or mostly remote. If the role isn’t, you might want to adopt the latest safety procedures and restart your in-person onboarding process.

What if the job requires travel?

As states reopen, business travel will follow. Some small businesses are reconsidering what is essential business travel, and are discovering some travel was never essential — saving the company a lot of money. In other instances, business travel really is a requirement. It’s important to make sure this is clear in the job description but also be flexible to change. There’s no telling what the environment might be like in a few weeks or months. Candidates should have a clear idea of what kind of travel you expect of them well before they get to the interview stage.

Read more: Should Your Business Implement Travel Restrictions? 

If you’re a small business owner, doing a near-complete rehire might take you back to your startup days. There may be some benefits to these circumstances, however.

Change is a necessary part of growth, and now you have the opportunity to “re-do” your hiring and training process. If you always wished you’d implemented certain training sessions at the start of every employee’s onboarding, or if you wished that you’d reworked job descriptions before your last onboarding, now is the time to do it.

You already know what positions you need and you’ve seen other employees in those roles before. Ask yourself what worked and what didn’t. What could you or the employee have done better or different? It’s your time for a second chance, and working with an HR expert can help you get it 100% this time.

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