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COVID-19: How recruitment needs to evolve to ensure business continuity

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Currently, at the time of writing, UK cases of Coronavirus have hit 1,950, with global cases reaching 203,617. With the situation changing daily, there is the question of what should our response to it be, especially when it comes to recruitment?

With the virus beginning to have a significant impact on businesses across the country, it is imperative that companies start to plan and adapt quickly to meet the changing situation. For production-related environments, particularly manufacturing, engineering and pharmaceutical, there is likely to be a rise in recruitment needs to address both an increase in demand and to account for shortages in staff due to illness.

According to the government’s action plan against Coronavirus, the latest estimates suggest that up to 20% of the UK workforce could be off sick during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic. For manufacturing businesses that are unable to offer the flexibility to work from home, this could have a significant impact on both their business and output.

First and foremost, there are ways employers can mitigate the risk of spreading the virus throughout the business, for example, back-office staff, where possible could be made to work from home, minimising the spread of infection and enabling you to have essential staff on site.

However, with the expectation that there are likely to be gaps in your headcount, now is the time to assess your recruitment strategy and identify where you may need to consider interim or fixed-term contract (FTC) staff at a time when the majority of the industry will be looking at doing the same thing.

So how can you ensure you can recruit effectively under the current circumstances?

Engage with a recruitment partner who can take the pressure off your business at a time when you are likely to be having to communicate with your employees, customers and your supply chain. Provide a clear overview as to where you expect to have gaps in your business. What resources are specifically required to ensure as close to normal operations?

At Expion, we’ve worked with many organisations as their trusted recruitment partner of choice. Helping them through the recruitment process, in particular, to minimise the impact the early phase of recruitment can have on their business.

Recruitment, goes without saying, is best-done face-to-face. This allows you to build rapport and assess body language helping you to identify if the individual us the right fit for your business. However, under the current circumstances, both the recruitment industry and wider businesses need to look at ways in which they can use technology to minimise gaps in their headcount and the impact that could have on their business.

While telephone interviews might have been the norm in the past, it is worth considering how video calling tools could replicate the face to face experience as much as possible, allowing you to find the right fit for your business.

Video calling tools such as FaceTime or WhatsApp and video conferencing tools including Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts and Microsoft Teams can be used to communicate and engage with potential candidates online. Although a virtual interview doesn’t replicate the face to face experience, it does get you as near as possible to the human connection by allowing you to assess facial expressions and levels of engagement still when speaking virtually to candidates.

With more and more businesses being forced to think outside the box when it comes to their recruitment strategies, those who get started sooner rather than later will see the most benefit.

 

If you are looking to work with a recruitment partner who can support your needs at this time, contact us to find out more about our approach.