With the Coronavirus wreaking havoc around the world, economies and companies are being challenged like never before. Stock markets have been plunged into chaos, and already brittle economies are teetering on the edge.
Yet if we look back to previous crises, both financial or health related, there are some key lessons to be learnt. Perhaps one of the most important of those is that organisations must continue to focus on their talent and critically maintain engagement and morale levels among their staff.
Even in instances where companies are having to cut back on their recruitment during these difficult times, there will inevitably be the need, for example, to employ specialist contractors or interims to come in and work on short term projects. To keep up with the competition and the relentless pace of change, companies can’t just sit still and batten down the hatches.
Leading by example
Leaders and managers must communicate with their staff regularly to keep them informed of developments. Retention is key as you want to keep the people who have seen you through the tough times. Companies must be careful to not alienate their staff and do everything they can to make them feel valued. The tone must come from the top so those leaders who are most empathetic and self-aware will create a positive environment that will rally the troops.
Just because candidates are perhaps less likely to leave their jobs now, they will still be willing to discuss new opportunities, especially if their company hasn’t handled the Coronavirus situation particularly well. Companies are being judged, and it is the ones that put people first that will thrive. Investing in their employer value proposition (EVP), branding, CSR initiatives will send out a positive signal to the top talent they are looking to attract.
Ramping up recruitment
Despite logistical issues (self-isolation, travel bans, people working from home etc.) that many companies are facing, hiring assessments and interviewing can of course be done using the various technologies at our disposal. Hiring managers will increasingly turn to the various video platforms and can take advantage of online candidate CVs to gauge the suitability of individuals for their roles. Recruitment activity won’t come to a grinding halt!
As we have learnt from the past, it is those organisations that continue to invest in a people-centric strategy that will reap the rewards when the tide turns. They must continue where possible to invest in learning and development and allow employees the flexibility they need to help them during these trying times. Employees will be looking at how they are being treated, and those same individuals could well look for new openings sooner than you might think.