Just two short years ago, hiring new agency employees was subject to a few tried and true practices, including budgeting time and money, and digging deep into each candidate’s background.
Post-pandemic, it’s an applicant’s game—and you’ll need to rewrite the rules to snag the best people for your agency. Here are a few hiring considerations for the COVID era:
Rethink your expectations regarding experience
You’re likely to come across an applicant with one (or more) recent layoffs under their belt. Since they may not have current work experience that you can mine during the application process, be prepared to dig deeper. Consider creative ways to evaluate their qualities like how positive and collaborative they are, their reliability and work ethic, etc. as you do this. Did they use the downtime to take an online class? Did they take on a temporary side hustle? Or did they focus on wellness during the hiatus, conserving their energy for a post-lockdown job hunt? Their answers should give you good insight on what they can bring to your agency, as well as their flexibility and resilience.
Ask staff for help—and make it worth their while
Some wary job seekers may have been let go by their prior employer during the pandemic—and don’t want a repeat any time soon. For example, if you have an opening in your commercial department and tend to employ commercial vehicle staff for the long-haul (pardon the pun), that would be especially appealing to candidates in today’s world. Establish an employee referral program so that satisfied employees, especially those with longer tenure, can get rewarded just for talking up your agency.
Agency atmosphere: What can they expect?
We’ve all experienced confusion reintegrating as a society. Does the library require a mask? Does the grocery store have one-way aisles? Will the dental hygienist do a temperature check? Help applicants, current employees, and customers understand your agency’s expectations for masking, social distancing, and other COVID accommodations. They’ll appreciate the clarity!
Make them an offer they can’t refuse
Labor demand is up but supply is constrained, so some employers are offering signing bonuses and increased starting wages to attract and retain workers. If you’re offering any monetary incentives, share the news through social media, your website, current employees, and office signage. And consider other work perks as well: biweekly summer hours (slightly longer hours Monday – Thursday with Friday afternoons off), hybrid office hours, comp time, birthdays off, Friday morning donuts, etc. It all adds up!
Your agency is rewriting the rules for hiring at the same time that your prospective employees are rewriting the rules for selecting an employer. Putting careful thought into the process increases the odds of success for all.