The safety factor – Employing staff in a post-pandemic workplace
Covid - Employing staff in a post pandemic workplace

There can be little doubt that the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the workplace forever. In fact, it has not only changed it; it may well have changed it in a fundamental way for the foreseeable future. Covid is going to be something we need to think about for some time, so what does that mean for potential employers and candidates? The interviewing and selection processes are going to be impacted, clearly, but the need to have the right candidate on your team is not going to change. Looking back to the beginning of this situation, we were all talking about getting back to normal. As it gradually became clear that it wasn’t going to happen, we settled for a ‘new normal’.

Well, here we are in the new normal, and now we need to adapt. Employers still need to attract the right candidates, but there is now a new item on the agenda, Covid awareness.

Here are some hacks and tips we think will help:

Recognise Covid in your recruiting and onboarding process

People have differing views on the pandemic. Some are hyper-aware of Covid safety, and some people are simply not concerned. Regardless of the view of the candidate though, we think it’s important to acknowledge coronavirus safety in your recruiting process. If you don’t, you run the risk of seeming out of touch, or worse, not caring about the safety of your employees.

Stay up to date with the latest changes and adapt as needed

– With areas going in and out of different levels of protection, it is important that you stay up to date with the latest advice. Again, regardless of personal opinions or the inconvenience, it is important to demonstrate to candidates that you have their welfare at heart. Where possible, try to put the current situation in the context of practical response.

– Some roles are more sensitive to Covid safety than others, so a one fits all policy may not be appropriate.

Take practical steps and use them to encourage candidates

The initial response to Covid was knee jerk temporary solutions. Now we have had time to adapt, it’s a great idea to demonstrate to candidates in what way you have adapted, and show how you have responded. Maybe include a rundown of your Covid safety policy but in a narrative way. So rather than list your processes, put them in practical terms. Stating ‘All our desks have shielding’ is fine, but ‘Every desk has a convenient, clear, shield to allow normal interaction and conversation while maintaining Covid protection’ adds a layer of practical use and empathy.

Revisit your contracts and job descriptions

Candidates are bound to be worried about the effect that further Covid incidents will have on their jobs. There is a common misconception that money is the most important factor for a candidate, but in actual fact, the offer of job satisfaction is just as important, and often more so. If you can demonstrate that you have as many of the various potential situations covered so the work will continue without disruption, it will really appeal to candidates.

‘Online’ works better if it is more than just a replacement for ‘in person’

– There are some aspects of the recruitment process that are less viable at the moment. However, online is never going to replace face to face. They are different things, so we suggest embracing the difference.

– Rather than dropping the walk round, could you make a video tour? Meeting the team may not be possible in person, but how about a breakout room on Zoom where candidates can chat to existing staff?

– Rather than thinking of online as a replacement, leverage it as a recruitment tool by seeing at as an opportunity rather than a second-best solution.

Mental wellbeing

Last though, but certainly not least, is that the last year has been an eye-opener for all of us when it comes to mental wellbeing. Candidates, employees, business owners and senior management teams have all been through the same stresses and difficulties. There may or may not be more to come, but we all need to be aware of that potential.

 

When it comes to recruitment and Covid safety, the one thing that certainly hasn’t changed is the need to attract great candidates. With a good recruitment partner (and some slight tweaks to your recruitment process), some good could potentially come out of a difficult situation, and you could cement a team that will help you grow in the new normal.

Contact us if you want to talk through your recruitment needs.