Key Considerations for the Future
The labor market is about to be turned on its head. We realize that it’s already crazy, but it’s crazy for the wrong reasons because it is a depressed market. At some point, it’s going to make that upward turn and – if the market explodes like some predict – it will be a little like the Wild Wild West.
None of us really knows what that recovery will look like. It could be suppressed for an extended period of time and make gradual gains. But most experts we’ve spoken with think it is going to be a recovery burst in terms of hiring and company activity.
It is not just about the financial situation or the demand for goods and services that will matter in the next period of recovery. There is going to be a new norm for businesses. During the quarantine, many people have lost their jobs or been laid off. Those with jobs in non-essential businesses have worked at home for weeks, often with flexible hours, a lack of commutes and an abundance of family time. Most people have had time to consider their future and examine what they value. It has been a time for reflection to really evaluate their jobs, their careers, their hopes and dreams. Some will have altered their expectations for the future and what they want from a career opportunity.
At the same time, there are many people on the other end of the spectrum who are nervous and desperate. They are driven more by fear than they are changing expectations. As unemployment has risen, so has anxiety which means that some of the candidates in the market will be willing to take a wider range of jobs than they would consider if their options were not as limited.
KEEP BOTH OF THOSE THINGS IN MIND AS YOU BEGIN THE HIRING PROCESS AND MAKE THE FOLLOWING PART OF YOUR PLAN TO HIRE FOR THE RECOVERY:
Value Existing Employees
Don’t forget about your chosen team. Review your downturn strategy and always keep evaluating your team to make sure you have the right people in place. If you need to adjust and make a change, now is the time to do it. As you begin to hire new people, keep in mind you will be integrating those new winners into an already established team of winners. Reassure them, communicate what you are doing and provide direction.
Follow a Diligent Hiring Process
Make sure you are following an established process to hire new people that unpacks their history and examines their past experiences.
Go back to the same questions we discussed earlier about hiring for attitude, performance and process. While interviewing, make sure that all candidates are the right fit for your organization and not simply telling you everything you want to hear because they may be desperate. Be certain they would have wanted to work for your company in that role before the downturn.
Consider the Currently Employed
Yes, the market is flooded with talent, but if companies have done a good job of keeping their winners, then some of the best people are currently employed. And they maybe some of those same people who have been pondering their futures and are looking for something different. Scout all talent. Don’t be afraid to reach out to those who are not actively searching but may be willing to entertain the possibility of a different opportunity. Consider creating or bolstering an internal referral program.
Balance Your Team
Look for holes in your current team and look for ways to upgrade talent or fill those gaps or weak spots. This may be the biggest talent pool of qualified people that has been available in decades. Take advantage of the opportunity to find the perfect additions to create a fully well-rounded team.
If possible, take a little bit of a risk when it looks like the recovery is beginning. Be the first to the fishing hole and the first line in the water to catch the best talent before they are gone. We know of two companies in a competing market where one is always light years ahead in terms of talent. Through previous downturns, while one company would be letting people go, the other company would be hiring because they were able to invest in talent. The bold moves of the more aggressive company to prepare for the recovery would translate into profitability and market share once the market improved.