Recruiting in the Face of Uncertainty
In the midst of the current coronavirus crisis, all of us are facing much uncertainty. Developments are fast-paced; projections are constantly changing and cover a wide spectrum of best- and worst-case scenarios. Many of us are being asked questions we simply don’t have answers to. Although we know that this will pass and that we’ll eventually get back to a more normal daily life, right now it feels like we’re in the middle of a storm, doing our best to stay upright and wait for the worst to pass. We’re in the same boat with all of you, facing our own uncertainties and doing our best to navigate this difficult stretch while serving employers, job seekers, and our own team.
The best we can do is to take everything one day at a time. Planning and communication are critical, even if information is limited. For those of you who are approaching your operating season for summer 2020, but are navigating the challenges surrounding your recruitment message, we wanted to provide some ideas and suggestions for how to approach your recruiting through this uncertain time.
One of the biggest questions we’re getting from job seekers right now is if listings are current and the information is up to date, so making sure that you’re communicating current information will help ensure that applicants are confident in considering your company for their upcoming summer job and following through to your application.
Leverage your Active Materials
With many people sheltering at home and pondering what their next steps will be, potential job seekers have a lot of time on their hands. These folks are actively browsing CoolWorks, and many job seekers are wondering whether the information in your job listings is current. If you’re still actively accepting applications and ramping up for the 2020 summer season, consider updating active ads/profiles to acknowledge Covid and reflect current information. Many job seekers are hesitant to apply or reach out because materials not addressing current events lead them to assume that the information provided is out of date. Address your current recruiting status in the context of current events so that potential applicants can move forward with confidence.
If you haven’t already, update the How to Apply instructions on your Enhanced Employer Profile or CoolWorks listings to speak to the crisis and how you are hiring through Covid. By speaking to current events and informing job seekers how those events are impacting your operations, they will be better informed and more confident in applying because you’re signaling that you’re with the times, even if the message is simply “We are monitoring the developments with Covid closely and are still planning for an on-schedule opening in May.”
If you’re fully staffed, no longer accepting applications, or in a temporary hiring freeze, consider either pausing your recruitment materials, or communicating your current status on your active materials so that applicants can continue to apply, and also have realistic expectations. If this is your current scenario, you could say something like “We will keep your application on file and reach out when our operations resume.”
Update Your Confirmation Message
If you are still actively accepting applications, and you’re using an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) or other online form that sends automated receipt confirmation messages to applicants, consider updating your confirmation message to address your current hiring status in the wake of coronavirus. Communicate next steps and expectations, whether that be longer timeframes in hearing back from your company, possible revised season dates, and any other information that could affect the recruiting process or operating season. Providing timelines, expectations, and up to date information can help improve application completion rates and start your relationship with potential new hires on the right foot.
Communicate What You Do Know
We’re all gradually growing more accustomed to processing uncertainty, so no one expects you to have all the answers. Focus on communicating what you do know – even if the outlook is unclear – simply to convey to job seekers that you’re focused on the events at hand, working towards outlining a plan and solution, and communicating up to date information as it becomes available. One of the biggest questions we’re getting from job seekers right now is if listings are current and the information is up to date, so making sure that you’re communicating current information will help ensure that applicants are confident in considering your company for their upcoming summer job and following through to your application.
Also, remember that it’s not just active job seekers who need to hear from you. The staff that you’ve hired up until this point are also likely eager for news of how current events will impact their plans for summer. Leveraging existing communication platforms is a great way to keep everyone in the loop. You could also consider creating a private group for your property in the CoolWorks Community, and inviting new and returning hires as well as veteran or year-round staff to connect, keep in touch and stay connected in these days of social distancing.
We have also created a section in our Forums to provide a platform for the seasonal / Jobs In Great Places community to gather and share. We’d love to see you there, and the Employer Hub is another great opportunity to disseminate your operational updates with other seasonal employers as well as the job seeker community who is eager to hear from you.
We are thinking of all of you, your families, communities, and colleagues in these difficult times. We will get through this together.