In March of 2020, the CoolWorks team began to reach out to employers advertising on CoolWorks to recommend that they share any and all information on how the COVID-19 virus might impact and affect the experience of working Jobs In Great Places this summer. At that time, we hoped it would be short-lived, and that we’d be reaching out and reminding folks to remove it from their materials the next time they came back to CoolWorks to place an advertisement the following season. Summer 2020, and then winter 2020/21 unfolded, and we’re now looking ahead to summer 2021. COVID continues to impact almost every facet of our lives, and it seems that it will be for a while.
So, what is Recruitment Marketing, what does it have to do with COVID, and why should it be a priority for you? All of the advertising, outreach, promotions, and incentives aimed at attracting and hiring your staff are your recruitment marketing efforts. The EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE and COMPANY CULTURE that working at your organization offers to staff is to recruitment marketing what your business’s PRODUCTS and SERVICES are to your company-wide marketing.
Consider your life at this moment in time. If you had to travel right now, would you consider purchasing a flight if the airline made no mention of COVID, or what practices they were deploying to keep staff and passengers safe? How might you feel about a high-risk loved one heading into a doctor’s appointment, or an emergency room without a mask? Unfortunately, COVID has turned our world upside down, and it increasingly branches out to nearly everything imaginable – including your recruiting and hiring.
Here’s some good news – after months of being cooped up and locked down, your Jobs In Great Places are looking pretty darn appealing to lots of people, especially folks who have been restricted in small spaces or densely populated areas. The freedoms and beauty that come with wide-open spaces and fresh air are valued and appreciated in this strange moment in history in an entirely different way then they perhaps have been before. Couple that with the fact that millions of Americans are recently unemployed, and as a recruiter, you have reasons to be optimistic about the job opportunities you have to offer and fill. Having the ability to offer someone a job right now is an immense gift, and that’s the kind of hope that we could all use a little bit more of.
Several months on from that initial outreach in March, we are now encouraging employers to LEAD the conversation by addressing COVID and its impacts. By addressing it upfront, you speak to the majority of job seekers’ #1 concern – their safety and well-being thereby engaging and encouraging them to sincerely consider pursuing employment with you. By not addressing it or mentioning it at all in your recruiting materials, you’ll leave the majority of job seekers with hesitations and concerns that could likely cost you an applicant.
Our top three recommendations for Recruiting through COVID are:
- Acknowledge it immediately. You don’t want your entire job posting to turn into an essay on the pandemic, but you do want to communicate immediately that it’s taken seriously and your organization prioritizes employee safety, and then link out to the pages on your website that host more information on the subject, for those that want to get in-depth with your policies.
- Review and revise your visuals. It’s wild to consider the drastically different messages that photos and videos send in a post COVID world. Perhaps large group shots of staff huddled together smiling aren’t as productive or effective as a photo of a single person with a dramatic vista in the back, or a majestic wildlife shot. Consider emphasizing imagery that places the focus on safe social practices and your compelling and stunning natural scenery.
- Adjust the ancillary details. Are you currently providing single-occupancy housing? Any new benefits added that tie to mental or physical well-being? Are you offering free room and board, or will you have a shorter season this year, or adjusted work schedules? Making sure that you acknowledge and communicate at every pertinent contact point what you are doing differently this year not only makes good sense while educating and engaging potential applicants, it also allows you to showcase some things that might just work in your favor to attract candidates to your opportunities.
Ultimately, the most important thing is that you speak about COVID-19 in your CoolWorks materials. Job seekers are reaching out to us to let us know that they are prioritizing transparency in relation to the pandemic in their job search, and not addressing it only hurts your efforts to attract applicants. This Job Seeker Resource alone, “Finding and Applying for Jobs During COVID” has been viewed 14,000 times.
We realize that nothing about any of this is easy, and we want you to know we are here for you. Feel free to reach out and drop us an email or give us a call. We’d be happy to talk through your organization’s unique set of circumstances and help you brainstorm how best to address the issues of the day in your marketing.