It’s the end of 2020 and there is good news about a vaccine. Hopefully this will be distributed from early 2021 on and during 2021 we can go back to normal as we knew it. Although I expect many things to never go back to the old normal, like everybody going back to the office all the time, but that’s an entire different subject.
The one thing all organizations need to do now is be ready for the great rehire and in the words of Winston Churchill: never waste a good crisis. So be better prepared for what will come than how you handled your recruitment in the past years.
So here’s what I consider to be the most likely scenario of what is to come. Although unemployment has been falling some in the USA, I expect there will be a lot more people looking for jobs. Many companies will fail in January after not being able to make the normal Christmas boom sales.
In Europe I fear 2021 will be a year of bankruptcies. Many governments have done everything they can to ease the pain and in the Netherlands for example we’ve actually seen less bankruptcies in 2020 than in any normal year because of the government help. We do see unemployment increasing and I expect we’ll see it increase a lot more in the first half of 2021.
Combine this with many companies that will have either full remote or partial remote policies that companies have in place and all of a sudden location will become less important. So the physical range to the office to apply will increase as well, as the long trips are acceptable one or two days a week.
In September I’ve already wrote about why you need digital pre-selection tools because of this and I hope you have that installed by now. Right now I would like you to think about another piece that will help you move your recruitment strategy forward: Candidate Relationship & Tracking software.
You will be getting in a lot more applicants and I would even argue you want to start advertising in these times, even if you might not be looking for the candidates right now. You want to start building a talent pool. Oh how that word has been around for ages, but we now have the technology to actually build one.
Talent pool strategy
So make sure you have the right technology for this. I personally love Candidate.ID for this as it’s both really easy to use and it tracks candidates’ interactions so you know who has done what and looked at what so you can personalize the next automated actions and when you are looking for a candidate you know who has been most active and who for examples recently looked at your vacancy. But I’ve also seen a great in house tool build for this and if you never reach out to candidates anyway and you wait for candidates to apply, you can use any CRM system.
When the technology is in place, build a content strategy. Basically you need to find the balance between free content that’s out there for all to see combined with some special content as you want people to register. They need to tell you who they are before you can build a talentpool. This is a delicate balance, you need enough free content to win trust, but you need enough added value content behind the registration to get them to register. As this balance is different for every type of job and sector, you’ll need to experiment with this.
Then you set up the automated content strategy and start advertising to get people to sign up. As unemployment is higher than it has been for ages and people are more and more willing to work from further away, this should be relatively easy.
Let’s share an example of what a great content strategy can look like. Optician chain Specsavers made their internal training content available for everybody who wants to upgrade their skills as an optician. Of course, they left out the company-specific things, but it’s still very valuable content. And it’s all free for those that register. They now have their competitor’s employees in their database. They can actually see how good they are when they do exams at the end of the training and they know how ‘hire ready’ they are because you see if they looked at a vacancy. Specsavers managed to increase the number of hires per recruiter by 50% in 2019.
So make sure you are ready for post-pandemic hiring. Of course, you need pre-selection tools if the volumes increase significantly. But you also want to build a talent pool of all those excellent candidates that you don’t have a job for right now. And of course, if more and more people are willing to travel further as they don’t have to do it every day, this is probably a group that needs a little more persuasion. They will take longer to convince that it really is remote most of the time.
Make sure you are ready for 2021.
Author: Bas van de Haterd
Bas van de Haterd is a self-employed professional that helps companies recruit smarter by using the right technology. He is mainly known for his in-depth knowledge of pre-screening assessment technology. He also runs a research, award, and event called Digitaal-Werven that focuses on the candidate experience. Follow Bas on Twitter @bvdhaterd or connect with him on LinkedIn.