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Hiring Through Crisis: Recruiting & Onboarding in Challenging Times

Posted: 04/02/2020 | Author: Angela Ozar for Creatives On Call

Hiring Through Crisis: Recruiting & Onboarding in Challenging Times

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Crises can take many forms: a natural disaster, a pandemic, an economic recession. What do you do if you need to hire in less than ideal circumstances? Recruiting and onboarding employees during a crisis involves communication, planning, and flexibility. Believe it or not, there are surprising benefits of hiring during a challenging time. No one can anticipate when a crisis will happen, but with procedures in place, you can be ready to hire top talent amid chaos. 

Pivoting Processes & Communication

Hiring during a crisis will mean a whole new way of doing things. Take traditional processes and set them aside for the time being. Your organization may need to halt hiring or suddenly need to fill hundreds of roles. Whichever the case may be your hiring strategy will need to shift quickly. 

Look to culture, industry leaders, large companies, and management for direction in how to respond. The candidate pool, search areas, advertising, interviews, and onboarding processes may all be impacted in the new environment. For example, you may need to expand or narrow the geographic search area or switch from filling permanent roles to interim roles. Face to face interviews may not be possible.

Many companies have already implemented phone screening, video interviews, and electronic assessments as a part of their hiring process. In a crisis, you have the opportunity to get creative in implementing new technology and procedures. As the old phrase goes, "necessity is the mother of invention"! There are tons of tools and resources available at your disposal from using Skype and Zoom to conduct interviews to enlisting an agency like Creatives On Call to help fill short-term remote needs.  

Land O' Lakes and the University of Washington are great examples of how to communicate recruiting and hiring changes through a crisis, using Q&A and a step-by-step guide. Come up with a plan, get sign off from leadership, and team up with communications to announce changes via your company's website and social channels. 

Unexpected Benefits 

If you are hiring during a crisis or a it spurs your company to hire, most likely you need to do so fast. Benefits of hiring faster include time and cost savings, higher acceptance rates, and better talent. When you need to hire quickly, your organization saves money in reducing the time it takes to recruit, hire, and fill positions. The risk of losing top candidates to a lengthy process is also reduced. 

A crisis brings out the worst and best in people. During employee onboarding, you can quickly determine whether a new hire will thrive or crumble under pressure. You can also learn how the person communicates in abnormal circumstances, as well as their attitude. Are they a team player? Are they able to roll with the punches? Similar to a first impression, there is a lot that can be observed about a person and their reaction in an emergency. 

When you are in crisis management mode, you don't have as much time to train and onboard. This can help create autonomy and build trust with a new hire immediately. You can assess a person's productivity and leadership skills easily. 

Another benefit of an unusual situation is that it can quickly bond the new employee with the team and the organization. When people go through a tough situation together, they can come out with stronger relationships and a deeper sense of loyalty. 

Helpful Hiring Resources

How you communicate during a crisis sets the tone for existing employees and new employees coming into the organization. Here is a list of some helpful hiring resources and blogs covering everything from remote interviewing to diversifying your talent base: 

LinkedIn, talent sourcing agencies and Inc.'s HR blog are excellent resources for advice as well. 

Making the Best Out of Unforeseen Events

No matter what the current crisis is, you can turn it into a positive for your organization. You can ensure transparency for prospective candidates by reacting quickly and communicating new policies. A crisis is an opportunity to think outside the box and reevaluate your hiring resources and needs. 

Having to hire rapidly in less than stellar circumstances can lead to surprising benefits like getting to know a new hire better in a shorter timeframe. There are various resources and guides for hiring, recruiting, and employee onboarding. Creatives On Call is happy to be one of them. We're here for your hiring needs and to provide you with relevant content and tips! 


Further questions about how this relates to Creatives On Call? Reach out to your Recruiter or Client Services contact, and we'd be happy to help you out. Check out our Facebook channel and LinkedIn account for more updates and helpful resources, daily. For more resources now, check out our Resource List for Companies and our Resource List for Creatives during this work from home time.

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