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How to Engage Candidates When Markets are Uncertain

Aly Finkle
Mon, Apr 6, 2020

There is always a degree of uncertainty in the business world, but current world events have thrown many industries into chaos. 

More and more businesses are experiencing layoffs, and employees are wondering how stable their jobs are. Many workers are now looking for new employment unexpectedly. Others are adjusting to working fewer hours or working from home. 

Stable companies are facing major adjustments too. Plenty of employers are still in business and thriving. For these companies, hiring new talent still may be a priority, but the current market presents some new challenges. 

If you are responsible for talent acquisition, you probably are already wondering how to engage new candidates in the current business environment. Workers who already have jobs are less keen to talk to recruiters about new opportunities. And unemployed job seekers are feeling overwhelmed at the thought of navigating this shaky job market. 

This can make it difficult to attract and work with the kind of candidates you’re looking for. Here is our best advice for engaging candidates when both parties are uncertain of the future. 

1. Don’t neglect your brand.

It’s understandable if your company isn’t on top of everything during this complicated time. A few things are going to fall by the wayside. But if you are looking to hire, it is essential to keep up your company’s image. 

Specifically, you want to focus on your employer brand. This isn’t about your products and services but how potential candidates perceive you as an employer. Stay active on social media and online so that candidates can find you. Bolster your company’s content about itself too so job seekers can learn about you. 

Just like your marketing team highlights and tells stories about your products and services, you can tell stories about your company’s culture to draw in new talent.

2. Be more flexible with the candidates you consider.

We don’t mean you should hire just anybody. It’s still important to hire the best candidate possible. But an uncertain market warrants thinking outside the box. 

Right now, many people are looking for flexible work options. Similarly, your company may be hesitant to invest the usual overhead costs of full-time employees at this time. Opening up positions to contract workers can allow you to reach a broader candidate pool of serious job seekers who are eager to work and won’t ghost you during the hiring process.

3. Adjust your role from recruiter to advisor.

Many job candidates see recruiters as just a point of contact during the hiring process. They may not have much interaction with you beyond initial conversations about open positions and some updates about the process. 

This is fine under normal circumstances, but with so much uncertainty about employment right now, you can keep your top candidates invested in opportunities at your company by going the extra mile for them. 

You have a unique look into the company for which you are hiring. Use that perspective to guide top talent throughout the hiring process. You can offer specific insight into what kind of candidate the hiring manager is looking for, what kind of questions will come up in interviews and more. 

The more help a candidate receives, the more willing they are to stay in the game and work with you to determine if they are a good fit. They’ll be more likely to follow the entire process and seriously consider your company when they have a knowledgeable guide leading them along.

4. Don’t forget the basic rules. 

Circumstances may be different right now, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t apply old techniques for candidate engagement. Many of those principles are still relevant in the current market. In times of uncertainty, keeping some things the same can be beneficial to everyone. 

What are these candidate techniques you shouldn’t forget? 

  • Stay in contact so that candidates don’t feel like you’ve forgotten them. If you’re working from home now, sending emails or making calls is just as easy as in the office.
  • Keep them updated on timelines and next steps, especially if anything changes unexpectedly. 
  • Promote your company. Tell candidates the benefits of working there. Highlight what you’re doing to support employees at this difficult time. 
  • Ask if they are working with any other companies. This indicates that you are concerned about losing them and are serious about their candidacy.  

5. Try some new solutions.

Changing times call for innovative solutions. If you find that keeping candidates engaged has become more complicated in the current market, look outside the box for answers. 

SelectOne understands the challenges of recruiting new talent even in the best of times. If you need some fresh hiring strategies that work, contact us today to discuss how our recruiting experts can help your company find the employees they need to succeed. 

For more considerations related to hiring during economic fluctuations, check out our guide to hiring for a future world.

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