Every industry, every company, every department, has their own unique hiring challenges to overcome. This is nothing new. Two summers ago we addressed the IT skills gap and the strategies organizations could adopt in order to overcome it. While that issue persists and continues to be a thorn in the side of the IT industry, the year 2020 and the coronavirus pandemic presents its own unique hurdle.

While many companies have temporarily put hiring on hold, there are others operating as it’s business as usual (mostly). For those organizations who need the talent, hiring during the pandemic presents several unique challenges. In this blog post, we discuss four challenges faced by employers and offer solutions for how they can overcome them.

The 4 Hiring Challenges Faced During a Pandemic

Challenge 1: Receiving Qualified Applicants

As has already been alluded to, attracting qualified candidates is a real challenge. Throw a pandemic in the mix and it becomes virtually impossible. That’s because, in this environment especially, there’s so much uncertainty. Even the experts have no idea what to expect. So, getting someone to leave a secure full-time position can be a big ask.

Our solution? Turn your roles into contract positions. Doing so will give you access to a deeper candidate pool as the IT industry already employs many IT contractors – and these job seekers are always on the lookout for their next job opportunity. Besides, there’s a lot to like about employing a contingent workforce. With a contractor you don’t have to pay taxes, social security, or benefits. The contract also allows the employer to see firsthand if the consultant has the technical skills, and personality, needed to succeed in their organization over the long-haul – if you do elect to hire them full-time.

Challenge 2: Meeting Candidates In-Person

It’s never wise to extend an offer to a candidate sight unseen. While it will speed up your hiring process, a key attribute in landing the best available talent, there’s too much that can go wrong. With travel restrictions, office closures, and stay-at-home orders in place, however, how else are you supposed to make a hire?

It’s easy. Utilize the same video technology companies have been using to stay in contact with their teams to interview candidates. Options include Microsoft Skype, Apple FaceTime, Facebook’s WhatsApp, and Zoom among others. Whether during a pandemic or not, utilizing video interviews will speed up your hiring process, ease the scheduling process, give you access to larger candidate pools, and help you deliver a better hiring process.

Challenge 3: Candidate Relocation

You have the need and your compensation package is enticing, but will candidates realistically consider relocating in this environment? Relocating, on its own, is a scary endeavor; relocating during a pandemic, however, is downright frightening.

Instead, consider making your open roles remote positions – at least for those where it’s a feasible option.  For one, companies are having so much success operating remotely, during the pandemic, that many are opting to work from home on a permanent basis. And it’s not hard to see why. The benefits of offering remote work include: a larger candidate base, the ability to better compete with competitors, increased worker productivity, more efficient workers, improved employee morale, lower overhead costs, and it better meets the demand of a younger workforce.

Challenge 4: Onboarding

One in six employees consider quitting a new job in the midst of an ineffective onboarding experience. That means, when onboarding a new employee, it’s imperative to start them off on the right foot. To help ease an employee’s transition, meeting them at the front door on their first day and introducing them to their team members can do numbers for helping to ease the employee into their new position. When you and your entire team, including the new employee, are working remotely, however, where’s the front door? How do you onboard remote employees?

This is where technology, once again, comes to the rescue. Using the same software you use to manage your remote teams, schedule a video conference call first thing, on the first day, to introduce them to their team members. Send an email welcome package consisting of your company’s product information and other helpful tidbits they may need to know. Work with your IT departments to setup consistent online training sessions and team integration procedures. And lastly, keep communication lines open and have leaders communicate on a regular basis. The last thing you want to do when onboarding a remote employee is to leave them feeling isolated on an island.

So, while the pandemic has made hiring that much more difficult, it’s nowhere near impossible. When taking the proper steps, organizations will be able to locate, interview, and onboard new employees with ease. If you’re in need of assistance, however, contact PSCI – we have the experienced and dedicated staff necessary to handle all of your hiring needs.

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