Business as we know it literally changed overnight when President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a national lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19. As the majority of the South African workforce instantly became remote, businesses that had never managed a dispersed team were now thrown in the deep end, leaving financial strains on both employers and employees. Forced to adopt new working processes and practices, businesses are now re-thinking how they communicate, collaborate, and engage with each other, their customers, and the broader talent pool.
How can the recruitment industry adjust to the current situation? Are businesses even still hiring and if they are, do they even have marketing spend available to market this well enough? In this marketing survival strategy, we’ll be looking at how to adjust your marketing strategy to combat COVID-19, where to save on advertising costs, what to focus on and how to adjust your recruiting and HR hiring strategy through this pandemic. Below are our marketing tips and strategy adjustments to help keep your recruitment agency, or in-house Human Resource talent management, operational and ensure a smooth recruitment process during the pandemic.
Our top tips and strategies include:
Understand the changing market
As per a recent study published in Business Tech on which sectors are still hiring during South Africa’s COVID-19 lockdown, country manager of Adzuna, Jesse Green, revealed that they have seen massive reductions in vacancy ads across the board. The impact this decline of vacancy has on sectors such as manufacturing, will be felt by thousands of businesses in the weeks to come. The group also said that job adverts have continued to decline, with reports indicating that the country has lost between 21% and 38% of advertised vacancies since the start of this year. Some of the industries that have seen the biggest increase in lack of advertising vacancies include warehousing, logistics, admin, hospitality, property, retail and sales.
This begs the question- which industries are still actively seeking candidates? The same study revealed that two of the top hiring sectors at the moment are grocery stores and logistics. With vacancies within customer service, warehousing, packaging, accounting and healthcare still being very much in demand. This massive adjustment to the job market calls for a new and different approach to Human Resources to ensure correct talent management during these trying times.
Adjust your talent’s expectations
The job market is understandably tight, and you may be inundated with CVs from prospects emailing you and getting touch via LinkedIn. They may be seeking employment desperately specifically within those industries which have not been operational during lockdown or have found their small entrepreneurial business in trouble. How do you manage this surplus of candidates with little open vacancies? One way of combatting this is helping to educate and inform your talent pool and adjusting their expectations, with regards to where they can apply their skills, potentially within a new sector. You can encourage your candidates to apply for the same or similar role, but potentially looking at a different sector that is hiring now.
Prioritise remote working skills
Because many industries can work remotely indefinitely acquiring a digital nomad way of life, it’s in your company's (or the company you are recruiting for’s) best interest to place a special focus on skills for remote work when you’re hiring. Effective communication, organisation, conscientiousness, self-direction and a high level of technological aptitude are all useful skills in remote work.
While your company or your client may not be fully remote forever, specifically seeking these skills in job candidates can make the hiring transition more seamless and increase their initial productivity, since there’d be less of a learning curve to adjust to remote work.
Know how to manage your marketing spend
Right now, more than ever, marketing spend is tight whilst the right candidates are out there looking for work. Many qualified candidates who were looking for jobs before the pandemic hit may assume that most companies are not hiring during the crisis, so you must make it well-known that your company is actively seeking new employees and can afford to market these vacancies.
Utilise LinkedIn to search for qualified candidates and advertise your vacancies- portals such as BizCommunity, Indeed and Careers24 are all great portals on which to list your vacancy. Focus heavily on marketing roles that can adapt to talent that have now found themselves without work, but whose skills can be applied to the same role in a different industry. For a unique approach to advertising your vacancies, there are also many third-party sites where you can utilise strategic PR efforts by writing articles addressing the public and letting them know your company is hiring. This will work well in building brand upliftment and, if you have quite a few vacancies on offer, you might want to look at hiring a specialist digital marketing agency to help you execute this effectively.
You can also draw upon your current employees to help get the word out by leveraging off of their own social media, where they can share the job posting. The more shares, the bigger the reach. Bonus points for any company staff that can share why they love working for that company within the job opening post, to keep your own staff morale up and feeling positive.
Have a detailed employee remote recruitment procedure
If you’re hiring during the coronavirus pandemic, you need a detailed and well-thought-out procedure or recruitment plan in place before you begin the process. Hiring completely remotely will be a very different experience from hiring in person, and it’s your responsibility to nail this procedure so that interviewing, hiring and on-boarding candidates is seamless.
This includes testing out technologies ahead of time, and prepping as much as possible ahead of time- this goes for your recruitment agency as well.
When you extend the invitation for a video interview, make sure you detail exactly how the process will go and what the candidate should expect. This could include details such as:
Know your company will now be in the spotlight
With advertising your vacancies, whether you’re a corporate or a recruitment agency, you can expect candidates are doing their research meaning your website and social media channels are very much put in the spotlight. Not that this should be your motivation to get your digital marketing presence on point, but in order to attract the right type of talent and customers, your digital footprint should remain relevant, active, informative and immediately sell your company in the best light possible.
If you aren’t remaining current, actively updating your social media channels with relevant content and having an updated website that’s clear on exactly what your business does and a good SEO ranking, you can’t expect the most qualified candidates who are interested to get excited about what your business has to offer.
Know how to promote your Corporate Social Responsibility efforts
Internships, graduate programmes and the like should be effectively promoted through PR efforts and social media. Another great way to make your company desirable and fulfilling to work at would be to get involved in opportunities for community upliftment through social initiatives.
If you need help with marketing, PR, Social Media or web development for your recruitment agency or HR efforts, contact Arc Interactive on firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit www.arcinteractive.co. You can also follow Arc Interactive on Facebook, Twitter or on Instagram.
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