The number of recruitment tools and sources of candidates is nowadays quite high. Even in this difficult time that we observe during COVID-19, we can still access most of the common online ways of acquiring candidates like LinkedIn, job portals, external database or internal ATS systems. However, each recruiter knows that what creates the added value of each recruitment specialist is its unique candidate network and relations with candidates. Whether we have active recruitment projects, or they are frozen by our companies, building relation and communicating with potential talent pool is still an important job to pursue.

So how to successfully communicate with candidates during the current situation?

If we still have active recruitment projects and our industry is not slowing down, we are a part of a very positive scenario. As recruiters, we should try to identify opportunities that come from the current situation and answer a question like: “are there any competitive or interesting companies that we know of that are in the process of dismissals”? It can give us a possibility to get in touch with candidates who are in a difficult professional situation because they lost or will loose their job soon – it’s a good time to get in touch with them before other companies will. Just look at LinkedIn – we observe an increasing number of posts from specialists confirming they are available to start a new job as soon as possible due to employers’ decisions. For many people it can be a difficult situation, but you are lucky to be able to help them.

At the same time, in communication with candidates it is important to underline that recruitment process is done remotely – of course if you really do it or may consider doing it. Safety first. Currently, people have a full right to feel anxiety and uncertainty related to their health or family situation (it is not easy to work from home and take care of your children school program just after, right?). We should focus on underlining in our communication that we care and that we are well-organized in terms of remote recruitment and onboarding. Particularly that in many companies’ employees work in virtual teams and already have great tools to arrange online meetings, like MS Teams, Slack, Zoom, Whereby, etc. These could be easily used to schedule interviews, onboarding trainings or virtual meetings with teams and the Manager.

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What Should you Communicate to your Candidates?

Probably some of you can observe a slowdown of recruitment process or perhaps your company decided to put all new recruitments on hold. Well, it is important to be frank with your candidates. In major cases, people show a lot of understanding related to the current situation and decisions taken.

If the recruitment process is longer than usual, remember to stay in touch with your candidates and update them every few days about their status and possible next steps. Many markets reports show that one of the biggest mistakes of recruiters in candidates’ eyes is not to give feedback – particularly if they are not accepted to the next recruitment step. Updating candidates and confirming they are still “in the game” or giving them information that unfortunately they were not chosen for a role is a sign of quality and creates your brand of a competent recruiter. At the same time, you minimize the risk that after getting back in touch after few weeks, your candidate will inform you that he or she accepted another job offer and, what can be even worse, that the impression about the recruitment process is at least dissatisfying or disappointing. “Too little, too late”.

What if your Company Puts Recruitment on Hold?

If the recruiter’s dark scenario happens and your company decides to hold all recruitment processes, you should take into consideration that this option is probably temporary and prepare for the moment of restarting the recruitment needs. Refreshing contact with candidates from your network and approaching talent pool that can be required in your organization in some time is important to for you to remain fast and efficient when the current crisis ends. Explain the situation frankly to candidates about no current needs but show interest in the future cooperation. These candidates may be keener to consider your offer when the time comes.

Aneta Baraś
HR Director

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