All indications are that this pandemic-directed shut-in economy is life for the immediate term. And as government and public health officials learn more about the virus and set policy for safety and mitigation for future incidents, we may face shelter-in-place orders from time to time in the long term.
Shifting from talent management defense to offense
Here at our own company, and from both anecdotal accounts at the front lines of recruiting, and through the Work From Home study we recently conducted, most companies have smoothly pivoted to remote operations. Even companies for whom remote work had never been an option seem to have transitioned well. Now the focus must turn to moving business forward – how to play under the new rules, stay relevant, and make money today, in the recovery, and beyond.
Understandably, the shock and awe of the pandemic’s attack on people and commerce have caused many companies to pull back on their talent plans. But now that the dust is settling and we start to raise our heads to survey the new landscape, there is an opportunity for companies when it comes to securing top talent.
Fill your funnel with A+ talent
It’s hard to believe that just a few short weeks ago, unemployment was at historic lows, and candidates had the upper hand. The most in-demand talent was out of reach, either simply not looking, passively hidden, or expected heavy courting by multiple suitors before making a job switch. While current uncertainty may make some candidates further reticent to move, some may be more willing to move than not – especially from companies or sectors not handling the crisis well.
Savvy employers are seeing this time for what it is – a chance to fill their talent funnel with exceptional candidates who are now in play. This is especially true for building out teams with skillsets required to reach isolated consumers with new marketing messages and strategies through new media and channels with innovated or repackaged products and services. Currently trending sectors that are hiring include technology, gaming, home health, education, financial services, delivery services, pure-play e-commerce, and food/beverage. Hot talent search areas include content development, customer acquisition, digital marketing, e-commerce, graphic design, project management, social media, SEO/SEM, and web development.
Strengthen your existing team with knowledge
The second talent management opportunity emerging is upskilling current employees to fill the gaps illuminated by the pandemic. As we collectively participate in a work-from-home experiment, many of us are finding that our productivity is higher at home, without the distractions of office socializing and meetings that could’ve been emails and more. The extra time can be filled with professional development and training, which benefits both employers and their employees.
Our research continually shows that companies that are known to be learning organizations with documented investment in talent training and development are more attractive to job seekers. Employees are more loyal to those organizations as well. With the advancement of distance learning through third-party providers or turning inward for resident company subject matter experts who can step up and mentor or cross-train colleagues, there are a variety of ways to upskill and reskill teams. Zoom classrooms, self-paced modules, virtual lunch and learns, prerecorded content webinars – companies can turn the COVID-19 disruption into a new skill eruption.
Skilled talent is the fuel that makes the best organizations run – pandemic or not. The time has come to shift out of neutral and drive. For additional resources on managing virtual teams and successfully recruiting top digital talent click here.