6 Creative Hiring Methods During the Coronavirus Pandemic 2022

by Victoria Mckee

The global pandemic sparked innovations in the recruiting, hiring, and onboarding processes.

If you’re wondering how to adjust to the new normal in the HR industry, experts share their lessons as they navigate in the new normal, along with their talent acquisition strategies. Read on!


The Impact on Workforce Planning

According to Eoin Byrne, Lidl’s chief HR officer, store safety is HR’s top concern, followed by how to respond to the increasing demand for filling front-line positions for stores to meet public needs amid the pandemic.

Jeff Luttrell, Alorica’s senior director of talent acquisition, also feels the same urgency. The demand for Alorica’s services is skyrocketing, which is why Lutrell’s team of 300 recruiters is working extremely hard to hire thousands of people to meet the 24/7 demand. However, there’s another huge problem: how to move thousands of employees from their physical offices to the comforts of their homes for remote work.

Paula Harvey, Schulte Building System’s VP of HR and safety, is experiencing a slightly different situation. While Schulte isn’t actively looking for new employees, they are looking at talent shopping for those laid off or furloughed, so the company can fill future roles once the economy starts to get back up.

Harvey is also taking advantage of the time to re-evaluate the company’s job description, reassessing the workforce to ensure the right employees are hired for the right job, and checking to see that all high-potentials are right on track to progress to higher management positions. Rather than preparing for recruiting and hiring, Schulte focuses more on holding steady and preparing for the next season.


Almost Everything is Virtual

Creative Hiring Methods

Organizations from all over the world need to transition to virtual recruiting and hiring processes for most job positions.

Lidl adapted to a speedier recruiting and onboarding process for new hires. For instance, if you applied in one of the stores on a Tuesday evening, you could begin within three business days. The speed comes from conducting interviews through video conferencing platforms, though specific hiring process steps were eliminated.

Some standards were broken away to make processes quicker, such as dropping the need to go through an interview with two people. Furthermore, new hires could begin their jobs even before processing background checks.

Lidl’s culture now focuses more on being adaptive and agile, and with today’s circumstances, the company ensures they’re living up to their objectives. Hiring managers and recruiters trained to use competency-based interview models are now asked to change their practices, adapting to a completely virtual process.

Byrne says that it’s not 100% sure they can guarantee that the company culture and role can be translated entirely in a virtual interview. However, hiring managers can still get a good idea of their candidates through situational judgment questions focusing on competencies. Virtual interviews aren’t as good as physical ones, it’s challenging, and it’s fine for HR leaders to agree that virtual recruitment and hiring are complex.

As for Alorica, the company also needed to shift to a completely virtual recruiting and hiring process. Lutrell says that their teams use various collaboration tools and online communication platforms for a smooth process.

They also create videos of recruiters who provide instructions on how candidates should go through the application process. Furthermore, the paperwork process has been adjusted for electronic signatures, with recruiters texting candidates and using chatbots.

Luttrell and the team also hold virtual job fairs. Luttrell says that this has involved a lot of trial and error, and mistakes were committed because of how the pandemic happened fast. However, there were also a lot of lessons learned that helped them become accustomed to the new normal. By adjusting to the new normal and learning from mistakes, they are slowly changing the way recruitment works in the organization.

Now, Alorica plans to focus on the virtual candidate experience.


Curbside Services

Alorica has ad hoc drive-thru functions, with the company handing out laptops, performing mobile drug testing, and completing I-9 forms in specific locations.

New hires will drive up and show their IDs, with team members entering information with an electronic I-9 system. It takes 5 minutes to perform so that employees can work on 50 to 60 I-9s in half a day. The company is also running background checks, but like Lidl, it allows people to begin working even when the checks are pending. Courthouse closures slowed down the screening process, so companies need to be flexible.


Employer Partnership

Byrne said Lidl is currently collaborating with around 12 employers. They are prioritizing hiring each other’s laid-off and furloughed employees.

Lidl would send requisitions to other employers, offering information about open roles in the furlough process. If the employee is interested in a job opportunity, he will apply for it on the careers page. The application will be tracked for prioritized hiring.

It’s a great idea as companies can find skilled people working in similar industries.


Contract Employees

creative hiring methods

If hiring managers are hesitant to commit to hiring new full-time employees without being able to meet them in person, then companies may want to retain experienced freelancers instead. If you’re hiring for executive positions, start your candidate as a contractor until in-person interviews are feasible.

In such cases, you can negotiate a contractual and employment agreement simultaneously, allowing candidates to learn more about the organization, too.


Telling Your Stories

Besides optimizing virtual hiring experiences, companies must also start focusing more on caring for their employees during these trying times. Potential hires in areas like New York City need to feel secure that companies are looking after their workforce.

For instance, Lidl provides healthcare to all full-time employees, while temporary employees are offered COVID-19-related healthcare. Furthermore, Lidl has limited how many customers can enter stores at a time, provided PPE for employees, invested more in daily cleaning, and relaxed the attendance policy. That way, employees who don’t feel comfortable going to work can take a break and still keep their job, receiving sick pay if sick or in quarantine.


Other Recruiting Trends to Watch Out For

There’s a lot more in store for the HR industry this 2022! Here are other trends and methods that HR managers can look into for virtual recruitment and onboarding processes.


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I)

Creative Hiring Methods

Recruiters will focus even more on DE&I, especially because many candidates make job-related decisions based on their personal assessment of an organization’s commitment to it.

Dan Schwabel, Workplace Intelligence’s managing partner, says that stakeholders are scrutinizing companies more than ever, which is why management is committed to diversity targets. In fact, the majority of job seekers are looking to work in companies demonstrating their commitment to DE&I!

More experts believe that HR will look into removing arbitrary entry barriers such as job qualifications or educational requirements. Instead, HR will begin focusing on advocating for a diverse list of candidates, holding hiring managers accountable to move such candidates in the recruitment and hiring process.

Diversity is a critical imperative that recruiters can lead. Not only should HR offer a diverse candidate pipeline, but they also need to play a crucial role in hiring managers. This can be done by restructuring the hiring process to eliminate bias, building more diverse interview panels, and comparing data-driven reporting with current diversity goals.

Additionally, we’ll find more companies using tools to help reduce any bias during the hiring process and to build systems promoting and developing employees equitably.                                               

Internal Hiring

According to data from LinkedIn, internal mobility has increased by 20% since COVID-19 appeared. Furthermore, 50% of the respondents expect recruiting budget to decrease while 66% anticipate learning and development to increase or remain the same.

Experts believe employers will begin building workforces through internal mobility programs focusing on reskilling initiatives. Or, employers will start looking into engaging contingent talent rather than hiring externally. Other experts predict that companies will continue moving from static jobs to cross-functional and project-based work based on the ever-changing business needs.

There are numerous benefits to reap when shifting towards internal mobility, such as lower costs, shorter hiring processes, and increased engagement. The most significant advantage would be improved employee retention. According to Mark Lobosco, LinkedIn’s VP of Talent Solutions, up to 41% of employees stay longer in companies hiring internally.

With companies continuing to reap the benefits of internal mobility, experts are beginning to see it go from ad hoc solutions to necessary corporate strategies.

As a result, Human Resources and Learning & Development will have to work even closer to improve their understanding of existing skillsets, address any skill gaps in their current employees, and build vital internal mobility programs.


Wrapping It Up

There are so many more creative hiring methods and trends that HR can implement in the near future, if not now. From virtual interviews to employee retention strategies, we’re heading towards huge change and innovation to drive business success.

Hopefully, this article on creative hiring methods from HR experts informed you of what you can do to change up relevant processes. Don’t wait any longer, and begin creating a game plan with your team to get top talent!

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