By: Ryan Hahs, Executive Recruiter

Much has changed since the start of 2020 and aside from the obvious health concerns and tragic lives lost, there is a lot that is different in the world of recruiting. The marketplace has experienced disruption and resets itself in more ways than one. For both companies looking to hire new talent and job seekers striving to find a new opportunity, practices have shifted and taken on new forms.

For individuals who continued working for the same organization throughout COVID-19, it is almost certain you have experienced a major change. Perhaps you had to wear different attire, masks, or face coverings, sit in a different location at work or even work remotely from a home office. As is true with almost everything, there are pros and cons.

For example, you might find some of the new procedures cumbersome or annoying, while realizing they may be necessary. Perhaps you enjoyed working remotely and thrived during this period professionally. Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum, most people can be separated into three main categories:

  1. Your company handled the pandemic as well as could be expected and utilized valuable technology and communication tactics to remain strong. You had to make some minor adjustments but all in all, you are proud of your brand and reassured that you will remain part of the team.
  2. Your company did NOT handle the pandemic well and most everyone lost traction, experienced ongoing and upsetting challenges that may have even caused you to fail in certain areas. Overall, you lost confidence in your leaders’ ability to work through difficult times and it has left you feeling like you need to make a change.
  3. You lost your job either because of a reduction in force or your company had to close down.

If you fall into the first category, congratulations, and please take a moment to be grateful for the situation you are in. If you fall into the second or third category, hang in there and know that better times are ahead. Next, Take Action!

Update your resume and give it a facelift. Spend some time working on your LinkedIn profile and do not hesitate to put yourself out there with transparency regarding your specific situation. Most hiring entities realize that what we are going through is something completely new and there’s a large percentage of the population out of work or in desperate need of significant change.

The old rules around job-hopping or tenure have changed as well, at least in the short term. Maybe you had just started an exciting new position in the summer of 2019, but here you are looking for a new job because of #2 or #3 listed above. That’s okay. No seriously, that’s okay! It’s almost certainly not your fault…but it IS your job to find a new job. There are resources out there to help—find an amazing search firm to partner with like Bell & Associates

For hiring managers who have seen things pick up and get moving again, there’s a lot to like out there from a talent perspective. You likely have access to top-rated candidates all of a sudden now when they were not available before the pandemic hit. Here’s some advice:

  1. Don’t waste time—speed is the main key right now because the best professionals won’t be on the market very long. Conduct a phone interview or video interview, bring in one or two trusted colleagues to help with a final interview to get some additional feedback and input, and then make a decision and stick with it. You’ll be happy you do and will look back later and think to yourself how glad you are that you didn’t wait and miss your chance at a fantastic hire.
  2. Don’t try to do all the work yourself on the front end. It’s a perfect time to partner with a high caliber search firm like Bell & Associate who is equipped with the proper resources, strategies, and bench talent to move quickly and efficiently. Attempting to weed through hundreds of resumes yourself or relying on an already bogged-down HR department to handle this is a mistake you don’t want to make. Instead, get creative, think independently, and keep looking for better ways to solve your hiring dilemmas. After all, isn’t it worth allocating a little more of your budget to get the right person hired now?!
  3. Finally, don’t be too picky. As work starts to pick up, most organizations are still experiencing some kind of learning curve. Invite your new hires to work through it with you, learning your industry practices and company-specific methods as you go. There’s never been a better time to hire someone with the right attitude who just needs a little time to get up to speed.

Last but not least, keep smiling. Chances are someone else has it worse than you, so look on the bright side and once again: TAKE ACTION! You have the power to make a change…and make a difference.

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