Shop Talk

Hiring over Firing: the COVID-19 Edition

The storm around COVID-19 has been remarkable.

Unprecedented. Even for the HR departments that have a buttoned up employee handbook, the section about Epidemic Preparedness and protocols for Global Economic Shutdown probably did not exist. The shelter-in-place/stay-at-home mandates impacted remote work policies greatly, if they even existed for the company at all. And, for many roles, it meant a halt because the work simply couldn’t be done from afar. This holds true for many of our manufacturing clients and to date, some have had to make the difficult decision to shutter their doors for 2+ weeks. The macro business impact of this is unfathomable.

What we are hearing in the market is that our clients are not fearing a dip in business upon return and in fact, this week we’ve had two clients ask us to fill nearly 15 openings. While some are forced to be shut, work for ‘essential’ businesses is still going and flowing. Those companies are putting plans in place to continue their hiring process through the shut down so that they are not behind the curve when workplaces return to normal.

That is why we cannot stress enough to keep all cylinders firing with your hiring process! Certainly some employers are in a tough position to conduct in person interviews and perform technical testing. However, there are creative ways to keep candidates engaged through all of this, even if it errs from your normal process. Phone screens. Video calls. Reference Checks. Background checking. Get creative!

These steps can all keep your pipeline flowing and allow you to move quickly when the working restrictions are lifted.  According to a DHI Group’s Hiring Indicators report, the average manufacturing opening takes 30.7 days to fill. Do you want to have someone filling that role a month from now or do you hope to find that right person in two months time once you pick back up your recruitment process?

While there are numerous aspects of your business vying for your attention during this epidemic, don’t ignore recruiting and staffing. If you feel that handling this process is the straw that breaks the camel’s back for your company, give us a call to discuss how we can help mitigate the stress. Rust Belt Recruiting’s experienced team would be grateful for the chance to leverage our technologies and expertise to assist in keeping your business running.