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7 months ago by Helen Doughty

Talent Management in the age of Covid-19

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The coronavirus has turned much of the business world on its head but there are two certainties which right now employers would do well to remember. The first is that talent - especially good talent - can be hard to find. Second, talent - especially good talent - will always gravitate to opportunities which reward well and promptly.

Currently there are 6.3 million employees on furlough, waiting to get back to work. Lockdown is beginning to loosen, businesses are considering how to get back to work and most importantly, government financial support for businesses is being scaled back.

Over the next few weeks, employees are going to find out what the future holds. Some will have nothing to return to, some face an uncertain future and others just don’t want to wait and see.

Talent - especially good talent - is lockdown weary and keen to do something meaningful. Time away from the daily grind has provided many with the chance to re-assess what they want from their career and life. They are looking for a positive outcome after what has been a stressful and depressing time.

In short, for most sectors, the pre-Covid–19 candidate-driven talent market no longer exists. Instead companies are in the driving seat - if they can offer great opportunities, recruit efficiently and provide an onboarding process which unleashes the potential of new employees.

Get this right and companies can get great talent while being up against minimum competition.

Remote talent acquisition

The sudden lockdown of the country meant many businesses rushed into remote working. Now is the time to take a strategic approach to life beyond the office, ensuring technology, strategy and practice work together to attract and retain the best people.

For years recruiters and suppliers to the recruitment function have been perfecting the art of online talent acquisition. With the right tools, your business can get ahead of the pack and get the talent you need right now. 

Visibility:

Through job boards, social media, networking platforms and more your business can appeal to those who are looking for new opportunities. This could mean creating audio/visual material to directly appeal to job hunters. This could mean investing time in developing the right networks in order to reach the talent you need, perhaps through hosting industry specific online events. Simply raising your presence will demonstrate that your business is still operating, still ahead of the game and still an exciting proposition for employees.

Talent management systems:

An effective talent management system will enable you to talk effectively with candidates, to track crucial communications and keep everyone clear as to where you are in the process of job offer, acceptance and onboarding. This system cannot be a one-size-fits-all but needs to have the flexibility to incorporate different communication styles, contents and platforms to reflect the needs of each candidate. If you’re after top talent the chances are they’re going to be busy during office hours and will have particular requirements over when and how they can be contacted. Respect these, use these and you’ll be able to guide your talent home.

Engagement:

The days of walking prospective candidates around the office, impressing them with the decor and ambience are gone. To ensure your new talent wants to work for you there needs to be a strong message around company culture and expectations from employees within the new normal. How do communications work across the business? What tools are used, when and for what what purpose? Your business values still need to be clear even when the workforce is dispersed.

Onboarding:

Once they start working for you, ensure your new talent is well supported. You could send them equipment and/or branded items to welcome them. Set up introductory video chats with other team members and important people in the company. Ensure your new arrival knows what is expected of them, when and how they’ll be contacted and so on. Arrange and deliver regular calls to make sure they’re happy and able to be productive.

Time is of the essence, employers who can get these elements in place will have first choice of the best talent to lead their company forward. Not only that, but transferring the recruitment process to the online environment can bring with it new efficiencies – one business reported that it can now go from finding a prospect to interview and offer in days rather than weeks. With gains like this, it is unlikely a company will ever want to return to business as usual.