10 Ways to Alter Your Hiring Process to Deal with the Effects of COVID-19

Author Sean Behr Date Apr 13 2020

It’s difficult at this time not to wax philosophical or speculate about the extenuating effects of COVID-19 within our collective personal and professional lives. Amidst a virtual global lockdown, there’s no question that we’re all struggling to determine what “business as usual” means in this precarious time. 

Looking back on March, we do know for certain in the US, the stock market plummeted, the Fed cut interest rates, the private sector mobilized into a wartime economy, and nonessential businesses were closing. 3.3 million people filed for unemployment and the government passed a  $2 trillion dollar economic relief plan to offer support to tens of millions of American households affected by the pandemic. Most of us are now familiar with terms like “shelter in place” and “furlough” and have perfected a killer bread recipe.

Prior to the coronavirus, on-demand companies were struggling to provide more benefits to their workers, but now with orders to stay home, there’s a natural uptick in on-demand and last mile delivery which in turn created an increased need for gig economy workers. Companies are now working to put in place better benefits and measures to ensure the safety of these workers like contact-less delivery and distributing extra sanitation items to their workforce.

We’re also seeing changes in operations to accommodate the peaks and valleys of hiring in the time of COVID-19, so we’ve compiled a list of the top 10.

  1. Remote Interviews & Onboarding – this one is an absolute no brainer. With most of the world on lockdown, working from home, or practicing social distancing, it’s an absolute must that interviews and onboardings take place via conference line and/or video chat. Some popular services are Zoom, Blue Jeans, and Webex, and all can allow for larger groups. 
  2. Video Interviews – this is a great option to use if you don’t want to go through the hassle of scheduling and marking attendance, but you still want the option of evaluating an applicants’ response to an interview question or to demonstrate a skill. Fountain is offering 2 months free for the service as well. 
  3. Learning Management Partners & Training Videos –  with new safety measures like contactless delivery and proper hygiene to prevent the spread of Coronavirus, you’ll need to train your applicants and existing workers on these changes. Adding a new module to your LMS like Northpass, Lessonly, or EduMe can be super quick and you can always embed a helpful video into an existing stage.
  4. Sourcing – with demand up, you may need some help with the top of the funnel. Directly in Fountain, you can Boost any of your openings to some of the top job boards and social media sites in one click of a button. Even if you aren’t using Fountain, you can vary your sourcing strategy like you haven’t before. It’s estimated in the US that the average screen time is up by 33% which means more people are on social media than before and naturally on job boards more with the massive increase in those filing for unemployment.
  5. Referral Bonuses – referrals remain a high quality applicant source and tend to complete twice as many tasks. Reward accordingly.
  6. Engage current workers – Gig workers typically work with up to 3 different companies at the same time, only to then complete just 0 to 5 jobs per company, despite having completed all the steps in the hiring process. Engaging with this crew to offer additional work is a quick way to utilize your existing approved workforce.
  7. Re-engage idle applicants & inactive workers – it’s likely that many hourly workers will be or are out of jobs, so checking in with them to get them back in the process might just be what they need right now. Nurture them a little more through the process and you can use Fountain Post-hire to update any documents or background checks. 
  8. Reduce Friction – what better time than now to audit your current process to remove any unneeded questions, stages, or potential blockers? A good place to start is by re-evaluating absolute requirements and designing a quality applicant profile. Build from those points.
  9. Create Talent Pools – with the 39% top of the funnel increase we’ve observed, there is a good chance you’re getting flooded. Adding a stage at the top of the funnel to pool applicants can save you money in additional costs with partner services like lessons and background checks. You can include a drip campaign in the stage to nurture applicants that could be activated at a later date. However, if you still need applicants but too many, it’s possible to throttle applicants only letting a % of those apply progress through the process.
  10. New Partnerships and Programs – the world could use a happy story right about now, so publicizing any new program or partnership is a great way to spread some cheer and attract applicants. We’ve seen companies putting together senior services, dropping delivery fees, partnering with charity organizations lacking volunteers, expanding services to include groceries, medicine, and home goods, and even starting community and restaurant relief programs.

What strategy changes have you tried that worked? Let us know in our Hourly Recruiting Community, dedicated to bringing TA leaders and recruiters together to discuss all things hourly hiring. You can also learn more about the ways to adjust your hiring strategy in the webinar we recently hosted to further discuss these tips and tricks, the recording can be viewed here.


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About the Author

Chief Executive Officer

Sean Behr

Sean Behr is the CEO at Fountain and has served in leadership roles at STRATIM (acquired by KAR), Adap.tv (acquired by AOL), and Shopping.com (acquired by Ebay). Behr also advises, mentors, and invests in entrepreneurs and early-stage companies.