Business and people continuity are inseparable. One depends on the other. If you’re in business, you’d never stop looking for customers. And you should never stop looking for candidates either—under any circumstance!
Difficult situations like the one we’re in now are a good time to fill the top of your funnel and capture as many good candidates as you can. Continuity ensures that you always have access to top talent and you are prepared for the recovery when it comes.
“Top of the funnel” refers to the recruitment sales process, which many companies don’t realize should be much like their customer acquisition process. The funnel includes all aspects of recruiting, including employment branding, lead generation, candidate engagement, candidate screening and assessments, candidate interviews, and finally the offer. Your candidates, like your customers, consider your reputation in the market and your values before they join your company (or do business with you) and they expect you to reach out and begin building a relationship with them.
That relationship continues long after candidate becomes employee. Your retention efforts are equally important to continuity. After you’ve moved from branding at the top of the funnel to your employment offer at the narrow end, think hard about what you’ve “sold” your candidate and make sure it truly reflects your culture, values, and employment brand. Whether acquiring customers or candidates, it takes a sales process to attract, win, and keep the people you need to succeed. Without a process, you may have to settle for average or no one at all, when every company should always be vying for the most productive employees and the most profitable customers. Go for the top!
When the good times are back, you will still be dealing with the same skills and inventory shortages and competing to win the best talent. You’ll still need people with both technical and soft skills, and who fit snugly into your culture as well. Even in hard times, the best people are in demand. Don’t wait for an opening to reach out to them. You need to cultivate them over time.
Make sure you have the right sales strategies, the ones you use to acquire your customers, and take advantage of effective new recruiting tools and technologies. Make your first priority to never stop recruiting the best people—no matter what else is going on around you.
My 25 years of experience has taught me many lessons that I’d like to share with you.
#1, Successful recovery from the diverse challenges this pandemic has created will be largely based on the people you have on your team.
It is mission critical that you continuously recruit people with both skills and cultural fit so you can hire them immediately when the time is right.
Deloitte put it well in a recent article published in Harvard Business Review:
“The biggest challenge organizations will likely face in recovery is the tension between getting back to work and rethinking work as they embrace a new reality.”