Category Archives for "Recruiting Process"

hiring during covid-19

Hiring During Covid-19 Pandemic

Creating Talent Acquisition Team Value While Hiring During Covid-19

What should Talent Acquisition Leaders do when open requisitions are suddenly put on hold, or canceled with no hiring during the COVID-19 pandemic impact on hiring?

Among several immediate questions and concerns is, “what impact does hiring during COVID-19 mean for my Recruiting Team and their future? Will I need to layoff some of my Recruiting Team? What about the current candidates in process and those new hires who haven’t yet reported for work?” And the list goes on.

In this post, I want to just consider some of the potential ramifications for your current recruiting team that may have been brought about by the Corona-virus impact on hiring.

Some Hiring History in Time of Economic Uncertainty

I’ve been a part of the recruitment profession for 40 years, and I acknowledge that hiring during Covid-19 is unprecedented and unexpected. I believe there are lessons to be learned from earlier steep economic downturns in so far as hiring and employment is concerned.

Let me be clear, the only similarity to hiring during Covid-19 I’m referring to is the economic impact of hiring on employment  and the resulting unemployment. I’m not equating the heart rendering health impact with other economic downturns!

In many earlier economic downturns, executive management decided to quickly layoff what they consider “non-essential staff.” This has usually includes recruiters. It frequently turns out to be a strategic mistake!

The ability to establish a well-run capability to recruit and hire top people is a strategic asset, NOT a line “cost item” to be quickly trimmed without serious consequences.

Without competent people you don’t have a business…period! The ability to attract and hire the best is a strategic asset…period!

When the economy rebounds, and it always does, re-establishing this strategic asset is a re-building effort that takes time. It takes time to recruit, hire top recruiters and mold them into a win-win strategic hiring team!

Maintaining a Strategic Renewable Energy Talent Acquisition Team

Savvy competitors keep this strategic talent acquisition asset in place as long as possible. I recognize the ability to retain staff for fiscal reasons is different for different employers. Some are in a better position to do that. With that in mind, here are my thoughts.

Employers should utilize this period of hiring during Covid-19! They use times of reduced hiring to upskill their talent acquisition team. This includes reviewing their recruiting process and tools along with closing gaps to improve their talent acquisition process.

Think of it like ‘off season training’ for a professional athlete. Even better, like Spring Training. A time before games begin for players to “get in shape”, practice basic skills and formulate a win-win team strategy.

I know firsthand what it’s like to see well-run recruiting teams disbanded during uncertain economic times. I’ve also been part of a talent acquisition re-building process and know just how that adversely impacts an employer’s strategic capability to find and hire the best people when hiring resumes.

Three Specific Steps for Times of Uncertainty

I have three suggestions for Talent Acquisition Leaders during this time of uncertainty brought about when hiring during Covid-19. I’ve had personal experience with all of the following suggestions and have found them highly effective in maintaining a high-performance Talent Acquisition Team in times of economic uncertainty.

#1 Conduct a Recruiting Audit

This is something that is difficult to find time to do during times of full-on recruiting. Take a breather and do it now when you have some time!

This can be done 100% internally or can also involve using an experienced external talent acquisition consultant to help. This includes looking at your total recruiting life cycle. Review your recruiting tools and systems. What works, and what doesn’t? Do they need to be tweaked, replaced or abandoned? Are they effective, but not being used as efficiently as they could be because your recruiting team needs to learn to use them better?

Next look at the end-to-end recruiting process from requisition open through the first 12 months of employment for a new hire. How could it be streamlined? How could it be sped up to improve time to hire? Evaluate your recruiting tool budget for ROI. How well does your hiring process predict on-the-job success? What are your metrics and are these metrics the ones most valuable to the business?

Finally, look at the talent acquisition team structure. Evaluate every team member. Who needs training and in what areas? Is there anyone you wouldn’t hire again, and if so, should you replace them?

#2 Use Talent Scorecards

There are 7 benefits when using Talent Scorecards whether hiring during Covid-19 or any other time. Top employers always use a Talent Scorecard to reduce and hopefully remove hiring bias. This has a positive impact on diversity hiring as well.

These scorecards provide a structured format ensuring that all candidates are evaluated on the same criteria. It improves the interview process by assisting the hiring team to be sure they gather all of the relevant information during the candidate interview.

#3 Invest in Specific Training

Invest in some specific training to support your best recruiters. Using the analysis suggested above, locate training that will make your best recruiters even better. Your top people will appreciate your concern for helping them grow in their career and increase their professional value. You will enjoy a renewed team spirit as they bond into a high-performance recruiting machine.

One such training and audit program that I’ve been involved with for over 25 years is The Adler Group’s Performance-based Hiring. They have training that can be delivered remotely through both webinars and online learning which is ideal in these times of limited travel. It has a high ROI and there is no better time to take advantage while hiring is reduced or on a temporary hiatus.


Carl Bradford

If you’re a Talent Acquisition Leader and want to chat about this informally, connect with me here. Be bold, take care and stay safe during these times.

Build world class, high-performance win-win hiring teams!

I look forward to chatting with a few of my readers on this topic. Let’s find a time to chat.

Why Many of Recruiting’s Bright, Shiny, New Objects Fail

How many marketing messages do you see or hear every week regarding a new recruiting tool, solution, innovation or process? AKA: Bright, Shiny Objects.

Each one is purported to solve a talent acquisition challenge…or at least improve on it.

Sometimes it seems we have a hammer in search of a nail!

This can become a trap that many Talent Acquisition Leaders fall unwittingly fall into. I’ll explain more below. But first a brief introduction to this dilemma.

It’s easy—and tempting—to chase after a new practice, a new expert, or new research that seems to provide some relief or a solution to a problem.

Talent Leaders in search of solutions to cope with recruiting top people in today’s hyper-competitive job market are faced with a daunting task.

I’m reminded of an article from Harvard Business Review a few years back that had this quote, “Falling in love with the problem rather than the solution makes it possible to avoid shiny-object syndrome, unconnected programs, and random HR innovation.”

One of the key lessons learned is to fully dig into the problem/challenge and seek to better understand. Then you aren’t quite so eager to embrace the first possible solution and move on. You spend some time letting the challenge soak in, studying it from various angles, and understanding it more deeply.

Understanding the Shiny Object Trap

I began to better understand this ‘shiny object trap’ over the past 25 years while I certified recruiting teams in Performance-based Hiring. This has included 2,000+ recruiters from about every industry you can think of…and, includes recruiting teams from many well-known employers.

This unique experience allowed me a most unique insight as I evaluated real recruiting work product that was submitted for certification purposes.

What follows is just one of those insights. i.e. why otherwise good solutions underperform.

Recruiting Foundation and Basics Were Most Important

What I discovered was that many recruiters don’t know what they don’t know. I also discovered that recruitment fundamentals varied greatly between the best recruiters and their average recruiter colleagues.

This variance was also observed when comparing recruiting teams from one employer with another. Some teams are just markedly better and hired more top people. The best recruiters submitted the best certification data. There were night and day differences when comparing the best with the rest!

Obvious Key Takeaway

Even implementing a world-class solution MUST be executed by the recruiting team and their hiring Managers.

Unless these people have solid basic recruiting and hiring skills and knowledge, the outcome will be sub-optimal at best!

Let me illustrate that with a sports analogy. Sorry if you’re tired of sports analogies but many years ago I spent the first year of my professional career as a football coach and I still value the lessons I learned and I’ve carried them with me for the many years that have followed into my Talent Acquisition career.

All football teams must obviously play by the same rules, but that’s where much of the similarity stops.

Teams use many different variations of both offensive and defense schemes. This includes special teams and various strategies for game day preparation. Despite these differences there are basic fundamentals that EVERY player must utilize regardless of different schemes or game day preparation.

These can be broken down into fundamentals, techniques and skills. These include weekly practice for blocking, tackling, agility drills, pass routes, etc.

It’s also revealing that even NFL teams routinely have their player consistently practice these basic techniques, yet most recruiting organizations rarely assess the execution of foundational skills, and knowledge among their current talent acquisition teams…or provide ways to practice and improve these critical skills and techniques.

It should be the same for recruiters. Top Talent Acquisition pros exhibit superior performance results across nine KPO’s (key performance outcomes) in their work. These same KPOs can be assessed prior to hiring. These nine KPOs cover the skills AND measurements of how well they execute the best techniques allowing them to hire more top people.

All too often, Talent Acquisition leadership focuses most of their attention on the latest tools, such as AI (artificial intelligence), etc. They typically spend little time reviewing the basics, auditing and evaluating their team’s execution of the basics.

I’m not saying these leaders shouldn’t focus on the new tools, strategies and solutions! They absolutely should look at how AI and other new methods, techniques and technology will help.

What I am saying that unless the talent acquisition team has solid basic skills and techniques, these new solutions won’t be nearly as successful as they could be! Remember it takes basic recruiting skills and techniques to execute these to their maximum benefit.

How Talent Acquisition Leaders Build a Top Team

Top Talent Acquisition Leaders can audit their teams across these nine (9) KPOs. They can arrange for additional education and training to upskill their teams.

A good place to start is with the Performance-based Hiring method which is built on a KPO foundation. This can include an outside recruiting team audit, internal and external coaching, on-site and 24x7 online training learning center, and certification. This can be customized and tailored to meet the needs of any recruiting team regardless of size, industry or challenges that are being faced.

I'm Carl Bradford. Call me for an introduction to the company I've been associated with for over 25 years that provides all of this and more.

Talent Acquisition Leaders should be aware of traps from pursuing the wrong birght, shiny objects. See how to avoid these traps.

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Story: The Shrewd Recruiter

Amy: The Shrewd Recruiter's Story

How does this story compare to yours?

This is a brief story of how a shrewd Talent Acquisition Pro discovered a flaw in their hiring process while competing in a talent scarcity market, found a solution, convinced her Talent Acquisition Director, VP HR and critical Hiring Managers she had the answer. All done on a modest budget.

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