It might be a great time to identify top-tier talent for your team.
For so many businesses, now is just not the time to think about hiring. But that doesn’t mean you should stop recruiting.
While the COVID-19 outbreak has caused an unprecedented surge in unemployment — 22 million Americans have filed for jobless claims already — recruiter and martech expert Erica Siedel says organizations who are in the position to hire now have an opportunity to build strong teams, even if it means recruiting and interviewing digitally.
“Some of your dream people will be open now,” said Seidel, executive recruiter and founder of The Connective Good, acknowledging the sad reality of layoffs and furloughs in the marketing community.
With so many people out of work, now is the time to upgrade your teams if you have the financial ability to do so. And if you don’t, Seidel recommends at least doing the recruiting now. See if those “dream” people you have been following are suddenly available. Create a relationship with them that could pay off when your hiring ability opens back up.
Where the people are
If there’s any upside to this situation, it is showing clearly how effective a home-based, digitally connected workforce can be. And that is giving hiring managers a new perspective on talent acquisition.
“Hire where the people are,” said Seidel, who shared these tips on a webinar from analytics company conDati on the changing marketing priorities in 2020. You can view the replay here.
Seidel also said it is a good idea to invite potential candidates to be a fly on the wall in company meetings, something that is much easier to do now that all meetings are virtual. “Bring the culture alive to them,” she said.
Lastly, Seidel said now is a good time to rethink interviewing. “Just because you can interview with video, doesn’t mean you should,” she said. Consider things like behavioral testing. It’s also good to send questions in advance of an interview to give the candidate time to develop their responses.
What if I’m looking for work?
With fewer companies able to hire right now, the rash of layoffs means competition could be really steep if you are looking for work. To stand out, Seidel said there are few things to keep in mind.
For starters, the pandemic is causing a lot of companies to pull back on budgets tied to customer acquisition and instead focus on customer marketing, so demonstrating those skills could give you an advantage.
“Event budgets are shifting to digital,” she said. “There is going to be a need for new content and connection in new ways.”
However, if you are asked for creative ideas for customer acquisition, think about how you would do that on a shoestring budget, since that is more likely the reality for a potential employer.
Other things to consider are demonstrating how you have partnered with sales and making sure you can speak the language of CEOs if asked to interview in front of one. That means focusing on bottom-line returns and strategy versus talking about how a social campaign you ran had an impressive CTR.
If you are presented with an offer, however, make sure it’s the right fit. “Practice negotiating skills as much as marketing skills,” Seidel said. That’s especially important since she’s seeing variable compensation packages for senior and executive marketers that leverage smaller base salaries and larger potential bonuses.
And if you need a good book on negotiating, “Never Split the Difference,” by Chris Voss is a favorite of ours.