Hiring After the COVID-19 Crisis

It’s not so much about the pandemic now, as much as its effects on the economy and the labor market. In the past twelve weeks, the United States has seen 44 million people lose their job. Italy h...

It’s not so much about the pandemic now, as much as its effects on the economy and the labor market. In the past twelve weeks, the United States has seen 44 million people lose their job. Italy had a different approach and approved a special decree on March 17, banning dismissal procedures until mid-August.

Obviously, due to lockdown measures, the most affected industry was manufacturing, as well as travel and transportation. But the advertising and creative industry suffered as well. Fewer projects and clients meant less income and more layoffs.

Lots of talented creative professionals got stranded, many probably went back to freelancing. It sounds depressing, but it could all turn up for the best. Some of these talents may have finally gotten out of companies they didn’t have the courage to get out of before, and are now available.

Great opportunity for those who are scouting for new team members now the economy is rebooting—the low touch economy at the fastest pace. In case you’re wondering what that is, it’s everything that includes a small need for touch and possible transmission of viruses. It’s the modern response to a worldly crisis. For example, the fashion mogul Inditex is closing 1200 stores in favor of online shopping.

Consequently, digital marketing is changing, as well. The initial shock has passed, and everyone is adapting. Projects are resuming, and nature is restoring itself. If there’s a need for more people on board, this is the right time to look for them.

However, the circumstances have changed. Many agencies haven’t returned to their offices, and don’t plan to. How to hire people now? The process still consists of the same stages:

letting the world know you have a vacant position, collecting and reviewing the candidates’ curriculums, interviewing the selected people and filtering them out, giving them a task to solve and employing the best fit. First off, posting a job offer is slightly different than before. Being bound to an office requires physical presence and geographical vicinity. Now that’s not the case anymore, would you still ask people to move for work? Also, would you consider expanding your search to other cities or even other countries?

The pandemic has forced us to try out something many business owners were reluctant to try: work from home. Trust issues and the illusion that sitting together in an office is necessary for team collaboration got in the way. Now that we have this experience under our belt, we can literally expand our horizons. Geography shouldn’t be an obstacle anymore.

How will you reach the potential candidates? Through the papers? A job posting website? Perhaps via targeted ads on social media or you’ll let your HR manager sweep Linkedin. Whichever way you choose, make sure you have all the applications in one place, so none of them get lost and forgotten. We usually create a task in ActiveCollab for each candidate, with their name as the task’s name, email as description, and attach their CV. Through the comments, we write down all developments and opinions.

Once you’ve read everyone’s resumes and decided who you’d like to talk to, it’s time to set up a meeting. Whether your office hasn’t opened up yet or the candidate is far away, schedule a video call.

You may worry that meeting someone through a call is drastically different from meeting someone in person. Don’t worry—it isn’t. However, insist on a video call with the camera turned on rather than just hearing someone’s voice.

Unless you’re looking for a one-time service, such as a voiceover for a video, hiring new team members typically means bringing them on board for the long haul. You don’t want to introduce someone your team won’t cooperate with. This is why it’s so important to see the face and gestures of a person, which you can learn so much from.

Here are some topics we found very useful:

The reason behind their application for the position - find out more about their motivation Asking how they’d know if what they do has been done well - tells you how critical, objective and confident they are about their work Our company and brand - revealing if they’ve prepared themselves for the interview. This will show how interested and serious they are about getting the job Talking about professional experience, technical knowledge, the topics listed above, and the image that person projects give a well-rounded impression.

But first impressions can fool, so proof of knowledge is also necessary. If a foreign language is required, a short test should be prepared, written, or oral. Is creativity a must? Ask for a portfolio. Just talking about a skill isn’t enough, one should be able to prove it.

Give your candidates a reasonable amount of time and discuss the results with your team. You should be able to learn more about their technical skills and their relationship with deadlines. If you’re lucky enough to have found several good candidates, you could set up another interview and then make the final decision.

Finding new talents is never easy, and this year has certainly pulled the rug from under our feet. But not all changes are necessarily bad. We could use this opportunity to our advantage and shuffle how we work in ways we never dared before.