Essential Questions to Ask When Recruiting Essential Workers

Just because 2020 is over doesn’t mean that the search for the essential worker is over. So long as people are waiting for their vaccine, and ordering groceries online, and driving through testing centers, we’re still going to need to focus on continuing our hiring of those that kept us going through 2020, the brave, the courageous, the essential worker.

For those tasked with hiring essential workers – we have to think about all aspects of the hire, from where we find them, who we target, how we message them, when we can onboard, and what we do to keep them engaged.

What methods are we using to target?
We know the standards are going to work – we are going to be posting these jobs to the usual channels. But that doesn’t mean we’re going to post the same way. Tweaking the CPC to outbid our competitors will bring in more applicants. Adjusting titles to add urgency is a simple tweak that produces huge results when job seekers are applying to positions that are high priority.

Who are we targeting?
By now, our pools might be feeling a little dry. Have we branched out? If we’re looking for required skill sets, have we looked in neighboring states? If we’re looking for stockers, cashiers, associates, are we targeting candidates that may have been furloughed or laid off? Or are we staying in our normal lanes?

How are we making this easier?
Chances are, we need these candidates as much as they need a job. If we’re seeing bottlenecks due to an influx of unqualified candidates, re-evaluate our job criteria – is it filtering out the unqualified? If we are planning to hire a lot of people for one position – can we employ AI technology to bring the best qualified candidates to the forefront? Can we devote a few days of the month to a hiring event & make offers on the spot? Even opening up our interview times to a Saturday or an evening once a week can make life easier for our candidates.

What protections are we offering our current and future team?
In this post Covid-19 world, we can’t just let our candidates assume we’ll be practicing social distancing and enforcing mask wearing. Let’s include the safety protocols we use daily as part of the job description. Let’s make as much of the interview process as we can virtual—on screens. Once they get the offer letter, let’s see how much training we can put online instead of in the warehouse.

How are we incentivizing the team to keep them motivated?
Even with a paycheck, the psychological burden of essential work can still be quite heavy. Staying healthy while being out in the public, the fear of exposing family members, the mental math of how to protect those close to us at risk, it’s more than a lot of us have worried about in a very long time. Work needs to be done, and budgets are tight, so we need to think outside the box when it comes to taking care of our employees. Maybe we partner with a brand to provide employees with new work boots, or a subscription to a meditation app, or free exercise classes to our team. If we have the means, we send them home with a meal or two so cooking dinner after a long day is the least of their worries. We also coordinate with HR and our health insurance provider to make sure that the minute the vaccine is available to us, our teams have a clear-cut plan and know where they are in line.

Even those of us not in an essential line of work are grateful for those that have continued to be there through 2020 and into 2021. They have kept the world spinning, so it’s okay to let the world revolve around them too.

Nexxt is a recruitment media company that uses today’s most effective marketing tactics to reach the full spectrum of talent – from active to passive, and everything in between. Learn more about hiring with Nexxt.

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