Managers: What to Look for When Hiring Your Next Employee Post COVID-19

As local economies slowly recover from the slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, some business leaders are looking to start bringing jobs back to meet anticipated demands in their markets. Hiring managers have a large talent pool to choose from these days. But with so many qualified individuals, how can you make sure you choose the right employee? Poor hiring can cost an employer up to 150% of a workers’ salary, so before you decide to hire your next employee, it’s important to know what to look for in a perfect hire.

Organizational Needs

The most obvious focus you should have when hiring is aimed at specific organizational needs. Just because your business has the capital to bring back employees, doesn’t mean that hiring for the same positions you once had is the best move going forward. The world has changed, and businesses are changing with it.

Analyze your current needs and decide the best way to fill them. For example, some businesses are deciding to add more of a remote workforce in lieu of a traditional office to allow for social distancing and to save money on office space. Other organizations may have discovered new needs during COVID-19 shutdowns, including contact tracers and temperature screeners. Decide what fits your organization and focus your hiring around your needs.

Experience and Expectations

Assuming the candidates you are screening for your next position have the skills needed, you also have to decide what level of experience you want in a new hire. As the past few months have shown us, businesses have to be agile enough to move from in-person to home-based work back to in-person. This type of movement requires employees with strong autonomy skills, as well as those who are self-starters and can be trusted to do their work without direct supervision, which comes with years of experience.

Training during this time can also be tricky with social distancing requirements. Experience in your company’s industry is a great way to know the candidate not only has the skills for the job but can perform them with little to no training, allowing for an immediate boost in your workforce. It’s important to also understand the candidate’s expectations with the position. With a large amount of job seekers in the talent pool, it may be difficult to decipher between those looking for a permanent position with those looking to “bridge a gap” in employment. Ask the candidate for their expectations of the position and if they are wanting to grow and develop with the company.

Cultural Fit

Finding employees who share common values with the organization is one of the best ways to build a strong company culture with loyal workers who bond over a common mission. Every organization has a unique cultural fit that distinguishes it from others in and out of its market. When reviewing resumes, look at what specific organizations and non-profits the candidates have partnered with to see how their values line up with those of the company. If your business puts a large emphasis on local neighborhood outreach, look to see if that type of value comes through with the candidate’s volunteer work or through the tone of their cover letter. While skills and experience are needed to ensure the candidate can perform the job at a high level, cultural fit is imperative to find an employee who will thrive in your environment and help continue to build on the company’s values.

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