Our Approach to Staffing During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Currently, more than 164 million people in the United States have received their first COVID-19 vaccine dose, and more than 130 million people are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC. These numbers give us a glimpse into a brighter future, and with that a much-needed return to normal life. And with normal life comes a return to normal recruiting and staffing processes. However, we must recognize that there is still a long way to go before we can resume pre-COVID practices. While the COVID-19 outbreak forced many staffing and hiring firms to rework their approach to interacting with clients and candidates, Milliner & Associates has been prepared since the beginning.
As hybrid workforces and remote employees become more normalized, so too will the concept of virtual hiring and recruiting processes. A recent survey conducted by LinkedIn found that 70% of respondents noted cost and time savings through virtual job interviews and hiring practices. While this virtual shift due to the pandemic has taught us a greater sense of resilience and flexibility, many don’t view it as sustainable in the long run. Humans are innately social beings who need direct, face-to-face contact and connection to thrive. However, during these times it’s important to foster good, consistent communication to promote socialization and coordination. Milliner & Associates balances a combination of email, Teams messaging, phone conversations, and video chats as a means to encourage team members to maintain their relationships and feel connected. LinkedIn’s survey also found that the number one skill for recruiters to embrace in 2021 is adaptability. Those who work in hiring had to manage new challenges, such as virtual interviews, remote work, and virtual onboarding. Reshaping the day-to-day processes of the staffing and recruiting industry requires patience and persistence. And our team found a way to quickly develop these newfound skills in order to better serve our client base.
By utilizing our cloud-based front and back-office software, VoIP phone system and Office 365 we were able to move our office setting completely remote within an hour. Traditional face-to-face candidate interviews and client meetings became virtual video conversations. Employee onboarding combined electronically signed documents, ‘how to’ video files and Team’s meetings. Recruiting top talent has always required creativity and working smarter not harder has always been a motto for our firm. While bringing all these components together has taken time and adjustments, we knew we were not alone. Each client we are fortunate to work with is unique, and we have learned from them as much as they have learned from us. Yes, the COVID-19 pandemic forced our hand in reshaping some of our processes and company culture. But what we have gained from this experience even surprised ourselves – we found that our communication improved, we asked deeper questions, we listened more closely, and we gained a stronger sense of trust in one another.