It’s difficult to find driven and dependable people for your workforce when you’re up against talent shortages, tight budgets, or, in our current state, a pandemic which limits access to your normal candidate pool. Yet when your operations and revenue are on the line, you’re the one who needs to innovate and find talent.
Pandemic or not, many companies have moved to a partially remote hiring process, eliminating face-to-face interviews in earlier staging of their hiring process. Managers and HR professionals pivoted to video and remote interviews to maintain their talent pipeline both during the labor shortage earlier this year and then again when their physical locations closed to non-essential employees. But just pivoting to a new tool isn’t a cure all on it’s own. Industries like retail, grocery, and manufacturing, which historically pull from a labor force that often lacks reliable internet access, need to get more creative. So, where do you start?
Let’s take a look at the barriers for candidates facing this challenge and review the strategies that some businesses are exploring to keep finding quality talent.
Just because the technology is available doesn’t mean it’s accessible to everyone. In fact, research shows that 42 million Americans are not in a position to afford high-speed internet in their households. Even as of 2019, 10% of the U.S. population did not use the internet at all.
Trapped on the other side of the digital divide, people in these positions tend to have a high school education or less and are more dependent on income from retail or manufacturing jobs. When in-person interviews disappear, these hard-working people may be unintentionally left out of the sourcing process. As a result your business may neglect workers who are actively searching, will work hard for you, and are less likely to use your business as a quick stop gap until their preferred opportunities open up.
How do you include these candidates in your hiring process, especially during situations, like now, where in-person interviews may not be an option? The key is to meet your labor force in the middle by providing a level of flexibility during the interview and hiring process, a strategy that’s much easier with the help of different partners. Here are a few options:
As always, businesses that thrive, during good times and bad, find a way to access the right workforce. Those that are consistently able to find and hire exceptional people take the time to connect with them – whether they have reliable access to high-speed internet or need a little help along the way. And the most successful companies don’t hesitate to partner with others to overcome barriers or get creative in their hiring plans, taking risks to get their right team members hired.
Monique Mahler is the CEO of interviewstream. She is an avid researcher of facts, a self proclaimed marketing geek, and an equestrian in her spare time.