I mentioned in a recent video that I am encouraging companies and hiring managers to continue having scheduled interviews and conversations with prospective talent in the current environment, and I want to reiterate and say more on this idea. As I see it, there are a multitude of benefits to having these conversations, even if you’ve placed hiring on hold or had to reduce your workforce:
1. You will always need the best sales and sales support talent your team can procure to drive your company forward, through this crisis, and through the next phase of growth once this too has passed, however long that takes. Many of your most desirable people may be more open to having conversations and connecting at this time, as they are working from home and possibly taking a little time to reflect on their lives and careers. Also, while most companies reducing their workforce may NOT be letting go of their top performers, there may be a segment of great people displaced for a variety of reasons unrelated to performance. Have the conversations now, and you may have made just enough of an impression to land that talent when you are ready to hire.
2. You – as a company and a leader – will communicate to your marketplace that you are level-headed and continuing to plan for long-term survival and success, while also adjusting to this short-term situation. In this seemingly overnight shift from a growth environment to recessionary conditions, people have shifted their risk mindset. I see it in how people are making decisions on where to spend money, who to do business with, who to trust, and who to work for. You better bet that the people you may want to hire are thinking more now about safety, security, and stability than they were a couple of months ago. This may cause some to pull away from making career changes in the short run. But they will remember which companies handled this crisis with a calm, stable mindset about the future, and which ones panicked. Cancelling interviews and conversations signals panic. Whereas keeping your scheduled interviews and continuing to talk to new talent signals just the opposite.
3. You might learn something or have the opportunity to help someone. We are all navigating the unknown right now. Many are looking to be of help and support to others in our industry and beyond, regardless of whether it benefits them or not. What is at stake here is the survival of the health of our industry (and economy), and it only makes sense to reach out to each other and either learn from what others are doing right or share best practices that are working for your team and organization.
On a final note, if you’re planning to forge ahead with interviews and recruiting conversations (I hope you are!), and you haven’t yet implemented video interviewing, the time is now. Take this opportunity to connect live, face to face, at a time when we are all seeking more social human interaction, and it will pay off not only as a long-term best practice, but in a much stronger connection and first impression.