• Cheyene Marling

Your Guide to Hiring During COVID-19

While many companies have shut down temporarily and others have paused on hiring, several other organizations are hiring and hiring fast! Since COVID-19 shut down most of the world in March, there has been an average of 42 new jobs (BC/DR/Crisis focused roles) posted per week compared to 35 per week (data between 2019 – 2020). Three times post COVID-19 we counted over 55 new jobs per week! What’s initiated this high demand for Business Continuity/ Crisis Management professionals? Many of our clients have communicated the need to create new contract/ direct-hire job opportunities to address the gaps exposed in their crisis management plans and/or assist with recurring BC/DR planning initiatives that have fallen short while responding to the pandemic. Our latest COVID Assessment Report – What’s Your Role During the COVID-19 Response highlighted the following key insights.


- 21% of the respondents did not have pandemic plans in place before COVID-19. For those who did have pandemic plans in place, many of those organizations admitted that the plans were outdated and/ or had not been reviewed in some time.

- Approximately half (52%) of respondents are still performing recurring BC/DR planning efforts. 35% of the respondents partially suspended the recurring BC/DR planning initiatives while 14% have completed suspended their planning efforts as they focus on the COVID-19 response.


What do you need to be aware of if your organization is looking to hire? The recruitment process has shifted to a virtual platform. And, although several professions have been impacted by COVID-19 with downsizing and employees being furloughed, BC/DR professionals are in high demand! These professionals are also extremely busy in responding to not only to the COVID-19 pandemic, but also all the civil unrest across the States. Here are five tips to attract, recruit and hire top talent quickly and effectively.


Tip 1: Understand your staffing needs: It’s imperative to take the time upfront to determine the appropriate level of staffing for your organization presently and into the foreseeable future. It’s so much more than just years of experience, competencies and the culture fit. How much work do you have currently? Will there be an ongoing need for extra staff? Do you have the time to manage your new hire? The answers to these questions will dictate if you need to either engage a consulting service, hire a temporary contractor to assist with project work or hire a permanent employee. Fortunately, there are several options to consider and many of our clients have engaged us for a blended staffing solution to ensure they have the right level of resiliency.


Tip 2: Implement a virtual recruitment strategy: Once you’ve determined that you need to hire, you will need to formulate a detailed, well-thought-out, virtual recruitment strategy. There are several benefits to remote interviewing. First the virtual framework allows for more flexibility and it saves time for both the candidates and interviewers. Instead of driving to the office and taking 2-4 hours for an in-person interview, potential job seekers are now scheduling multiple 30 – 60-minute interval Video Telephone Calls (VTC) from the comfort of their home. This flexibility has sped up the process too, which is especially helpful for those organizations scrambling to quickly hire a Business Continuity professional. It will be the employer’s responsibility, though, to ensure that all the interviewers have been identified and coached on the process, that everyone understands the technology being used and the process is being communicated to potential candidates. Alternatives must be put in place for those who cannot accommodate a VTC.


Tip 3: Get the word out: Despite the high unemployment rate, most Business Continuity/ Crisis Management professionals are employed and let me assure you, they are way too busy to be scanning job boards. Organizations need to be creative in getting the word out and many of them have relied on their current employees to post openings on LinkedIn. Here’s a bonus… Ask your employees to post why they love working for your company along with the job posting. This leads to great exposure for your organization and a potential slate of very qualified, targeted candidates, especially for those organizations in large cities.


Tip 4: Utilize your existing candidates: If you need to fill a position very quickly, it’s smart to go back to your existing candidates who you’ve interviewed in the last 12 months. Two of our clients who recently created new positions, as a result of COVID-19, engaged us to hire professionals who were the runner up to previous searches we managed on their behalf. In both cases the candidates previously completed the interview process (including the final interview), which made the onboarding process so much quicker.


Tip 5: Be aware of federal, state and local guidelines: With all the constant change, it’s crucial to engage your internal Human Resources department to understand the legal aspects of recruiting and hiring. For example, in researching for this article, I discovered that Illinois has a state law that imposes strict requirements with VTCs. SHRM (Society for Human Resources Management) has an abundance of information available to help you navigate these unprecedented times.

Keeping these tips in mind will bolster your recruitment strategies and help you to adapt to this changing environment. Please feel free to reach out to us with any staffing questions. We are here to help you assess the appropriate personnel need, be it consulting, temporary or a permanent hire. Additionally, we have sample job descriptions and we recently published out 18th Edition BCM Compensation Report. Arrange a complimentary discussion today at info@bcmanagement.com.

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