Posted on: March 31st, 2021

The changes of the pandemic have affected nearly every industry from 2020 into 2021. Some businesses have experienced dramatic drops or increases in sales. Others struggled due to fluctuations in the supply chain. While the economy recovers and things slowly begin to return to normal, it is a good time to reevaluate your company’s hiring and retention policies and strategies in order to be prepared as the stresses of COVID-19 fade. 

Strategize and Plan

Because hiring and retention are closely tied to the business plan, check-in with the executive team so you and the human resources team know where the business is heading. It is likely that some business shifts will be permanent, while others will be temporary measures—but any shift in operations can affect hiring and retention. Discuss what is changing and what remains the same. A thorough review of strategies, plans, and policies will prepare your company to hire new employees or bring former employees back.

Retention strategies and budgets can also be addressed with your team. Many companies have added benefits such as mental health support or longer family leave. Consider what your company is able to do to enhance benefits and perks. Continue reading to gather more ideas for strategic planning discussions.

Reassess Hiring

With your strategic information in mind, reassess the human resources picture in terms of need and hiring practices. Where does hiring stand? What is the status of your workforce? Are you at full strength, or are you ready to hire back furloughed or laid-off employees? How have recent changes affected recruiting, and how will they continue to affect how you approach hiring new employees?

Now is also a good time to evaluate gaps in your workforce. When you take a close look at key roles, do you have the talent you need? Where could your team be stronger in terms of skills and knowledge? An honest assessment of the current team versus your dream team could help if anyone retires or moves on. The post-COVID hiring environment may be an advantage for your company if you can recruit the right talent from the pool of people seeking employment.

Finally, how can you change your outreach when recruiting? Are there new online opportunities for advertising that you want to try? Research the options so you’re ready to move forward when you need to hire again. Remember to review job descriptions, too, to see if any need changed to address the post-COVID work environment.

Evaluate Retention

Retaining quality employees is always the goal. How is your company doing with retention in light of COVID? How can the company do better? You may want to survey employees to see how they feel about the benefits and perks you provide. Their perception of the organization may surprise you. Prepare to address gaps in your company’s communication and benefits.

If you have the budget for a morale boost, some ideas for perks that you can email to employees working from home include coffee shops, grocery, or bakery gift cards. Employees will appreciate being able to treat themselves. Some companies have sent gift baskets, company wearables, and other gifts to employees.

Thinking ahead, how might you be able to bring employees back together if they’ve been out of the office for months? Or can you offer the option of working from home in the future?

While there are some big decisions to make, even small acts can have a lasting impact on employee appreciation. That could be a care package of snacks on their desk when they return, or a new microwave and a fresh coat of paint in the break room. How can your company say, “welcome back” and “thank you” to the people who help the company through this incredibly difficult time? Be sure to communicate your appreciation for them, as well as any post-COVID policies, such as cleaning procedures, social distancing, and so on.

If you have a realistic view of where the company is headed, you can ensure that your hiring and retention are aligned with the overall business strategy. A thoughtful, thorough approach—along with a good dose of flexibility to possible changes—will help your company move forward with hiring and retaining the best employees you can find.