Coronavirus at Work: The Recruiting and Hiring Impact

And then within a few days, everything was cancelled. For at least the next 30 to 60 (or more) days.

The coronavirus (COVID-19) proliferation around the world is quite real and scary for many communities. We have to take precautions, practice social distancing, and even voluntary quarantine. We want to ensure safety first and mitigate the spread.

But the economic ripple impact has already started. We’ve been in a growth (bull) market for 10 years, and now we’ve hit the bear-market skids. It’s impacting the economy on all levels with the big unknowns being for how long and with what lasting effects. Beyond the extreme health risk for susceptible older populations and those who have respiratory problems, so many people will be negatively impacted economically.

For the past two weeks we’ve been asking our CandE community and companies big and small across industries about the impact on their recruiting and hiring. The week of March 2, we had 220 companies respond to our initial 6-question survey. On March 11, we had 130 companies so far respond to our second 10-question survey.

This is what we know:

Last week, 47% of employers said they had a plan in place to deal with the coronavirus outbreak (see Figure 1).

This week, 68% said they now had a plan in place, which includes restricting all travel, restricting onsite visits, not attending events of more than 50 people, working from home if possible, and more (see Figure 2).

Last week, 63% said they’d encourage employees to work from home who can (see Figure 3).

This week, 46% said they are doing it (see Figure 4). It’s lower than the week before, and although we polled most of the same community, it’s most likely do to a different mix of companies participating in each survey, with more companies this week not in the position to let employees work from home, most likely.

This week we asked a new question about whether or not employers are offering hourly employees additional paid sick leave if needed (see Figure 5). So far 20% said they are. This is important because so many hourly workers will have their hours reduced and could quickly use up any sick time they may have. Many hourly employees cannot work from home and their employment may be significantly impacted.

Last week, 43% said they were restricting international travel, 20% said they were restricting domestic travel, and 8% said they were restricting local travel (see Figure 6).

This week, not surprisingly, it’s gone up considerably, with 50% restricting international travel (15% increase), 43% restricting domestic travel (73% increase), and 12% said they were restricting local travel (40% increase) (see Figure 7). Again, all in the effort to mitigate coronavirus spread and protect employees and susceptible populations.

This week we asked whether or not employers would restrict attending events of 50 or more people, and 42% said they would (see Figure 8). In fact, we’re to the point now where extreme social distancing and not gathering in any group size is the mandate.

This week we asked employers how long they’d be enforcing these kinds of restrictions, and like the rest of us, 44% really have no idea (see Figure 9). 20% said for at least the next month, 6% said 1-2 months, 5% said 2-3 months, and 25% said as long as it takes. The bottom line here is until we all have a better idea of the spread of infection and if and when it begins to level off, we have to continue the social distancing.

Last week, we asked whether this would disrupt in-person candidate interviews, and 21% said yes (see Figure 10).

This week, not surprisingly, that jumped to 41%, an increase of 65% (see Figure 11). Again, restricting onsite visits is the norm for now.

Last week, we asked if employers would schedule more virtual candidate interviews, and 39% said yes (see Figure 12).

This week, 58% of employers increasing more virtual candidate interviews (39% increase) (see Figure 13).

This week we asked if employers were onboarding new hires offsite and/or virtually, and 25% said they were (see Figure 14). When possible, this will most likely increase in the next few months.

Last week, we asked if the coronavirus situation would impact their hiring overall, and 17% said moderately, while only 2% said severely (see Figure 15).

This week, 19% said it would impact moderately, increasing 11%, while 7% said severely, increasing 111% (see Figure 16). The sooner we can get through this, the sooner we can get back to growth and weather a hopefully mild recession.

We’ll do another follow-up survey soon to see how everything is changing yet again.

As I mentioned in my last article, recruiting and HR leaders from our CandE community of employers big and small across industries have been sharing their concerns as well as helpful tips and resources for their peers. The key thing many companies are recommending is to keep all communication channels open. For employees and candidates. Things are changing hourly, not just daily. Keeping everybody informed, that these are the steps we’re taking now, and as those change, to notify them further of what’s next – again, keeping communication even more crystal clear than ever is going to be critical for employers. Some are recording daily updates and webcasts that they’re sharing with their employees.

Again, this is changing by the hour, and it’s best to keep yourself, your colleagues and your candidates informed. And keep supporting each other and each other’s businesses. These extreme social distancing measures now may decrease the impact on our healthcare organizations, doctors and nurses over the next few months, and that’s critical to keeping our most susceptible loved ones as healthy as possible if treatment is needed.

You’ll also find important resources from our CandE community below that you can share internally and with your own networks. Send us other recommendations if you have them.

Keep communicating and moving forward. Be safe.
Chat Bot loaded with coronavirus resources and answers to general questions
CDC – Center for Disease Control and Prevention. You can sign up for email alerts from the CDC to the facts and not speculation.
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WHO-World Health Organization

Some healthcare organizations have instituted a short questionnaire given to patients coming to offices/facilities that contains three questions and a privacy/HIPAA statement.

The questions are:

  • have you traveled to high risk areas
  • have you been exposed to any one with COVID-19 symptoms
  • have you experience any COVID-19 symptoms.

We will keep you updated with anything else we find and any other updates, thank you.
Kevin Grossman
Talent Board

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