While discussions surrounding employment during COVID-19 tend to focus on layoffs and furloughs, plenty of U.S. companies are still hiring. And, it is not just essential businesses looking to fill positions. As states open their economies and relax their restrictions, more organizations will be ready, willing, and eager to bring new team members aboard.
However, hiring in our “new normal” requires extra considerations to ease candidates’ fears about returning to work or starting a new job. For example, job seekers want reassurance that potential employers are taking the appropriate safety precautions. Are they offering remote work? Will they hold virtual interviews? Similarly, job seekers may want to know what your company culture is like if everyone is working remotely. How do you maintain camaraderie and clear communication?
To calm candidates’ concerns and demonstrate commitment to your employees, use your job advertisement to your advantage. While we have plenty of resources on how to write a job ad, including a downloadable job ad template, these unprecedented times call for a few additional details.
If you’re hiring during COVID-19, include these five elements when writing a job ad to more easily attract qualified talent:
- Remote work: For many candidates, working in an office environment is out of the question right now. Even if you have a physical location, emphasize and clearly communicate options for remote work. Will the new hire be able to work from home 100% of the time? Is remote work a permanent or temporary arrangement? Are flexible scheduling options available? Be as specific as possible about your remote work policy and set parameters.
- Safety precautions: Discuss what your company is doing to keep staff (and customers, if applicable) safe. Are you following the CDC’s recommended guidelines? Are all employees required to wear masks? Do you provide hand sanitizer in every office? If the position is client-facing, how are you safeguarding customer interactions? How are you dealing with business travel? Again, being specific will go a long way in earning applicants’ trust and strengthening your employer brand.
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- Relevant perks and benefits: Before COVID-19, it was not uncommon for employers to tout their free snacks in the breakroom, discounted gym memberships, monthly happy hours, and other perks related to their company culture. But now, your ad will be much more impactful if you mention perks that better align with remote work. Do you provide a company laptop or offset the cost of employees’ WiFi? Do you host a virtual monthly happy hour? It’s also a good idea to mention any health-related benefits such as medical insurance and paid leave.
- Company longevity and/or agility: No one wants to apply to a job with a company that may cease to exist in the near future. If you’ve been in business for a long time, or have a track record of pivoting to adjust to new economic climates, include that information in your job ad. This could be as easy as saying, “Join a rapidly growing Fortune 500 company that’s been serving customers for two decades and counting.” A short statement like this will raise confidence in your organization as an employer of choice (and provide an opportunity to toot your own horn).
- Next steps: Job seekers will wonder how you’ll carry out the next steps in the hiring process without compromising their safety. When writing a job ad, note if you are conducting phone and/or video interviews, or onboarding new hires virtually. If you must bring your candidates in for in-person interviews, mention that you require everyone who enters your building to wear a mask, for instance, and detail any other precautions that will put your applicant at ease.
As we enter a new era of recruiting, we’ll see employers try new tactics for attracting qualified applicants despite fears of COVID-19. But that doesn’t mean tried-and-true steps for how to write a job ad will become obsolete. You will still need to incorporate the right keywords, include a clear call to action, and brand your posting – to name just a few best practices.
For more tips and job ad templates, check out our resource library. Hiring now? Get started to learn how our Job Optimizer tool will help you write strong job ads. You’ll also be able to work directly with your iHire Customer Success representative to ensure your ads attract great hires in your industry.