What the jobs report means for hiring amid COVID-19

May 11, 2020

You’ve seen the data. The unemployment rate is 14.7%, 20.5 million people lost their job in April 2020 and these were the largest month-over-month increases since 1948, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

There are the industries that have been hit hard: leisure and hospitality employment plummeted by 47%, the entertainment and recreation industries lost 1.3 million workers, and retail dropped by 2.1 million employees. 

And we know these drastic measures, in many cases, were taken to protect employees and customers, and were in adherence to public health guidelines.  

But, where do companies go from here? 

First, there are some industries that haven’t been as impacted – like finance and some areas of tech – that are hiring away top talent that may have been displaced or furloughed. For those that are waiting for more positive signs of an economic rebound before adding staff back to their rolls, this is an opportunity to build a strong pipeline of talent. 

Prioritize diversity 

Your talent network should be diverse. A strong team is a multi-faceted one, with a variety of experiences and perspectives, and using the right tools can help you get there. For example, AI job descriptions can build gender-neutral job postings and guide phrasing in order to attract a wider audience. Make sure to set diversity goals, hold your team accountable and consider transparency around your progress.  

Focus on employer branding 

Prior to the pandemic, employer branding was top-of-mind in that job seeker’s market. Now, even with hiring on pause for many companies, employer brand is more vital than ever. It’s an easy and important way to communicate your response to the pandemic, your support for employees and be at the top of every candidate’s list as a company to work for. Take this time to evaluate your culture and hiring processes for opportunities to communicate who you are as an employer. This will make it much easier to connect with applicants and potential new hires when the time is right.  

Use your team wisely 

From collaborative hiring to employee referrals, your current workers can help build a pipeline and maintain your employer brand. If you are hiring right now, think about which members of your team can be part of the interview process. This practice – collaborative hiring – is an easy way to incorporate diversity of thought and experience, while helping to maintain culture. Plus, engaged employees will share their positive experiences on social media or as part of an employee referral program, boosting your reach and building a pipeline.

Looking for additional insight into how the jobs report impacts your hiring strategy? Check out our recent webinar here, which includes in-depth analysis of key jobs report findings and a deep dive into how virtual events are connecting companies with great candidates.

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