Covid-19 has thrown a grenade into the job market. Vacancies are down – in the US job market, 34% down from its normal level, and the UK is down 52%. But as vacancies start to recover, and more businesses look to hire, what do employers need to consider when writing job advertising?
The jobseeker perspective
We surveyed our users and found that 45% of them felt that their job was under immediate threat, or that they might lose their job in the near future. A similar percentage – 44% felt a lack of confidence about finding a new job in the current climate. Within businesses, 26% said they were seeing job losses, and 27% said they were experiencing reduced hours.
Clearly it’s a more precarious market for jobseekers. Whereas before the crisis, we saw job markets in the US and UK where on a macro-level, the jobseeker had more power. There was low unemployment, and employers were having to compete for candidates’ attention. Government schemes seemed to depress jobseeker interest, but we are seeing it pick up.
What matters now?
As the world of work becomes more precarious, there will naturally be a shift in mindset towards job security. Candidates are going to be looking for businesses and work that are “covid resistant”, meaning unaffected by the closure of business. Hence we saw an increase in searches for brand name essential retail stores, such as supermarkets. With Amazon doubling down on hiring in this crisis, we saw jobseekers respond by searching for jobs with them, allowing them to see through the crisis.
If you need to work to happen on site, whether it’s in a store, a factory, or other facility, then safety will be a major concern. A meat processing plant in Germany was the source of a major covid-19 breakout. Reasons for this included the fact that the cold conditions were more beneficial to the virus, and the workers had to shout to be heard over the machines, spreading infectious droplets.
All of which is to say that employees will be more and more concerned about safety than ever before. What sort of protective equipment do they need? Will you provide protective screens between desks to prevent the spread of fluids? Will you stagger arriving and leaving times to minimise the number of people passing through doors at the same time?
You are probably still working it out, but linking to your safety documentation when you have it, and including key points in bullets in your job advert will be key for employees.
As we explored in our recent blog about jobseeker behavior, candidates are searching more for remote and work from home jobs. The impact of covid-19 here is clear as more businesses had to send everyone home. If you are able to offer remote working or working from home to your employees, then it’s something you should put front and center of your job adverts. Include any information about equipment news. Check out our blog on recruiting remotely for more tips.
13% of our surveyed users said they were put off by complicated application processes. Added to the fact that application processes will be made more complicated by the possibility of more remote steps or socially distanced recruitment, it’s clearly going to be a difficult time for applicants.
To reassure applicants, it would be good to advertise the steps of your application process, so they know how much of it is face to face, and how much of it is remote. Being honest and open about this will put candidates at ease, and also ensure they know what’s coming next!
What remains important
While all of this is newly-important, it doesn’t mean that the old maxims get thrown out the window. Putting in all the work for an employer value proposition and an employer brand will still bear fruit if you put it into practice. It’s still about finding the right fit between employer and employee, which remains the same regardless of how desperate for a job.
Plus, as we’ve seen, well-known brands had a sudden spike in jobseeker activity in the peak of the crisis. People resorted to brands they knew well, so trying to make sure your brand is as well-known as possible will be key.
Having an open approach to salary and benefits is also key to ensure you, and your candidates are not wasting your time pursuing a job that doesn’t work for either of you. At a time where money concerns are at a height, it marks you out as a more considerate employer if you’re up front about what you earn.