Managing sudden shifts in workforce needs is critical for employers, and the smartest approach is a multi-pronged effort.
The economic impact of COVID-19 has sent shockwaves through the global workforce. Some industries have seemingly slowed to a crawl or stalled altogether while other sectors have never been busier and are scrambling to hire, train and redeploy workers. Moving resources where they’re needed most is critical.
There is reason to be hopeful that industries can adapt and help workers find new footing. In recent years due to a talent shortage, businesses have been working to tap certain underrated talent communities, including retirees, veterans and previous freelancers, for new roles. History has shown that building new talent communities can be done in a deliberate and effective fashion––now the scale has grown and the timetable compressed.
Shift recruiting strategies to virtual
Facing social distancing restrictions, many human resources departments don’t have the ability to travel and have in-person career fairs to find and hire the most qualified workers. That’s when recruiters need to shift their strategies to virtual meetings and social media messaging. This has been done before and has been shown to be effective. For example, ManpowerGroup helps Australia’s military recruitment efforts extend to remote corners of the country, literally and virtually, like in social media—where the Defence Jobs Australia Facebook page has over 510K followers.
Find untapped work resources
During World War II, manufacturing realized they had a huge untapped labor market that represented 50% of the population––women. That’s still relevant today as businesses can benefit from hiring, promoting and leading with women and underrepresented populations in their industries. With a little bit of training and upskilling, these untapped sources can even develop into a highly-skilled workforce. For example, ManpowerGroup and Rockwell Automation teamed up to help veterans upskill and develop into new advanced manufacturing roles. The 12-week bootcamp in industrial manufacturing prepares them for a new career as an automation technician.
Think beyond full time
Filling talent needs doesn’t always mean hiring for full-time roles, and a full workforce doesn’t have to consist of all traditional 9-5 workers––especially today. Nearly 9 in 10 workers are open to NextGen work – part-time, contingent, contract, freelance or temporary. Both workers and organizations can turn to flexible employment opportunities, especially as a way to quickly meet and redeploy where work is needed.
Without a doubt, businesses are facing historic challenges in redeploying workforces, with some companies pivoting, adding staff or waiting out the storm. Leaders can also take a measure of comfort in knowing they can take steps to meet demand where it is needed most right now.