We still have a long way to go – but we’re continuing to see signs that the economy is recovering.

Heading into 2021 with approved vaccines, there’s a lot of reason to be optimistic that the economy will be almost fully recovered within 12 months.

This is great news. However, drawing on my 20 years of experience in the recruiting sector, I worry that businesses don’t have the right strategy in place for long-term talent needs. Let me explain further…

You Don’t Want to Wait to the Last Minute to Hire

When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit, businesses everywhere froze hiring and slashed talent acquisition budgets.

I get it. Times are tough, nobody wants to wait until the last minute to make cuts.

However, we must be wary of waiting until the last minute to meet our hiring needs. Making quality hires doesn’t happen overnight.

When you need to hire qualified professionals, you need to budget time for sourcing candidates, interviews, selection processes, and so forth.

I know recruiting can be expensive – but businesses also need to be mindful of the expenses associated with open seats.

Your customers won’t wait for you to hire again. Their budgets are just as tight as yours. If quality or service suffers because your teams are understaffed or overworked, they will likely go to a competitor.

My advice to businesses is consider where their talent needs may be in 2-3 months and plan accordingly. Building a pipeline may be crucial for positioning yourself effectively.

Many Key Professionals Are Still Very Hard to Find

Part of the reason why it’s so important to look ahead is that for many key positions, there’s still more open jobs than qualified candidates.

We may be dealing with record unemployment, but that doesn’t tell the full story.

Take the case of software developers. These professionals were hard to hire before COVID-19. As businesses and individuals have grown even more digitally dependent, we need people to build digital platforms more than ever.

Jobs in healthcare, supply chain logistics, and fitness are similarly affected.

The more in-demand a professional is, the longer a successful search will take. Are you prepared for lengthy searches?

Candidates Are Choosy About Where They Work

In general, qualified candidates for in-demand roles are already gainfully employed.

If we want to make the best hires for our organization, we must make a compelling case for why they should join us. However, convincing someone to start a new job in the middle of a historic recession and pandemic is anything but easy.

In addition to the usual cold feet around a new job, recruiters must assuage concerns about workplace safety, company culture, job security, and the financial situation of the company.

This means that recruiters might have to spend more time talking to candidates, talking through their concerns and warming them up to the opportunity.

Employment Branding is a Must for Long-Term Success

In light of all these challenges, there is no doubt that employer branding is a must. In the past few years, we’ve seen a big shift in candidates wanting more from their jobs than a pay check and benefits.

More and more, we’re talking to professionals who want to work in a role where they can make an impact, maintain a great work-life balance, and be a part of something bigger. Of course, no matter how great it is to work at your company, no one will know if you don’t have a strong employer brand!

In order to recruit top talent, you need a strong brand that makes it clear why you are an exceptional employer. A long-winded job description and promises of great pay won’t cut it anymore.

Here at Qualigence, we’ve seen great results in helping our clients land talent with custom landing pages from our marketing team. You need to go the extra mile to show candidates why you’re worth their time.

Planning for Tomorrow’s Success

As recruiters, business leaders, and HR teams, we’re all in uncharted waters. While the economy is more stable than it was in March, that’s not saying much.

It’s hard to know what will happen next and where our talent needs will be in a month or two. However, that’s not an excuse to forgo long-term planning.

If you work in recruiting, HR, or lead a business, I recommend you do one thing. Ask yourself – what do I need to do today to meet my recruiting needs in the near future?

If you’re interested in brainstorming solutions to our biggest challenges with other leaders and sharing expertise, join me for our next Leadership & Legal live event. Click the banner below to learn more and register now!