The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way business is conducted today. The way we provide and deliver goods and services to clients has changed forever. As the labor market begins to reopen after the COVID-19 pandemic and we continue with a new normal, this is a great opportunity for businesses of any size to evaluate lessons learned during this time. Some of these questions may include:

  • Are there any gaps in our operations and processes?
  • How is my business impacted?
  • Are there better ways I can serve my customers?
  • How do we protect our workforce, continue operations while abiding by social distancing guidelines?
  • Are there ways we can deliver our products faster and more efficient?
  • Are there opportunities to upskill our workforce and leverage the talent I already have?
  • Will I need to create new roles in my business that are better aligned to the way we conduct business today after COVID-19?

These are some of the questions business leaders ask themselves today. I am not going to go in depth in all these areas; however, for the purpose of this article I will only focus on recruiting.  Whether you are a local bakery with 5 or 6 employees, a local family owned restaurant or a larger organization, you want to hire the best people you can find. People who will represent your brand well and will help your business grow.


If you begin searching for candidates after you posted a position online, you are being reactive. Reactive recruitment practices are time consuming, high-pressure, and redundant in nature. When you take a reactive approach to recruiting, it creates a high-pressure environment, which leads to making the wrong hiring decision for an open role. In a reactive situation, a recruiter or business owner post a position online and begins to source online job boards or outsourcing to recruitment agencies. This reactive recruitment model results in a longer time to fill the position, which has a direct impact on the way a business services their clients. Once a position takes longer than usual to fill, hiring managers feel the pressure and select candidates that are not a fit for the role, which in the long term will impact the financial bottom line. According to a study conducted by the Society of Human Resources Management, 2016 Human Capital Benchmarking Report the average cost-per-hire is $4,129. If you take this amount and multiply it by the number of bad hires and people who leave your organization before the first year, you will quickly see the financial impact reactive recruiting is making in your organization. We can see after this example that reactive recruitment practices simply do not work.


According to a recent article by Amit Gawande CO-Founder of CWIZ, proactive recruitment is about building your audience. You want to focus on both active and passive candidates. Proactive recruiting is looking at your business now and thinking about how your business has changed by this pandemic. Once you determine what that is, execute workforce planning strategies and determine what roles are you going to need in the future. Think about the skills, abilities, and soft skills you are going to need and what that role will look like.

Once that is determined, begin your recruitment efforts BEFORE the need arises. Build your audience, attract candidates to your company, nurture them and keep them engaged with the right information, source the right candidate from your talent network and convert them to your new employee. You need to anticipate. You need to figure out what you need before you seek it. Now more than ever, recruiting the right talent for your organization is a competitive advantage. It will either help you grow or sink. It should never be taken lightly. This person you are hiring will represent your brand and will impact your customers now and in the future.

In summary, the proactive recruitment approach saves you time and money. It eliminates redundant efforts and high-pressure processes. It keeps you more agile. It provides you an opportunity to build relationships with candidates, and when you take the time to build relationships with candidates and treat them right, it will result in more candidate referrals even if the ideal candidate turns you down for a position. With a proactive recruiting approach, you do not have to rush hiring people, which reduces bad hiring decisions.

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