National Connections, Local Ownership
National Connections, Local Ownership

When COVID Is Gone, the Talent Shortage Will Still Be There. Are You Ready?

Although it may seem as though you are holding all the cards when it comes to recruiting new workers, the pendulum will swing back to an employee’s market from an employer’s market. Are you ready?

There is no question that COVID-19 has impacted the way companies look at their recruitment and retention efforts. And although it sometimes seems as though this crisis will continue indefinitely, at some point it will either pass or diminish to the point where a new normal becomes quite livable. And that can lead to a resurgence of a problem that is unique to our industry.

We have consistently faced the issue of talent shortages: in our drivers, our technicians, and even in the area of logistics. While many companies have cut back or imposed a freeze on hiring, when the crisis passes, we will once again find ourselves competing for the best talent in these areas. What will we do then?

Reinforce the image – When this pandemic started and most of us would only venture out to go to the grocery store, it was the truck driver who delivered those goods to market. They were lauded for putting themselves into harm’s way. Perhaps, this is something that the industry can promote…an image that might last long after the crisis passes. An uplifting message could become a new way of promoting driving as a career.

Reimagine the description – For far too long, the image of the truck driver/diesel technician has been mired in the past of CB radios and hands full of grease. Today’s drivers and techs are as tech savvy (in many cases, more so) as those in other industries. Since we know that Millennials and Gen X’ers are completely comfortable with technology and digital environments…and since vehicles are increasingly complex, companies should make sure to stress the tech part of the jobs when recruiting both drivers and technicians.

Interview digitally – Probably the biggest change that COVID-19 has created is the remote workforce. That may work for those who normally work in our offices but drivers and technicians have “hands on” jobs and don’t have the luxury of working at home. However, when it comes to recruiting, the platforms that enable online group meetings are now wonderful instruments that recruiters can use to interview prospects. This is also a great way to attract younger workers. As talent acquisition platform, Yello found, “Video interviewing software not only makes it possible to keep the hiring pipeline moving, but it also upgrades the candidate experience and boosts your employer brand.”

Recruit online – Before the interviews, you need to find prospects. Recruiters are likely to continue relying on online recruitment sites like Google and LinkedIn as well as social media sites to find qualified candidates. That will require recruiters to understand the importance of SEO (search engine optimization) when writing recruiting copy for open positions. To be fair, many if not a majority of companies had begun using these sites well before the pandemic hit. But that crisis has made clear that this recruitment method affords greater efficiency in both time and cost.

Know what your candidates are looking for – This may seem like an obvious thought and one that I’ve discussed many times before, but it bears stating it again. We have had difficulties in appealing to younger workers who need to look at a position as a career, not just a paycheck. To be fair, right now, with all the uncertainty in the economy, the security of a paycheck is likely top of mind. But when this crisis ends and we’re back competing with so many other companies for top talent, the need to appeal to these generations will once again take center stage. Companies will need to look at their processes, positions, priorities, and culture: these can either attract or repel younger workers. Check out your competitors’ recruitment listings to get an idea of how they are appealing to workers.

Discover how to reduce hiring costs in my IdeaXchange blog.

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