There are many hurdles that are making it harder to find and attract job applicants right now. The lack of applicants can be attributed to several factors including fear of exposure to COVID-19, lack of childcare services and a “wait and see” attitude among job seekers who are currently collecting unemployment benefits. 

Still, with the right opportunities and incentives, employers can attract talent during the pandemic.  Here are 4 strategies to put in place to make your job posting stand out from the rest. 

#1 Offer competitive wages or bonuses

Today’s job seekers need an extra incentive to overcome employment barriers. If increasing hourly wages for the long-term is a struggle for your business, consider offering a temporary “bump” in hourly wages or a one-time sign-on bonus.   Retention bonuses are also effective to reward employees who remain loyal and can minimize job hopping behavior among new hires. 

#2 Connect with candidates that are actively looking

Be proactive in sourcing candidates who are seeking new opportunities. 

Start by reaching out to your region’s government funded One-Stop Career Center. Their job developers focus on matching qualified unemployed candidates with the right opportunities.  They also provide on-the-job skills training resources to employers to help bring new hires up to speed quickly. 

Job Seekers on Linkedin let recruiters know they’re available by specifying the types of job opportunities they’re interested in so that their profile shows up in search results when recruiters look for suitable job candidates.

Employers utilizing Indeed’s job board have always been able to instantly search and filter resumes based on their needs, but they can now also zero in on job seekers who can start work right away with  the Indeed “ready to work now” filter

#3 Share your company COVID-19 employee protection plan

Candidates are evaluating employers’ health and safety procedures to minimize the risk of exposure to COVID-19.  Provide details of the steps your company is taking to protect your employees and what protocols are in place if a worker falls ill or needs to care for a sick family member.  

With the vaccine to prevent COVID-19 preparing for distribution, employers should start considering whether they will require employees to get the vaccination when it is available. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has yet to issue guidance on a COVID-19 vaccine, so employers should look to the EEOC’s guidance on the flu vaccine for now. 

#4 Offer perks that support wellness and work/life balance

Offering added wellness and work/life balance benefits can attract candidates and demonstrate your commitment to your employees. For instance, employers providing online mental health and wellness resources help employees remain resilient and more productive and helps set the company apart from the rest. 

Childcare assistance is also gaining momentum.  Employer-provided spending accounts or bonuses are designed to help cover the costs, in full or partially, of day care and pandemic-related educational expenses. Employers that supply childcare subsidies can take advantage of an annual tax credit. There are also special child-care related tax credits for businesses specifically due to COVID-19. 

Whether your recruiting incentives are temporary or permanent there’s no doubt that motivating today’s job seekers requires an approach that is both strategic and empathic. Being creative and transparent in your discussions with candidates will help you make the right hires that will remain with the company throughout these challenging times. 

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