The hiring process is just one of the many different aspects of life that has been impacted by COVID-19. As biotechnology recruiters, we’ve certainly had to adapt our process to overcome these new challenges, while still meeting the demand of our clients. Shelter in place orders have been issued by many governors across the U.S., making hiring new talent more challenging. Although we’re starting to see states opening back up, there will still be a myriad of safety guidelines for businesses to follow before everything returns to normal. The new norm might dictate that you have to use other tools and strategies for hiring. The important thing is to understand that hiring top talent is still an essential aspect of growing or even just maintaining your business during shelter-in place. Here are some tips for how to continue hiring during quarantine.

Layoffs Should Be The Last Resort

The best recruiting strategies are proactive and continue to prioritize onboarding talented clinical research associates regardless of passing economic trends. Companies that already had a surplus of talented candidates before the pandemic are going to weather the storm better than those with a more conservative hiring strategy. More than 30 million people have been laid-off over the past few months as organizations face budget shortfalls. Although there may not have been any other financial alternatives in some of these cases, you still have to consider the value that could be lost in the long run, along with the costs to replace a reduced workforce. The quickest way to return to operational success after a quarantine is with the original talent that helped get you there. Layoffs should always be the last resort if you want to keep employees from seeking other opportunities.

Virtual Interviews

During a quarantine, it’s important to implement technology to recruit candidates for the biotech industry. Virtual interviews are becoming one of the new norms during quarantine because we can efficiently access people in their homes while keeping everybody safe. Here’s a checklist for conducting successful remote interviews:

  1. Invest in the best tools and technology. Skype for Business and Zoom are two of the most popular video conferencing platforms. But first you will need a quality computer camera, microphone, internet connection, etc.
  2. Test everything in advance. Internet traffic spikes can cause delays and other issues with video conferencing tools so always have a backup plan. Scheduling interviews when fewer people are online might help, or even be prepared to have a traditional phone interview first.
  3. Organize the interview. Have a structure in place to keep the interview flowing and provide an itinerary prior to the call.
  4. Script your questions in advance. This is especially important when multiple people are involved with the interview.

It could be possible to keep most of your employees on the payroll even during a quarantine using options like the Paycheck Protection Program, reducing hours or reassigning some staff members to other essential departments. Remote interviewing software could provide the link between biotech companies and the talent you need to succeed even in a quarantine.

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