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Tips for Recruiting and Retaining Employees in the New Normal

Female hr reading resume during online virtual job interview by video call

COVID-19 has undoubtedly impacted every individual and business to date. Many businesses have been forced to adapt to the changing needs of their clients, employees, and their families. Changes to business structures and operations as a result of COVID-19 have led both employers and employees seeking different benefits that fit their changing needs. As COVID-19 continues to evolve, businesses need to find attractive ways to recruit and retain their employees.

There are two main areas that impact successful recruiting: transparency and technology. They can also be applicable to employee retention efforts. Here’s how you can leverage both for recruiting improvements.


In recruiting, your transparency should come through the job description, salary, and in highlighting your company culture. In your job descriptions, include the salary, benefits, any flexible work arrangements (i.e. working from home), and expectations for both job duties and timeline for hire.[1] The salary should be an honest number or range that you’re willing to offer. If it’s not as competitive as the industry or geographic location, perhaps emphasizing any additional benefits you have (i.e. career growth opportunities, tuition reimbursement, flexible work arrangements, pet insurance, etc.) that can counter that disadvantage.

Culture and well-being have been at the forefront of recruiting after the initial impact of COVID-19. First and foremost, you should highlight any changes that have been made to the company culture since the initial impact of COVID-19. For example, if your company shifted to a remote or hybrid workplace, is that temporary until local, state, and/or federal restrictions are lifted? Or has your company adapted well to a remote or hybrid workplace and intend to remain that way permanently? The majority of leaders (72%) understand the impact a positive company culture plays in successful business goals.[2] Highlight ways in which your company culture is not only a way of life for your current employees, but also a desired place to be for future employees. After all, 42% of employees report a sharp decline in company culture since the start of COVID-19 and 46% feel less connected to their organization.[3]


Technology has not only evolved over time but has also played a critical role in businesses’ success during COVID-19. If you haven’t already, implementing recruiting chatbots, pre-hire assessments, and artificial intelligence (AI) can help streamline the recruiting process.  AI and pre-hire assessments can help narrow the candidate pool to find individuals more closely aligned with the position that is being recruited. Recruiting chatbots can also serve as a screening tool and field any questions or concerns before bringing candidates in for in-person interviews.

Another great tool that has revolutionized working from home is videoconferencing. Tools like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and GoToMeeting have been great tools that connect not only candidates with hiring managers remotely, but also internal teams to ensure face-to-face connections.

Disengagement and burnout, as well as career growth factors like a promotion or raise, have been top contributors to employee turnover.[4] Two ways that you can improve employee retention, which can also be attractive in recruiting, are developing unique benefit options and emphasizing empathy.

Unique Benefit Options

While basic benefits, such as medical, dental, vision, 401(k), and short-term disability are great benefits to offer, the candidate pool is becoming more competitive with employees quitting faster than jobs are opening. Adding unique benefits can help retain employees by offering something they seek. A few examples include:

  • Flexible work arrangements. Whether you let your employees choose which days or how many days to work remote, or offer a flexible schedule, allowing employees a flexible work arrangement can provide the time necessary for changing situations.
  • Childcare and eldercare resources. From a set spending allowance to partnering with third-party vendors, offering childcare and/or eldercare resources can greatly aid your employees who may be struggling with children who cannot attend school, or elderly parents living with them.
  • Mental health and fitness focus. Both mental and physical health has taken a toll due to social isolation. Whether in-house or through a vendor, mental health resources can help your employees cope with any depression, anxiety, or other stressors that may be impacting their productivity and attendance. From a physical wellness incentive to simply offering gym or fitness discounts, physical fitness can help clear the mind and recenter employees.
  • Financial wellness. The financial impact of unemployment, furloughs and layoffs, business closures, and more have been devastating for employees. A financial wellness program can assist employees in budgeting and becoming financially smarter.

Thinking and Responding with Empathy

The best way to navigate all these complex changes to recruiting and employee retention is by listening to employee concerns. Long-term incentive plans, loyalty bonuses, increasing base pay to align with the market, and rewarding high-performing employees are key strategies[5] to addressing employees who may be disengaged, burnt out, or seeking monetary rewards.

Additionally, creating ways for employees to express their concerns can help identify and deter employee turnover before it occurs. One way is through one-on-one meetings with managers to “check-in” with employees and address any of their concerns. Another way is to create a line of communication with your HR department, who can address any employee concerns. This option also provides a layer of anonymity and removes any potential bias a manager may have.

From recruiting to employee retention, having a designated HR expert in your corner can certainly provide you the guidance to improve your efforts. Human Capital offers HR services, that can help you make sure your recruiting and retention efforts are successful. Contact Human Capital today to learn more.




[1] Retail Alliance

[2] Talent Management

[3] SHRM

[4] SHRM

[5] Aerotek

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