Addressing Employee Health and Safety Through Your Employer Brand

As businesses across industries adjust to the latest CDC guidelines, as well as state and local requirements related to the COVID-19 pandemic, keeping both customers and employees safe is now more important than ever before.

In addition to sharing the latest changes to your day-to-day business operations with your current employees and through any customer communications, it should also be a top priority to leverage your employer brand to let prospective job applicants know what your organization is doing to promote health and safety. In this blog post, we’ve outlined some key steps you can take to update your employer brand and run a streamlined hiring process with limited direct contact. 

Update your job descriptions and career site

Given the uncertainties surrounding the pandemic, your team needs to ensure that both your employees and prospective candidates feel safe about coming to work. 

Beyond any concerns your current employees may have, some job seekers might be hesitant to work in certain industries for fear of exposure to the virus. You can help ease these concerns by addressing your commitment to employee and safety through your employer brand – in your job descriptions and on your career site.

Some items you can consider highlighting through your employer brand include:

  • Cleaning and sanitizing procedures you’ve added across the business to meet CDC guidelines – and how you’ll train employees on these procedures
  • Requirements related to all employees wearing masks, as well as use of gloves and other protective equipment for employees who come in close contact with customers

  • Steps you’re taking to follow social distancing guidelines, including limiting the number of employees and customers at your place of business during any given time or requiring appointments/reservations, among other steps

  • Resources you have in place to support employees’ physical and mental health – such as paid sick leave for those who have symptoms or test positive for the virus, and mental health services to help employees cope with the stress of the pandemic

  • An overview of your benefits all employees receive – such as medical insurance, paid time off, training reimbursement, community outreach and career path opportunities –  so prospective employees can see the opportunity joining your team presents

  • How you’re staying connected with employees who are working remotely for the time being

  • In your job descriptions, specifically, an overview of how specific roles and responsibilities might have changed in light of the outbreak

  • On your career site, if you’ve placed hiring on hold for the time being, call out that you’re focused on keeping your current employees safe and give prospective applicants the opportunity to share their contact information for  future opportunities

Run a digital hiring process

Whether your team has been working in a remote capacity or temporarily closed due to the pandemic, it’s critical to keep exposure to a minimum as you adapt to the latest safety protocols and guidelines. One way to reduce risk is by running a digital hiring process – which can be completed remotely.

With a digital hiring process in place, you can ensure you’re not inviting a long list of candidates to your place of business, whom you might not even end up hiring. And with fewer people completing on site hiring steps, you can decrease the risk of exposure for your customers and current employees. Keep reading to learn about key steps that can be completed with a digital hiring process. 

Before applications even reach a hiring manager, you can send automated prescreen surveys to weed out applicants who aren’t a fit for your open roles. As soon as an applicant applies, he or she will receive a link to the survey – which can be customized based on role – and the survey will include “knock out” questions, so only the most qualified applicants get reviewed by a hiring manager. 

Another step you can run online to ensure candidates are qualified is distributing skills tests. A recent study found that 93 percent of Americans know someone who has lied on a resume. Skills tests are one candidate screening option that can help you determine whether or not candidates truly have the skills needed to succeed on your team, and these tests can be customized for specific roles. With skills tests, you can gauge candidates’ hard skills – meaning the technical skills a candidate needs to succeed in your open role and soft skills – which are less technical and might include questions related to social etiquette, compassion, business vocabulary or customer service capabilities.

Once candidates have completed prescreen surveys and skills tests, you can leverage  consistent interview guides with automated scoring, to ensure your team asks all candidates the same questions and interviews are rated objectively – making the interview stage more streamlined even if you’re working remotely. These interviews can easily be completed either over the phone or via video call, but if you’re open for business and can safely bring in candidates for socially distanced interviews, that’s always an option, too.  

As you approach the final stages of the interview process, your team can digitally run reference and background checks on your employees, to verify previous experience and avoid potential liability down the road. 

Following all these verification steps can help you hire qualified candidates – and avoid completing various hiring steps in person while social distancing measures are still in place. To help candidates better understand the steps you’re taking to run a digital hiring process, consider outlining the steps in your job descriptions and on your career site. This will help candidates have a full grasp of what to expect each step of the way during the hiring process. 

Having the right employees on board can help your business get back on track following COVID-19 shutdowns and slowdowns. By highlighting the measures you have in place to keep employees safe and healthy, you can attract top job seekers who are motivated to drive results for your team. For additional tips on facilitating digital hiring, read our resource, “The Seamless Hiring Process Playbook.”



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