Why talent attraction and retention remains crucial during COVID-19


Everywhere in the world COVID-19 has been challenging companies to extremes, disrupting our way of working more than ever: In less than one month most organizations started working fully remote, including those with the most critical approach towards this policy. Forced to work from the home office day in day out, teams feel more connected than ever and have never operated in a more creative way.

The downside is of course that in anticipation to the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis many organizations are looking into cost savings to minimize future revenue impact. Unfortunately, this means that some companies are also spending less money on talent attraction and retention. Indeed, to protect the jobs of their current workforce some businesses decided to engage in a full or partial hiring pause. Although such a freeze period seems logical, it is crucial to continue investing in both talent attraction and retention.

"A hiring pause provides the ideal opportunity to design a sustainable recruitment and onboarding strategy"

When it comes to talent attraction this hiring pause provides an opportunity as most recruiters will finally have the dedicated time to shift from more operational work to strategic planning for the future so that they are fully ready to continue their operations after COVID-19. This means engaging in the design of a thorough and sustainable recruitment strategy based on adequate workforce planning and a detailed sourcing strategy, whereas also taking into account onboarding of newcomers and the employee value proposition (EVP).

This does not mean, however, that there are no challenges on the short term. Also in the current crisis recruiters keep on providing a highly added value. They are currently taking the lead in designing a virtual/remote onboarding journey for those new employees who are joining an employer during COVID-19. Additionally, they make sure they do everything to continue creating a candidate pipeline so that companies are ready to hire (scarce) talent after COVID-19. This is especially important for hard to fill vacancies due to the war on talent.

A tip to remain in touch with highly valued candidates and making sure you keep on motivating them to join your company after the crisis is by pre-investing into their development, for instance using an online (video) assessment.

"Your current human capital approach determines if talented employees will stay or leave your company after the crisis"

When it comes to talent retention, it’s crucial for organizations not to lose sight or track of people development. More than ever, it remains important to invest in people if you want to keep them engaged and motivated both during and after COVID-19. In a context where most employees only have two social activities to engage in - spending time with family or colleagues through work - companies should more than ever to keep on investing in their people so they are able to move forward after the crisis. Because, let’s face it, this period shall pass too, and as an organization you will be judged based on your human capital approach during COVID-19. To make sure your valued employees and top talent remains loyal after the crisis, continue investing in their development. You can do this by using a mixture of possibilities. Moreover, now is the perfect time since the workload of many employees is currently decreasing.

Some tips to keep top talent motivated and engaged during COVID-19:

  • Helping them grow via on-the-job learning by offering them for instance the time to work on a dedicated project of their interest  
  • Offering them the possibility to participate to a digital development or learning center to work on their strengths and weaknesses in context of their current job and future development
  • Offering them online video coaching possibilities, focusing on professional and/or personal development (this is especially interesting in context of COVID-19 challenges as some employees find it especially hard to establish boundaries between work and private life right now)
  • Offering them an online training or webinar that focusses on a broad range of topics linked to their development or very contemporary topics such as mindfulness and remote working
  • For team leaders there are specific online leadership assessments that provide an excellent view on current strengths and development points, especially useful during the current crisis as leaders are more than ever challenged by working 100% of the time with a virtual team

If you feel triggered by our article, feel free to contact us. We at Beopledd are more than happy to help you in your current challenges regarding talent retention and attraction. For people development we provide several formats from (digital) assessment and development centers to online coaching & training and even an online leadership assessment that are all COVID-19 proof! Moreover, for talent attraction we offer on-site support in recruitment and have extensive experience in designing a sustainable recruitment strategy. Contact Raf Vanzeer for more information.