A recent article in The New Orleans Advocate discussed concerns about how the Trump administration’s federal hiring freeze will affect the functioning of New Orleans’ brand new Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
Certainly, the concerns about losing (for now) the many job opportunities the hospital was bringing to the city, and the lack of staff resulting in the inability to treat the many patients who need help, are quite valid. At the same time, though, the government sector might be able to find a positive in this unexpected setback.
If you’re in a government department, use the current hiring freeze as an opportunity to re-invest in your hiring infrastructure so you are even better prepared to recruit and hire when the freeze is lifted.
One of the first things to look at is your current technology. The rate at which new technology options are being introduced in the talent acquisition industry is astounding. Even if your current budget doesn’t allow for an entire revamp to the newest technologies, you can still benefit immensely by incorporating small pieces over time. The recruitment and talent acquisition space has stand-alone products for everything imaginable, so you can pick and choose the elements that are most important to you at any given time. The key to integrating them successfully, however, is to look to the future and always keep your long-term goals in mind.
Whichever technology options you choose, you will want to make sure the components lend themselves to building and maintaining a strong talent network. In order to engage the individuals you’d like to add to your talent network, you will want to use things like webinars, virtual communities, chat booths and social sharing. And, you will need a good system for tracking and managing the data for all those potential applicants.
It’s also important to be equipped to give candidates what they want. At the top of the list are consideration and communication. The best talent wants to work with businesses and agencies that keep them in the loop during all aspects of the hiring process, from application to interview, to hired or not hired. They expect to know where they stand within a reasonable amount of time, throughout the various steps in the process. They also want a short, straightforward way to apply for jobs and learn about the company and the position. If it takes too long, or requires too many steps, applicants get bored and frustrated and move on. Things like video questionnaires, video resumes and live video interviews are a huge plus.
Ultimately, you want a talent recruitment system that incorporates a multitude of automated options with a personal approach that helps you build connections. Ensure you have a strong corporate website with an honest portrayal of the company’s culture, values and vision, while also regularly engaging with your talent network through relevant, interactive information and a robust, social media presence. Make it easy to stay connected and provide reasons to keep people coming back.
So, put this government hiring freeze to good use. Reevaluate your recruiting methods and reinvest in them so you will be poised to hire the best talent when the freeze is over.