Minnesota’s post-COVID economic comeback will likely involve a whole new set of employee-related trials—even though no one can yet tell us what they will be. Most agree that the search for high-quality employees will reappear quickly. We asked Alissa Henriksen, principal and owner of Grey Search + Strategy, to provide her insights about what manufacturers should be thinking about. Here is her advice.

  1. Re-evaluate your job descriptions. We don’t revisit them often enough. This is your first impression with prospective employees. Take time to rewrite and redesign your job descriptions so they provide a clearly-defined overview of the position and your culture—and make sure it is eye-catching.
  2. Add an employer branding page to your website. More than 63 percent of applicants will go to your website to research YOU. Make sure you help them fall more in love with your company and how it supports your employees.
  3. Focus on the roles you need to bring on and don’t give up on the goal of adding that talent. Hiring should continue to take time because you want to bring on the right people who fit your culture—and this market is the ideal time to look for talent. But it doesn’t mean you have to bring them on in two weeks. “This” market means that you can interview and have access to more people, which will help you make a more confident decision in the hire you want and need for your role. You can also build a pretty solid pipeline for when more talent is available. Never quit searching for good talent. Giving up will put you several steps behind when things turn around.
  4. Be transparent with your current employees and with potential new hires about the current situation. They deserve to know what’s going on. Bring comfort to people by providing updates, even if the update is that while you aren’t sure what the next week will bring, you are doing everything you can to keep the focus on your customers and your employees. The same goes for people you are interviewing. Let them know you have every intention to hire, but the process has been slowed down. Keep your top talent engaged and up to date by setting up a time to connect every two weeks. This will also leave them feeling good about how you communicate and handle yourself.
  5. Onboarding can still happen! You absolutely can onboard new hires in a virtual setting. Set up virtual meetings and provide processes, online manuals, systems, etc. to talent to learn. One of the things we are creating at Grey Search + Strategy is a virtual onboarding process for our clients and community to download and use when they bring new hires on in this environment. It might take a few extra steps, but it’s something that will work out and will probably create closer relationships and clearer communication.

Featured story in the Summer 2020 issue of Enterprise Minnesota magazine. 

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