Human Resource professionals are no strangers to difficult situations.  When they say, “I’m in HR, I’ve seen it all” they are not lying.  All kidding aside, most current HR leaders have experienced many recent and new challenges.

In 2001, the attacks on 9/11 brought unique challenges of safety and security.  Since then, subsequent acts of domestic terrorism have only amplified those challenges.  The Great Recession from 2007-2009 made it difficult to sustain a company and its workforce.   Then as recent as December 2019 companies were dealing with record low unemployment, which translates to more jobs than workers.

Now just a few short months later, HR professionals are dealing with a worldwide pandemic and record high unemployment.  The global spread of the novel coronavirus has forced many HR leaders into uncharted waters. This problem is not like most. It comes in waves and is ever changing, threatening everyday life and pushing the new normal to previously unimaginable extremes.  It has affected virtually every aspect of life from our health to our livelihood, and has left business leaders uncertain on next steps.

Companies are forced to adapt by rethinking their current practices.  Many times, these solutions fall into the hands of the HR department.  Hiring, onboarding, leadership development and retaining employees are just a few.  These complex responsibilities require strategic thinking.  HR is in the unique position to best facilitate processes to ensure they are coordinated and consistent overall.  In an already exhaustive roll, however, it might be time to develop a strategic partnership.  If you have never collaborated with an outside recruiting source, this just might be the perfect time.  They offer the skilled and experienced recruiting services an over-tasked HR department needs.   It is a challenging time to find good talent.  Sourcing in the current environment requires more creativity and adaptation than ever before.  Eligible workers are staying home for a number of new reasons.  The most significant of which are extended unemployment benefits, childcare challenges, and fear of contracting COVID-19.   Now, more than ever, it can really pay to unleash the potential of a partner whose only task is to find talent.

Looking back, recruiting and hiring practices were on track to change well before the pandemic hit.  The continued development of online platforms has made onboarding processes easy and accessible to all, and remote work has become increasingly possible in many professions.  After states ordered mandatory shutdowns companies had to reimagine how they do business and adopt remote work models if they did not already have one.  Many companies have now made remote work an option or even a requirement.  In doing so, they have extended their talent pool from a reasonable commuter radius, to a national or even global scale.  While this means access to more talent, it also means more talent to evaluate.  That is where a recruiting partner comes in.  Many who utilize this type of service maintain the number one benefit is time saved on candidate review.  An experienced recruiter can effectively take your stack of resumes from one hundred to five – the five best candidates you need to see.  Inherently, the HR manager is then able to acquire better talent faster, and dedicate appropriate focus to other aspects of their job.

HR is regarded as the department you go to when you need help.  “Help” has taken on a new meaning these days.  Employees need to have ongoing tangible and emotional support to work remotely and balance the new demands in both work and family.  So, where does the HR team go when they need help?  A strong recruiting partner can relieve the burden.  Knowing that remote work is part of the job description, recruiters can target candidates that have the “work from house” experience.  While remote work is new to many, others have done it for years and actually prefer it.  That said there are still some nuances we need to consider.  Now people are working remotely while their children are also at home E-learning.  More than ever, companies need to consider remote employees’ work/home life balance, sick time, vacation time, etc.  To simplify these challenges, seek candidates that come from this work environment and know what to expect.  A recruiting partner can help you do that.

Strong leadership, experienced HR teams and seasoned recruiting partners will ensure success for companies and their employees during this unprecedented time.  HR will play a significant role by rethinking and adapting employment practices that are the cornerstone to this success, but in so many cases, they cannot do it alone.  If you want to stay ahead of the curve in today’s challenging and fast moving employment environment, look to a recruiting partner as an important part of the team’s success.


Employers: Call Vertex Resource Group at 630.377.1001. Vertex is a premier recruiting firm placing employees in direct hire and contract positions nation wide.