The COVID-19 pandemic was (and continues to be) a major source of uncertainty in many industries. With hundreds of businesses having to shut their doors in 2020 due to the worsening economy, millions of Americans were forced into unemployment. For the small businesses that did manage to survive, many of them being franchises, hiring tactics had to change and adapt to the “new normal” of a pandemic world. Here are some of the ways that hiring for small businesses changed because of the COVID-19 pandemic:
Hiring marketing language focuses more on safety now
The safety and wellbeing of employees is the driving factor in changes to hiring marketing language. The COVID-19 pandemic created fear around the country, making people hesitant to take new jobs when they are uncertain of safety protocols. Employers, especially those who own small businesses, want to make it clear that they are prioritizing the health and safety of their employees.
What does this look like when marketing an open position? When employers are looking to hire now, it is important that they outline any safety protocols they have in place. This includes protocols for sanitation, personal protection equipment (PPE), and social distancing. Because of the uncertainty that comes with beginning a new job with new people, outlining COVID-19 safety measures is critical to making potential employees feel safe. According to research, 90% of candidates feel it is important for companies to incorporate health and safety guidelines in their return-to-work strategies.
Companies are now embracing virtual onboarding and training
One of the biggest effects COVID-19 has had on the workforce is the transition from in-person to virtual activities. Due to social distancing guidelines put into place at the beginning of the pandemic, most companies transitioned to remote work and virtual interactions. This means that things like onboarding, training and even interviews of new employees became a virtual task for many small businesses.
Employers must be aware of Payment Protection Program guidelines
Many small businesses took advantage of Payment Protection Program (PPP) loans during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this meant employers had to be aware of hiring and rehiring guidelines when they were ready to do so. For example, under the Payment Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020, employers must use a minimum of 60% of the loan proceeds for payroll costs.
The PPP Flexibility Act also extended the deadline for rehiring employees, meaning that small businesses had until the end of 2020 to restore the average number of full-time employees working there in 2019.
Roles are more flexible post-pandemic
COVID-19 largely affected the way that small businesses operate. With the significant changes to day-to-day operations, training, onboarding, and more, companies have had to become more flexible with their employees working remotely. Flexibility within companies can lead to more diverse teams, and remote work allows for parents to maintain their leadership roles.
The COVID-19 pandemic undoubtedly shifted the way that small business owners are running their companies. Even with all of the significant changes to hiring in the last year, franchise owners have managed for the most part to stay afloat.