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22 August, 2020

Stepping into 2020, none of us could have imagined that we’d spend this year fighting a pandemic. Our goals changed, priorities shifted, and we were all thrusted into survival mode. 

And we’re sure you might have seen this in act already. 

Coca-Cola, a brand that’s always consumer and community centric, launched their ‘Together We Can’ campaign, wherein they give aid to the food and service industry.

coca cola employer brandingOr Intel’s latest pledge to donate $50 million to pandemic response technology to combat the virus.

intel to combat coronavirus

Each industry is adapting, each industry is reacting. 

In this process, one thing that took a backseat was employer branding. And that’s understandable, survival (after-all) is the most crucial thing at the moment. 

But that might be a mistake. 

How you’re reacting to the pandemic is getting registered. How you treated your employees during this and what benefits and measures did you take are affecting your reputation. Even if you’re not hiring right now, ignoring employer branding now would lead to severe repercussions post the pandemic. 

So, how can you do this?

  • Stay True to Your MVP
    Dogs as Chief Happiness Officers, XBox rooms, loaded pantries, engagement activities, we’ve seen it all. Those, however, aren’t your MVPs.
    While they may draw candidates to you, these ‘perks’ won’t be the reasons why someone chooses to work with you.
    Your MVPs are the same as before: employee culture and values. And that remains true for remote hiring as well.
    These could be transparency in communication, flat hierarchy, or work happy culture. A distinct employee value proposition (EVP) is what gets you candidates.
    For instance, if your organization promotes transparency in processes, you can hold town halls and meetings to ensure everyone’s on the same page. If your organization promotes a ‘happy’ working culture, you can hold periodical meet-ups and fun activities. While all these common ‘offline’ activities have now translated into ‘online’ ways, they remain just as relevant.
    Add these distinct features in all your employer collateral and enforce them in all forms of communication. Reflect on how this information can be creatively added to your employer branding; it wouldn’t just help in attracting new employees, it would help retention as well. 
  • Create a Robust Online Recruitment Strategy
    The practices that used to exist during the pre pandemic world aren’t relevant anymore. It is vital that you adapt as well. Let your candidates know how you’ve modified your methods to adapt to the remote hiring process.
    While hiring, it is best to treat your job description as a branding collateral.
    Tell them how you’ll be conducting assessment, interviews, and on-boarding online so they’re also equipped. This would help in establishing transparency in the process.
    Moreover, make the online hiring process as uncomplicated as possible: invest in tools that help during the process.
    This isn’t just the need of the hour, this is one change that’d stay. Candidates prefer to be interviewed online. Usually, they have to take a day or half off to ensure they appear for the test. However, with online tools they won’t have to do that. This would show that you respect your candidate’s time and further help your employer branding. 
  • Be Upfront about Restrictions
    A fact of this new way of working is that we don’t have the same perks anymore. We’ve all had to accommodate in a number of ways.
    For a new person getting on board at this time, this can be especially daunting. So rather than keeping them in dark, be upfront about the restrictions.
    These could be in the form of location, work hours, or salary - it is important to be upfront about them. Managing expectations of new employees is also significant, and this would help in just that.
    For instance, while they may be joining remotely, let them know whether you’d be expecting them to move when things begin to get normal. Or you’d expect them to use their laptops till the time they can’t join in person.
    Feature these restrictions in your job posting to ensure the candidates are aware before they apply.
    This practice is to establish open, honest conversation with your potential candidates, and would ensure a positive brand identity. 
  • Show How You’re Adapting
    A huge number of adaptive measures have been taken. They could be in the form of help for setting up ergonomic work from home set up, upskilling, mental health support, parental support, paid-time off, support extended to gravely-affected communities, or any other thing. 
    Tell your potential candidates how you’ve helped, show how your employees are adapting, tell them their well being would be their priority. This would go a long way in establishing trust. 

Your people are your best advocates. Rethink how you’re communicating with your employees and potential candidates. Demonstrate the flexibility and adaptivity that is needed at this hour. And understand that employer branding is as significant as always, but now just manifests in many different, non-traditional ways.

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Tanvi Sharma
Tanvi Sharma
Tanvi Sharma is a Content Strategist at iMocha. A seasoned marketer and branding consultant, she likes sewing stories together to help brands find their true and unique voice. A perfection enthusiast, she believes each and every word should serve a purpose while writing. When she’s not writing for work, she is writing fan fictions and theories, and volunteering at local animal shelters.
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