The Secret to Business Survival in Uncertain Times – Hire Top Talent


Hiring top talent remains a top priority for businesses today. Or it should – especially during these uncertain times. The whole “good to great” concept applies. Great sales people can bring your company much greater returns, because when you hire the top talent they’re not just a little bit better than the others, they are a lot better. Once you get the right people on the bus, your company (sales office, sales division or region, etc.) can be great, not just good.

And if you aren’t willing to invest in your future when things look cloudy, how can you hope to profit from new opportunities that will surely emerge with a sunnier business climate? It is likely there will be a second wave of coronavirus, stretching economic uncertainty even further into the future. It’s almost as if you can’t afford not to get the best people working for you ASAP.

Get Help, and Get It Right

You need a recruiter to help you find top-of-the-line new hires. If you’re looking for the best of the best, it stands to reason that you need the best resources when it comes to discovery and overt recruiting. Finding impressive candidates has always been an art as well as a science – after all, we are dealing with human beings here. And now that the waters are murkier than ever, the process requires even stronger navigation skills. Resourcefulness. Tenacity. Creativity.

This is no place, and certainly no time, to skimp. You’re going to need professional help because, good as your team may have been at recruiting before, there is no “business as usual” these days:

  • How you define “top talent” may be changing
  • Candidates’ priorities are changing, too
  • Ready or not, the workplace itself is forever changed

Today’s Top Talent, Redefined

It’s time to reconsider your entire recruiting strategy. What will still serve you well going forward, and what has to change to reflect new realities? Are your processes as efficient and digitally-driven as they should be? With everyone so concerned about physical separation, online tools eliminate the need for in-person meetings and can greatly streamline recruitment, interviewing, and onboarding.

Reconsider which traits and skills top candidates will need in the future that may not have been so crucial in the past. Proven, sales-specific success is a must, of course. But what about work habits? If you plan to allow (or require) working from home, not everyone is well-suited for that. To be great in this environment requires strong organizational, self-discipline, communication, and time management skills (even in the face of at-home distractions). It requires comfortable use of collaborative apps necessary for remote teams and enough technical skill to fix technology problems that may arise.

So now truly great candidates may be the ones who also have proven work-from-home experience. Likewise, top leadership candidates with prior experience successfully handling a business crisis may serve you best.

Maintaining candidate relationships is more important than ever now, so don’t lose touch with prospects you have been nurturing. Checking in with them to ask if all is well is a legitimate reason to contact them, and it shows you care. That issue of employer caring is likely to be top-of-mind with potential candidates who have now endured weeks of stressful concern – about COVID-19 itself, about how to teach their children schoolwork at home, about what will happen to the economy, and more.

Some of these candidates may be more open now to making a move that secures their financial future, if you can reassure them their health and safety and need for flexibility will be protected. With economic uncertainty creating serious financial worries for many employers, can you bring on that top candidate as a contract employee in the near term, even though a full-time position isn’t in the budget cards just yet?

Personal Priorities, Redefined

Shopify’s founder and CEO Tobias “Tobi” Lutke recently announced, “Office centricity is over,” declaring his company has become “digital by default” thanks to COVID-19. Corporate offices will be closed for the remainder of 2020, to allow for post-pandemic internal remodel, but in reality most of Shopify’s 5000 global workers will never return to a formal office environment. You don’t have to be a tech company to see that this same future likely awaits your business.

When telecommuting first came on the scene years ago, it carried a sort of stigma among some workers and employers. Not anymore! Stanford University economist Nicholas Bloom predicts we will see “an explosion of working from home” He expects many industries that previously shunned working from home will now embrace it because “we’ve all tried it, we’ve got it up and running and invested our time and effort into it.” Sales is the type of position that lends itself nicely to remote work.

Millions have not only tried it, but they have also discovered its many benefits. So while everyone is excited to refocus on work to reboot their income, not everyone is excited to leave home to accomplish that.

Benefits for employers who adopt a primarily work-from-home approach include savings on office space and overhead and the ability to hire the very best candidate for the job, regardless of where they live. For companies suffering from devastating pandemic economics, the ability to save significantly now and long-term could have make-or-break consequences. And having a broader ability to recruit and attract exceptional candidates? That could have make-or-break consequences as well.

We Said It Earlier: The Workplace Itself Is Forever Changed

Businesses of all types may be slowly re-opening, but the ways in which business is conducted may never be the same. Physical distancing will be with us for some time to come, and that means virtually every business will have to reassess their physical set-up. Employees, however anxious to get back to work, are understandably leery of returning to an environment that could be risky. How will you assuage fears lingering in the minds of your top candidates that they can confidently make a move to your facilities?

Hiring a Recruiter Boosts Your Prospects in Every Way

We noted above that you cannot afford to take a “we’re doing the best we can under the circumstances” approach to hiring in these uncertain times. Your in-house team may be well-qualified and experienced, but they are distracted by so many other critical considerations just now and will be for who-knows-how-many months to come. Shifting this burden from their shoulders helps relieve their workload and stress, and it ensures your need to secure top talent is not sacrificed or even weakened.

The best recruiters track industry challenges, trends and best practices, so they can do their best work no matter the circumstances. Many recruiting and hiring truisms just aren’t true anymore. A recruiter is in the best position to sift through these changes and bring new insights to your talent search.

In short, a professional recruiter has the technology tools and other resources, the connections, and the ability to adapt quickly to changes large and small within the recruiting and hiring marketplace. They not only know where and how to find talent that will top the charts at your company, they know how to market your company as the preferred employer — in uncertain times and on into the future.