Concern For Employee Health – Suddenly It’s A Top Attraction Factor

A key to recruiting success is to highlight the factors that excite and attract your targeted prospects. Today, “maintaining employee health” must be included in every recruiting message.

“Employee Health” May Now Be The #1 Recruiting Attraction Factor

Yes, it’s true that with today’s record high unemployment, job seekers are much less picky about which jobs they will apply for. However, if you survey a sample of your applicants, you will likely find that during this COVID19 pandemic most applicants are extremely worried about the health risks associated with any new job. So, if you want to successfully attract applications, get the best to complete your interview process, and accept, you will need to first identify and then provide convincing information covering each of their potential health-related fears.

The “you will be healthy working here” information should be provided in all your recruiting messaging. Including, in your employer brand messages, your recruiting messages, on your web site, social media pages, and of course in your job posting announcements. You might even consider putting together a video covering all the relevant issues for placement on your careers site. You should also make every attempt to have others help spread that message. Encourage your employees, industry bloggers, and the press to pass on information covering what you’re doing in the area of employee health. Finally, a “protecting your health” component of the interview should be part of every interview process. Your managers need to be educated so that they can effectively convince each applicant that they will be safe.

Highlight These Areas To Show Candidates Your “Concern For Employee Health”

Throughout your recruiting effort, you should take proactive actions to alleviate prospects’ and candidates’ health fears. Some of my recommended actions are listed below.

For all applicants

  • Reveal your no/low touch hiring process. If this job has a remote hiring process, immediately alleviate any health fears by letting potential applicants know that your complete recruiting process will be touchless. If part of the hiring process requires face-to-face meetings, make it clear that those elements are designed after consulting with doctors so that they strictly follow the social distancing guidelines.
  • Provide information on your comprehensive health insurance coverage. Because of the tremendous media coverage, every applicant will be more aware of all health issues. Therefore, the coverage, deductibles, and the monthly costs of your regular and catastrophic health insurance coverage will be information that every applicant will care a great deal about (less so in countries with great mandated healthcare). When possible, give them access to a website that provides the necessary information and answers to all their potential questions.
  • Reveal your liberal sick leave coverage. Offering sick leave to hourly employees will, by itself, send the message to everyone that you don’t want to force employees to come to work sick; for their health, as well as to protect coworkers and customers. Also, applicants with families will want to know if your policies give them the option of staying home and taking care of sick family members.
  • Employee satisfaction with health-related actions. Merely stating that you have great health policies might not be convincing on its own. So, add your employee’s experience to the argument. Periodically survey your employees and reveal to your candidates the percentage of employees that are satisfied with your health-related efforts and your health insurance coverage.

For those with the option of working from home

  • Emphasize their ability to work from home. The work from home option carries many benefits including no commuting. The opportunity to work from home allows the recruit to choose a workplace option that gives them more control over avoiding the dangers resulting from face-to-face contact. For some new hires with high health risk factors, it may be the only acceptable option. Because remote workers are often concerned about feeling isolated, it’s important to let remote workers know upfront that you have formal processes for keeping them connected to their team. As well as counseling and other aids to help them when they are feeling stressed or isolated.

For those that must come in to your facility

  • Show them your workplace health modifications. Let every applicant know that if they do have to physically work at your facility, that every step is taken to protect their health. Start by highlighting the steps that you have taken to screen everyone before they enter the workplace. Next, show them a picture of their workstation and highlight the features you have added to protect them during most of their workday. Also, highlight the steps you have taken to ensure that all employees wear masks and that they periodically wash their hands. Show them that the office is designed for social distancing between other employees and customers. For those that are concerned about the use of chemicals in the environment, make them aware that you use environmentally friendly approaches like UV lights to cleanse the workplace every night. Finally, make all applicants aware that you have an anonymous channel for lodging health concerns and complaints.
  • Reveal that you conduct employee screening. Many potential on-site employees will be concerned about working around others that have the virus. Let them know upfront if you use temperature sensors to restrict who is admitted to your facility. Or, if you periodically virus or antibody test every employee to help ensure their safety. Finally, let them know if you have a policy to shut down the facility for thorough cleansing after any current employee tests positive for the virus.
  • Show them that there are options for mass transit. For those that must come on-site regularly, highlight the available commute options that don’t require that they take mass transit. And for those that bicycle or walk, let them know if you have changing and shower facilities available for them.

Final Thoughts

It’s easy to assume that the factors that attract applicants stay the same over time. Unfortunately, data reveals that that is not true because these factors change with the relative availability of jobs and the cost of living. And for the next year, don’t be surprised to learn that the #1 attraction factor for in-demand employees will be a safe work environment. So that all successful recruiting functions will be forced to find multiple ways to make every potential applicant aware of how they have made their workplace and their jobs exceptionally safe.

Author’s Note: If this article stimulated your thinking and provided you with actionable tips, please take a moment to follow and/or connect with Dr. Sullivan on LinkedIn and subscribe to his weekly article on Aggressive Recruiting.

About Dr John Sullivan

Dr John Sullivan is an internationally known HR thought-leader from the Silicon Valley who specializes in providing bold and high business impact; strategic Talent Management solutions to large corporations.

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