This week, in our series of interviews with HR Managers and industry experts, we interviewed Evan Antipas, the Co-founder and Director of Talent Acquisition at Talent 300 Inc., a talent acquisition and talent management strategic firm located in Montreal, Canada. With a strong focus on medical, pharmaceutical, and technology positions, Talent 300 Inc. collaborates with a variety of organizations, providing them with top talent and strategic planning.
We had the opportunity to speak with Evan on the topic of COVID-19 and drawn on his insights into this new reality we’re all living. He shared with us how the situation is affecting HR managers and business and what steps need to be taken in order to keep up in this time of uncertainty.
Like many companies in North America, Covid-19 has negatively impacted a number of aspects within their organization; once such example is that of companies being forced to lay off and furlough their employees. Layoffs are never easy; however, in times like these, sometimes companies have no choice. It’s crucial that HR managers know the benefits and repercussions of laying off employees as well as how to correctly carry out such actions.
HR Management During Crisis
Is anyone ever really prepared for a pandemic or any sort of crisis for that matter? As much as we’d like to think we have a plan in place for when a crisis hits, we never really know how effective it will be. The coronavirus pandemic isn’t only testing our physical and mental strength. The situation is also challenging our ability to adapt to a completely new way of working.
In times like these, HR managers are required to step up in the face of crisis in the workplace. It’s not easy, but with patience and a little guidance, managers can pull their teams into success even during times of uncertainty.
I had the pleasure of speaking with the Co-founder of Talent 300, to understand just how much the coronavirus situation has been affecting businesses.
Although many non-essential businesses in Quebec and across Canada were asked to temporarily close operations and/or encourage employees to work from home; some companies have been able to continue operations.
“Talent 300 Inc. is considered an essential service and we have made the decision to operate remotely.”
How has the Coronavirus pandemic changed the way you do business?
Covid-19 has proven to be a disruption to most organizations. The situation has made a clear impact on their method of performing business. The majority of essential organizations have switched to a WFH digital environment.
It’s truly amazing to witness companies successfully switch to an efficient format and in a timely manner. This major switch proves that organizations have the capability and means to provide a flexible work environment. All it took was a push from an external source in the proper direction.
What has been the impact of COVID-19 on businesses?
Unfortunately, some areas of business have experienced a serious impact such as sales, engineering, manual labor and more. Managers are encouraged to calibrate their performance expectations due to the halt in business.
What is one of the main areas of HR that you’ve seen heavily affected during the COVID-19 Pandemic?
Recruitment has been impacted significantly, and managers are now switching to online interviewing and digital onboarding. In many ways, the most effective format of assessing a candidate is through an in-person interview. However, video interviews are very similar in that the candidate is visible and physical cues are noticed. There’s a large difference between a phone and in-person/video interview. Assessment of the candidate is more accurate when performing in-person and live video interviews. However, with the social distancing restrictions in place, those types of face to face interviews, simply aren’t possible.
In Quebec, recruitment initiatives have been put off due to College/University closures and networking events are no longer taking place. This can inhibit the attraction of top talent and employer branding.
“Employer branding is essential to maintain a competitive advantage with regard to talent attraction. Exceptional talent will notice the companies are establishing and executing strategies that will benefit and care for their employees”.
Has the current situation changed the way recruitment is carried out?
Recruitment managers must find a way to attract top talent using digital strategies, a form of online recruitment. Online recruitment is fragile. It’s a mesh between marketing, external communications, and employer branding. Ultimately, the communications team must collaborate with the online recruitment lead. Together they must devise an online presence (if none exists). Next, they must target their desired audience that both the organization and hiring team wishes to attract. This requires a solid understanding of organizational values, perceptions, and identity. Finding the most effective method for delivering the message requires a clear IMC plan (Integrated Marketing Communications). This, combined with effective recruitment strategies is the secret sauce.
Talent 300’s Commitment to Service
Talent 300 Inc. is an example of a company who values and supports their team no matter what they are faced with. Not only that, their dedication and commitment to matching top talent with the best organizations, is something that sets them apart from other talent acquisition and strategic management firms. We are grateful to have had the opportunity to speak with Evan and draw on his valuable insights into HR and the COVID-19 pandemic.
“From the entire team at Talent 300 Inc, we’d like to express gratitude to all the healthcare professionals for their intensive care and dedication. The effort reflects their true passion and purpose towards helping others”