3 ways to redeploy employees

May 26, 2020 - Cat DiStasio

The health crisis has left an indelible impact on the nation, requiring countless companies across industries to lay off talented employees.

With more than 38.6 million Americans now out of work, we can all agree it’s a terrible time to be looking for work, on top of the stress of staying safe and healthy amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizations that care about their people can do a lot to help them navigate the challenges of unemployment during a global health crisis, and if your team is working on a redeployment plan, those efforts may wind up helping you when you’re ready to rehire staff after the pandemic. If you can take steps to help your separated employees find new jobs now, those people will be more likely to want to hear from you when you’re ready to rehire staff down the road.

Here are three ways organizations can support separated employees and help them find work amid the pandemic.

Host virtual career fairs

Typical virtual career fairs help you connect with job seekers you might want to hire, but universities and associations have already been hosting a different kind of virtual career fair for some time by organizing with other companies that are actively hiring. Reach out to other organizations who are hiring in the same talent pool, and host a virtual career fair to make it easy for your recently separated employees to connect with new opportunities. 

For best results, partner with other employees who are in the market for people with the same skill set you’ve laid off. Think about the roles of people you’ve laid off, and look for companies hiring in the same pool. For example, we’ve heard that hotels that have laid off janitorial staff have connected with hospitals that are currently looking for new employees to keep their facilities clean and safe.

Share job search resources

Job seekers who have recently been laid off can benefit from lots of different types of resources, and any support you can offer will help. Consider what types of advice your separated employees may be looking for, and incorporate that information into your strategy. Resume and application tips, advice in preparing for interviews, and tips for video interviews can all help people feel more confident and prepared for their job search during this uncertain time.

What’s the best way to get this information to the people who need it most? Maybe sharing it directly via email with your separated employees is all you need to do. Maybe you’ll decide to share the support more widely, on your careers site and via social media, to help even more people who are struggling to find work amid the pandemic. You could even create a job search hub on your internal website that houses all these resources in one easy-to-navigate place.

Make recruiters available as job search consultants

Your recruiters know better than anyone what other organizations are looking for in new hires, so they’re the perfect people to share advice with your separated employees. Consider hosting a webinar or Zoom chat where recruiters can teach separated employees what recruiters are looking for in quality candidates, and participants can ask questions about their job search challenges to get free advice from the people who know best. You can even invite employees to submit topics in advance so recruiters can prepare answers to the most frequently asked questions.

Outside of scheduled events, just be available. Let your separated employees know that you are there for them via a phone call, an email, or whatever. Continuing to offer support as they look for work is not just an investment in your employer brand and reputation, but it’s the right thing to do.

After the dust settles

We don’t know what the future will bring for our hiring goals, our economy, or much else at this point. But for certain, there will come a time when you’re able to rehire staff that the pandemic forced you to lay off. When that time does come, you’ll create a new plan for reconnecting with separated employees and, hopefully, they will be thrilled to hear from you. Supporting redeployment efforts and giving employees tools to navigate their job search now will make a big difference in their lives and in their work, both now and once this pandemic is finally in our rearview mirror.

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