Employee safety is one of the cornerstones of any great business, but to the COVID-19 epidemic it has put it at the forefront of everyone's mind. While some businesses have halted operations, CNN notes that many companies are continuing to hire employees. Hiring in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic is one of the last things on people's minds, but for some companies it's become an absolute necessity. With tensions running high and no real end to this crisis in sight, it's important to start looking after employee safety right from the interview process.
The need to create an environment of trust
ABC News warns that there might be spikes in anxiety and depression all across the nation due to the pandemic. The overlying mood of stress and panic is harmful enough on its own, but medical professionals warn that these conditions could exacerbate those already predisposed to such mental illnesses. It isn't easy to have these anxieties on your mind while also actively looking and interviewing for a job (which can in itself be mentally taxing). Openly discussing mental health issues and any other health concerns during the interview process shows candidates that you are accepting of where they're at and that you understand that their potential might be hidden amongst all the panic that's in the air nowadays.
How you treat candidates and employees at this particular time can also make or break your company. Entrepreneur Mark Cuban points out that this safety issue is also a business issue, and that the way companies treat their staff amidst the outbreak "is going to define their brand for decades." If your company values happy and healthy employees, now is the perfect time to translate those actions into words.
Including employee safety in the interview process
Addressing employee safety in the interview process should stem from a place of respect, where managers are open to any concerns raised by the candidate. As an interviewer, it’s your duty to listen to your candidate’s concerns. This is why Comeet believe that allocating time to candidate questions is a very important part of any interview. Doing so allows you to get a better idea of where they might be coming from. If they forget to broach the subject, you can easily bring it up yourself by asking if they have any concerns and reiterating that you and your team understand just how difficult the situation is right now.
On that note, it's also worth outlining the kind of support that your company can give. Offering health benefits is important, but it's not the only way you can look after your employees' health: allowing flexible work hours, scheduling time for personal check-ins, and granting mental health days off are all policies that can add up and make a huge difference in your employees' lives.
Our guide to staying safe during the COVID-19 pandemic highlights that holistic health is absolutely vital. For recruiters, taking into account employee safety is a great way to create a safe space even while interviewing.
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Written by Alice Mitchell
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