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In recruiting, we almost always talk about scaling up – we want to hire better, smarter, faster. We want to seek out and cultivate the best talent. We are focused on growth. 

It’s during moments like the COVID-19 pandemic where we begin to realize that part of post-COVID-19 recruiting excellence is about scaling down appropriately, too. 

We often talk about the candidate experience, but it’s a fine line now between the experience of the employee and that of the candidate. You may not be able to avoid having to let people go, but you absolutely can do it in a nurturing, empathetic manner. And bear in mind that on the other side of this pandemic will be the need to staff up again. How you handle things right now will make all the difference in your ability to regroup after everything returns to a new “normal.” 

How to Support Employees You Must Lay Off

As we all do our part to flatten the curve and slow the spread of COVID-19, many businesses have been forced to shut temporarily or make significant reductions in staffing. As you let people go, how you handle it will help determine how you’re able to recover once you begin scaling up. 

  • Provide as much notice as possible to employees who are being laid off.
  • Provide as much financial support as possible – severance pay, paid time off, extended insurance benefits.
  • Assist employees with job searches and job prep. Learn more about Beacon Lane’s employment curriculum, PIVOT12, which teaches job seekers exactly what they need to do, and not do, to navigate their job searches – even in a tough market. In addition to the full online curriculum, our program includes live coaching and Q&A sessions for anyone enrolled. See more at

Prepare for the New Normal 

Once governments determine that it’s safe to get back to work, it’s unlikely that anything will return to the way it used to be. Your organization can be preparing now for the new normal in recruitment, which may include a bigger emphasis on conducting online interviews, hiring people to work from home, and having to navigate virtual onboarding. Now is the time to investigate the use of tools to help with these efforts. 

That said, it is always important to first define your process.  To build your post-COVID-19 recruiting excellence process, it is  a very good time to refine or redefine your recruiting process, especially because the only investment is time. Remember to look at all critical steps across the recruiting life cycle and challenge your team to assess the risks, gaps, inefficiencies, and opportunities. You can refer to Beacon Lane’s Back to Basics guide as well as take our TA Operational Health Assessment to help with this.

There are many unknowns about what the future holds for every business. It is difficult to predict when – and even harder to plan for – the time we may all be able to return to work; this in itself is a big unknown. If you want help thinking through recruiting excellence at your organization, schedule a Recruiting Excellence Consultation here.

Once again, we are all in this together. To support you during this time, we are offering Beacon Lane’s proprietary employment curriculum, PIVOT12, discounted for a limited time. Visit to learn more.  

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