People are the most important asset of any business and at this point in time, they’re also the most vulnerable aspect of the business so it is crucial that the right people with the right skills are appointed to do the right jobs.

The only constant is change…this has never been more true than where we find ourselves today! What we did yesterday is no longer possible; relevant or applicable today and what we do today may well change tomorrow. Still, it is important to keep hold of some basic principles when it comes to recruitment and on-boarding new staff.

Here are some things to things about when looking to undertake a recruitment process:

1. Is the job required temporary or permanent? Perhaps you’re looking to fill a post that is temporarily vacant as result of the current crisis? If so, it is important that you make this point clear and that the applicant(s) understand(s) that this post may not be a permanent placement. You should also make sure that the contract you offer the candidate is the right one. Generally speaking, wherever possible, a non-permanent post should have an end date on it. This is the main thing that separates this from a permanent appointment. If you are not able to put an exact end date in the contract then assign the contract to the completion of a specific function or to coincide with the end of a specific period. The main point though is to make sure that you do not create the expectation of permanent and on-going work.

2. Do expect any exceptional circumstances which may change the way employee would normally work? A consideration in this climate is the very real expectation that there will be overtime. Is this something that the candidate is able to accommodate? Are there any restrictions you should consider – e.g. are they looking after an elderly relative or children that may be adversely impacted by the need to work overtime?

3. What about medical screening? Do you need to review your medical screening questionnaire? Do you even have a medical questionnaire and if not, do you need to consider putting one in place? Specific considerations may include underlying health / medical issue that may have hitherto been deemed to be irrelevant to the job but may now be relevant?

4. Does filling the post introduce any additional risk to existing personnel? What measures can/must you take to ensure the safety of your existing workforce without prejudice to the applicant?

5. Does the applicant require any specialist skills to be able to do the job? Bear in mind that access to training may not be as easy as it is normally and so you should look for ways to mitigate this – for instance are you able to provide this training in-house? If the position is regulated – e.g. the person requires and operators’ license are you able to obtain this? If not, has the relevant authority made any special dispensation available that you must apply for?

6. What about transport to and from work? How will the employee get to work and back home afterwards? If they’re using public transport does this introduce higher risk of contamination? If so, are there any measures you can take to mitigate this risk? Some examples could include:

a. Providing transport to and from work.

b. Ensuring staff get changed at work/on-site – i.e. out of their own clothes into cleaned uniforms.

c. Introduce additional hygiene protocols.

7. Think about migrant workers and the implications that travel restrictions could have on them and on your business.