Communicating with Employees and Candidates During a Crisis, the Three Phases

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Although we’re a “recruitment marketing agency”, the hidden truth is that communications are at the core of everything we do. As our realities as industries, businesses, and communities seem to change by the day, we’ve been framing out communications strategies by asking the most basic, important questions for information gathering and problem solving: Who, What, When, Where, How, and Why.

There seems to be some collective agreement that we’re moving through three main phases. Conceptually, initially, it was Respond. Now, we are in Rebuild. Ahead, it is Redefine.

Initially, we first recognized that, as companies AND as employers – amidst the unknown, we did need to respond, to talk to our employees, our partners, customers, and clients about what was happening in the world around us. We learned not to recede, not to retreat, but rather to lean in, show up, care, and have empathy. As employers, you are leaders. You have corporate and civic responsibility. You have voice. Companies’ response to consumers as we move through this crisis will forever be captured, and will become a tremendously influential data set that people will reference to learn of your true colors, ideally solidarity, resilience, unity, strength, support. As employers, we are accountable for doing the same, for our employees, and to demonstrate to potential employees, whether hiring now, or when we’re into phase three.

And now, we are just starting to re-build.  In order to successfully build anything, you need a framework, project plans, a solid foundation, support structure, and a strong connection to your goals and objectives.

The below framework distills strategic communications plans, whether your essential or non-essentials, currently hiring, freezing, furloughing, or laying-off – now and on the horizon, all things considered.

And that leads us to the “why”. Your employees will look back on their time at your company and remember how you handled the Coronavirus Pandemic of 2020. As Maya Angelou so eloquently once said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you ​made them feel.” ​

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Keegan Ocepek

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