Virtual Panel, Real Opportunities

What a year this has been—and it’s not even half over. Last week, I sat on a virtual panel sponsored by the Chicagoland Food & Beverage Network to discuss the impact of the pandemic and lockdown on industry careers. You can watch the entire COVID & Your Career discussion on YouTube: COVID & Your Career. Meanwhile, I wanted to highlight three relevant takeaways that may directly impact you and your company’s talent acquisition strategies.

Opportunity #1: Perspectives Are Shifting
The events of the first half of 2020 have fundamentally altered how some top talent view their careers. Specifically, they’re more willing (and eager) to take a longer, harder look at opportunities that align with what they now value most, such as making a positive difference in the world or finding that ideal work-life balance. Are you seizing this rare opportunity to pursue candidates outside of the expected talent pool? You might find a better fit there than you ever thought possible.

Opportunity #2: Diverse Experiences = Fresh Approaches
Let’s think more about what it might mean to bring in some of that top-tier talent. Individuals with fresh approaches who are more willing to consider challenges and career paths unlike any they’ve had to date. Their diverse set of skills and wide range of experiences could have a profound, positive impact on how you do business and the overall culture. This might even be a succession planning moment where you can put your company in an ideal position to succeed in the decades ahead.

Opportunity #3: Adapt Like Never Before
During the lockdown, nearly everyone had to adjust how work happened. Now is an ideal time to lean into some of those changes to make things even more appealing to top talent. To succeed on this front, you should be willing to look at everything differently. Whether it’s your remote work policies or the ongoing career development opportunities you offer, the flexibility and little extras you provide can make senior-level positions within your company more appealing than ever, regardless of your size.
As much as I enjoyed the online discussion the other day, staring into a camera on a computer will never be the same as being with each of you in person and talking face-to-face. I look forward to that day. In the interim, let’s keep seizing any opportunities these challenging times might be providing.