It goes without saying that hiring during a pandemic creates challenges that businesses were probably not prepared for. While many counties in Pennsylvania continue to be on a stay-at-home mandate, all are faced with the need for innovative solutions when it comes to trying to find work and recruit talent. For TriStarr, one of Lancaster’s best staffing agencies, the show must go on even if parts of the economy remain on hold or working remotely. Lauren Hunter-Parrish, Lead Staffing Manager for TriStarr, recently spoke about how her team has been adjusting and how they have been finding creative solutions for their clients.
Tell us a little bit about your role and background with TriStarr
I’m the Lead Staffing Manager, overseeing four Staffing Managers. I’ve been with TriStarr for 13 years now. It’s been a great ride so far and I truly consider TriStarr to be one of the best staffing agencies in the area. Especially with how we’ve needed to meet this moment, it’s been wonderful to have the team we do during this unprecedented time.
TriStarr has been working from home, but what has that looked like for all of the teams and staffing managers?
Technology has allowed us to work in a fully remote capacity while serving our clients and talent. We all miss being in the office together, though – we have such a collaborative, fun group of people and we’re our best when we’re all together. But we’re in regular contact and staying connected.
How has the interviewing, hiring, and recruitment process changed?
Our application was already online, so we’ve been able to keep our initial screening process in place via phone and email. The primary change has been a switch to video interviews and orientations instead of conducting in-person meetings. This allows everyone to stay safe and healthy while getting to know our candidates.
What has been the biggest challenge working remotely?
The biggest challenge has definitely been missing the hive mind of our team. When we’re all in the office, we’re constantly bouncing ideas and suggestions off each other. It’s truly a team effort. Working remotely has made that organic process a little more challenging. We rely heavily on Zoom meetings, both company-wide and with the staffing team, as well as email, text, and phone calls.
What has been the biggest challenge with hiring or recruiting during a pandemic?
The limbo of the stay-at-home order. Companies are waiting to see what’s going to happen so decision making is on hold in many cases. Some of the job candidates we’ve been in contact with are furloughed and waiting to return to their original jobs so they’re hesitant to take on anything new yet. Everyone is just waiting. We’re still actively recruiting in order to prepare for the reopening of the county.
What are some of the creative ways your team has gone above and beyond for clients during this time?
We’re focused on the personal touch. Our staff are regularly in communication with our clients to see how we can help them and how they and their families are doing. We’ve known many of our clients for years and care about them. We’re relationship builders and that definitely doesn’t stop during a pandemic. We’re here to see how we can help them in any way, not just in terms of staffing, because we’re in tune with the economic changes and predictions.
What do you think the hiring industry as a whole will take away from this time? Have any clients or recruits expressed that they preferred the remote interviews and online processes?
We’ve had some clients share they really enjoy video interviewing because of the ease and flexibility it offers. Out of an abundance of caution, I think the video interviews will be used regularly for quite some time even as some clients return to in-person interviews.
What do you think TriStarr has learned throughout this process?
We’ve learned that we have a strong, creative team who show up day in and day out, regardless of the challenges. We’re learning how adaptable we can be and how to utilize some really great technology to keep things rolling.
What are the positives that have come out of this time for TriStarr?
We’ve learned how flexible and creative we can be to keep operations moving during challenging times. We have an amazing team and experiencing this together has just reinforced that.
How are your teams keeping a pulse on the rapidly changing job market and adjusting recruiting strategies based on new data coming in every day? And in that same vein, are there any specific industries you have been working with more than others during this time or expect to see an influx of applications with?
We haven’t seen a huge influx of applications just yet. Many individuals seem to be waiting to see what’s happening with the pandemic before actively starting a job search. Many have also been furloughed but expect to be called back to work. They’re exploring their options just in case but aren’t very actively job seeking yet. It’s the limbo I referred to earlier. We are tapped into several staffing organizations that have their pulse on the pandemic and the economy, allowing us to stay informed with the most up to date data. We also work with the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce to stay in tune. The medical and financial industries have stayed fairly consistent and will likely be the busiest as we come out of the stay-at-home order. We’re really focused on doing all that we can to be one of the best staffing agencies for our clients and recruits, both during and after the pandemic.
To learn more about TriStarr and how our hiring, recruiting, and staffing capabilities, you can visit our website. You can also apply for any open job listing we have online. As one of Lancaster’s leading staffing companies, TriStarr is equipped to help you find the best placement for your talents or aid in any of your recruitment and HR management needs. Contact TriStarr today to see how we can assist you.