A spotlight on a few organizations making a direct impact

Today we are remembering the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. On this day of service we’d like to spotlight a few organizations we support who are making a direct impact during these critical times. They’re all instrumental in supporting frontline healthcare workers, fighting hunger and making a positive difference in their respective communities.

World Central Kitchen is committed to support Los Angeles County frontline healthcare workers and independent restaurants during this critical and unprecedented time. Participating hospitals include Cedars Sinai, Kaiser, Keck Hospital of USC, UCLA and Providence St Johns.

Off Their Plate provides economic relief to COVID-impacted restaurant employees by feeding families and individuals facing hunger. Donations directly support restaurant workers, healthcare workers and communities experiencing hunger in Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Seattle, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.

Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County works through a network of hundreds of partner agencies and programs to provide wholesome food and fresh produce to more than 500,000 hungry children, seniors and families in Orange County, California. Programs include Meals for Kids, Groceries for Seniors and Fresh Food for Families.

The Feeding America nationwide network of food banks secures and distributes 4.3 billion meals each year through food pantries and meal programs throughout the United States and leads the nation to engage in the fight against hunger.

The John R. Oishei/Children’s Hospital of Buffalo Foundation supports critical programs, lifesaving technology and care to the community’s most vulnerable. Donations make a direct impact in the lives of the moms, kids and babies in Western New York. As a non-profit, many of the crucial life-saving programs, research, education, state-of-the-art equipment and charity care are only possible through community support.

The WaterWheel Foundation chooses non-profits from a large sphere of needs including social services, with a focus on those benefiting women and children, healthcare and food insecurity; social and environmental justice with a focus on clean water and land conservation for public access.

Laguna Source would like to extend our deepest appreciation

Laguna Source would like to extend our deepest appreciation to the companies who are working diligently to develop, manufacture, and commercialize the COVID-19 therapies and vaccinations; and especially the front line workers who are fighting for the lives of the victims of this virus that changed everyone’s lives. We are looking forward to a better 2021, in hopes that your efforts will improve our future! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for everything that you do!

Recruiting in a Pandemic

Companies are rapidly adapting new practices by the hour to make the best of the current business conditions impacted by the widespread COVID-19 pandemic. During these unprecedented times, it is essential for companies to take all necessary measures to protect the health and safety of their employees and visitors. Many key jobs in Manufacturing Plants, Laboratories, Healthcare, Hospitals and in the Supply Chains require employees to work on site and are even more essential to meet rising demands. 

Preventative measures change daily. With new self quarantine, social distancing and travel advisory guidelines, conducting face-to-face interviews is not the best practice. So What is the plan for continuing a recruiting process when a candidate gets to the in-person interview stage? How do companies continue recruiting for key essential and urgent positions,while maintaining the ability to attract top talent?

We’ve been on the phone with clients locally in Southern California, out of state, and in South Korea.This has been a learn-as-we go week for everyone. Here are a few things we’ve noticed:

  • Companies still need to recruit for key positions in Manufacturing Plants, Laboratories and Hospitals, where employees need to work on site. They also plan to continue recruiting for positions in IT, Sales/Marketing and in Supply Chain Operations, where employees can work remotely.
  • Companies are rapidly adopting video interviews processes in lieu of in-person interviews.
  • Candidates interviewing for positions are open to accepting an offer based on a full virtual interview process without conducting an in-person interview.

Here are a few things companies continuing to hire new employees over the next few months need to consider:

  • Defining, outlining and communicating a business continuity plan, which clearly presents measures taking place to ensure employee safety.
  • Communicating a revised interview process to candidates along with the assurance of best measures to ensure an efficient and safe interview process via phone and video calls.
  • Establishing a streamlined process which incorporates video interviews in lieu of in-person interviews. How can you replicate a plant tour or office tour with a video walk through of on-site locations? Providing a virtual facility tour, plant tour, lab tour or cafeteria tour will absolutely help candidates feel more comfortable about their new work environment AND make for a more fun Facetime call. 
  • Utilizing online presentations or interview seminars during video interviews in a group meeting through Zoom, Slack or other advanced online virtual meeting apps
  • Creating a virtual interview agenda which lists the panel of key stakeholders and decision makers who are conducting the series of virtual “in-person” interviews. The virtual interview itinerary can include links to Skype, Google Hangouts, Zoom or Facetime calls.
  • Identifying the process for making an offer after all virtual interviews are complete. Is your company comfortable hiring a candidate that has not physically met with any employee in-person?
  • Incorporating reference checks to help gauge a candidate’s personality, management style and integrity. This will help assure any decision maker who may not be comfortable hiring a candidate without a prior face-to face meeting.
  • Developing a virtual onboarding plan. Hopefully social distancing and self quarantining conditions will improve over the next few months. If it’s still not safe for employees to work on site in 1-2 months, is your company prepared to on-board a new employee to start work remotely? What new-hire orientation procedures are you able to run in a safe office environment or virtually?

And lastly, here is what candidates who are interviewing over the next few months need to consider:

  • Ask myself the question, am I open to accepting a position without having a face-to-face or in-person interview?
  • What else do I need to see or learn about that I would normally see during an in-person interview? How can I see the inside of the manufacturing plant, labs or office space? If my family needs to relocate, how can I learn more about the schools or local real estate?
  • If I need to relocate for my new job, will I be able to skip a househunting trip?
  • How can I start a new job independently from home or remote?

The development of new diagnostic tests, pharmaceutical treatments and vaccines as well as the continuation of healthcare, manufacturing, and supply chain operations is promising and even more critical. Hopefully it will be back to business as usual soon but until then, businesses will need to adapt new business practices including virtual recruiting operations. Business conditions are changing by the day, hour and minute. Please chime in and share any new business practices you’re seeing which are helping companies and job seekers streamline a safe interviewing process while social distancing. Stay positive, safe and healthy!