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How PMM Navigated HR During a Pandemic

The pandemic reshaped American culture on a socioeconomic level in ways we had never seen or even fathomed before. What felt like an overnight shift changed corporate culture and human resources as we thought we knew it. As a company, we had a choice – fight it, kicking and screaming or embrace the changes we were experiencing, along with our customers, our employees, and friends and family across the globe. We learned a lot about navigating difficult waters and wanted to share the lessons we learned in the hopes it may help your company, too.

Adapt When Necessary

The first step we learned, along with everyone else during this time, was to be adaptable. Obviously, the normal way of delivering services to our clients (the employees) AND our company’s clients (the reason PMM exists) was going to change. Accepting the change and taking the time to step back and evaluate our department processes to figure out what was still working and what wasn’t was vital. If it was still working, we made sure it would continue to evolve and implemented key performance indicators to ensure they kept on working. Then we took a dive into what wasn’t working and asked ourselves how it needed to change during the “new normal.” We attempted to predict further change so we could proactively add steps to change along with it.

Utilize Digital Tools

The most obvious pivot in our workflows was to go virtual, as did most of the world. We added a full-time recruiter to help find qualified candidates and integrated new talent acquisition tools, making our entire onboarding experience a virtual process. We conducted company meetings and job interviews via Zoom and Teams where we could and delivered our company services in person.

Integrate Company Culture

We had to accept that, while we are a professional organization, we deal with people, and people are human beings with lives that extend beyond our reach. We kept things professional and always made sure we had on pants during our virtual calls while understanding that sometimes the toddler might walk into view or a dog might bark, while a vacuum cleaner does its job in the background. Brand perceptions are important, but allowing our employees and potential employees the opportunity to be human at a time where everything felt scary and unknown, was important, too.

Recruiting and Retaining Employees

We knew that there is no silver bullet to finding people, but that our employees know our culture best! We wanted our team to champion our company and refer to us the best candidates for employment. So, we looked at our employee referral program and determined that we needed to make it more attractive. In addition to increasing the payout, we develop a tiered system that would pay out employees based on the position since some positions are harder to fill than others. We also integrated tracking to our applicant tracking system to ensure we knew who was referring whom. For positions not filled within 90 days, we make them a “HOT JOB” where the employee that refers someone will get an additional payout bonus upon their referred candidate’s hiring. By involving our employees in helping us find additional team members, we are much more confident that new hires will be motivated to provide excellent service to our clients and remain with PMM for the long term, thereby reducing employee turnover.

If you are interested in applying for a position with PMM, please see our Careers page.

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