By MATTHEW SMITH, Director of Recruiting at Linen Recruiter and Infinite Laundry

At the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak in the US, many companies paused hiring. However, laundry never sleeps – and as an essential industry, many operators are still looking to fill positions now, and will need to adapt their standard recruiting efforts, or at the very least; keep their candidate pipeline full and ready. If you’re hiring, here’s what you need to know to successfully adapt your recruiting process.

More Candidates Open to Opportunities

While a transition to remote work may be challenging or impossible for companies in our industry, we know that many people are working from home during the pandemic, and this situation is extremely beneficial if you’re recruiting.

Full-time employees who are now working from home will have greater flexibility to interview, and the pandemic will cause many employees to question assumptions about their current employment. This means opportunity to snap up top-notch talent for your team, as a greater percentage of the talent pool may be open to a discussion about a new role.

Communicating with Candidates Remotely

The time is now to consider a temporary virtual recruitment plan – one that protects both employees and candidates and eliminates risk while continuing to drive hiring efforts.

Video interview softwarehas never been more necessary. Video chat applications such as Zoom and Amazon Chime are available, affordable (in some cases free), and can help employers and candidates connect in seconds, with no training required. You can increase HR staff productivity with flexible interviews that allow your team to get more done, and interviews can be conducted from anywhere, avoiding delays and scheduling conflicts.

Take Advantage of Limited Time Tools

Many recruiting tools are currently offering special programs, discounts and enhancements to essential businesses that are hiring. Consider working with an experienced recruiter that can deploy these tools for your organization.

For example, LinkedIn is creating an “urgent jobs” board to give these openings more visibility. People whose skills match up with those needed for these jobs who visit LinkedIn’s jobs homepage will see the special listings highlighted. Those who sign up for job alerts with matching skills will in turn get real-time alerts of the jobs as they get posted.

Preparation is Key

If history is any guide, in the first few months after an upheaval subsides, hiring quickly becomes a front-burner issue. Consider the period following the terrorist attacks of 9/11, when the economic outlook appeared dire. The U.S. initiated the war in Afghanistan, Enron’s house of cards fell, the SARS scare struck Asia, and the Iraq War began. The economy was in recession, and struggling companies retained only their strongest people. But even before things turned a corner in 2003, the smarter and abler companies took advantage of the buyer’s market and began staffing for the future. By June 2003, the war for talent was on again in full force. History will again repeat itself.

As our industry emerges “post-COVID,” employers will have very little time to hire candidates and position themselves for the next phase of growth. Even if you’re not hiring until it’s over, you can still prepare for it. Digitize your recruitment, leverage virtual meetings, and maintain conversations with promising talent for future placements. Forge a plan that you can execute quickly when you are ready.

Hiring may not be your first thought when many businesses are slowing down, but this situation presents a unique opportunity for strategic employers to revise their 2020 hiring roadmaps, refine their employer brand identity, and source, interview and fill key roles within their organizations. 

Matt Smith, Director of Recruiting at Linen Recruiter and Infinite Laundry

About Infinite Laundry and the Author: Headquartered in the Fort Lauderdale, FL area, Infinite Laundry provides recruiting and marketing services exclusively to the commercial laundry, linen and uniform industry – with little to no upfront costs, and a placement guarantee!

Matt Smith is the Director of Recruiting at Infinite Laundry and has a background in the industry, having been a route rep, a service manager, and eventually a GM, who led and grew his family’s linen and uniform service business before pursuing a career in talent acquisition. Matt is also trained and certified by ADP’s Advanced Internet Recruitment Strategies (AIRS), the global leader in recruitment training. Contact Matt at or 518-848-1028.