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Most Changes Brought On By The Pandemic Will Remain Permanent - Some Will Remain The Same

Masking at work
Masking at work

I have been in the recruiting world for over 30 years. While there have been major changes during that time - some things remain the same. You are still recruiting humans, not robots (that is a blog for another time). While time to hire, candidate location and types of employment have drastically changed and improved, ultimately the end result is the same. You are hiring someone to help build your business and hopefully remain a loyal employee for an extended period of time.

Major changes:

Geographic sourcing and location

Many roles – particularly in the last 8+ months – have proven that you do not need to be in a physical office setting to get the job done! It opens up the talent pool to find the perfect candidate. With several large companies (e.g. Twitter) allowing employees to work off-site, full time, indefinitely, some roles will continue to have an expanded workforce to recruit from.

While some positions require working on site and having contact with others – e.g. some health care and service roles – many positions are adapting to be done off-site. This also leads to opening up the talent pool of candidates who otherwise would not have considered a position because of the commute or geographic location.

Time and cost to hire

Technology has accelerated and refined both the software and hardware available to collect applications, source candidates and interview online. Candidates are open to engaging with recruiters in a digital platform more than ever. Engaging with applicants and their referrals becomes much quicker. The cost for a candidate search has also been refined. Billing used to be done on a contingency or a retained basis - period. The fees were high. Now with improved technology, more can be done in house and candidate identification can be quicker (generally speaking). Search fees have come down (or they should have) and there are more creative ways to bill e.g. partial portions of a search, hourly minimums charges.

Virtual screening

With the sophistication of Zoom and Microsoft Teams (to mention a few), an employer or recruiter can get almost the same vibe as face to face interviewing. These platforms are relatively simple to use and continue the face to face engagement crucial to an interview. They have become a huge time and cost saver in travel and space requirements for a face to face meeting. Virtual recruiting is here to stay!

Categories of roles

Part-time and contract positions are more standard than in the past. Within some full time roles, there are components that require input though not necessitating the need for a full time person. It is a cost effective way to manage the workforce.

Elements that remain constant:

Openness and transparency throughout the interview process – from both sides

Employers have to pay attention to Candidate Experience - the journey taken to get a job. Not every applicant will be interviewed or ultimately get hired. However, being upfront with candidates will go a long way for the company brand. A prospective employee puts a lot of effort into preparing for the application and interview process. Employers should be sensitive to this and acknowledge a candidate - even if only a note of receipt of an application.

‘Ghosting’ - while I have experienced this less times than I can count on one hand - ‘ghosting' an employer (not showing up for an interview or a start date) is a big no-no. As an employee you appreciate transparency - extend the same professionalism to a prospective employer.

Nothing beats a face to face interview

There are things an in-person meeting provides to both sides. An employer can get a feel for a candidate’s responsiveness and enthusiasm differently than in an online meeting. A candidate can get a sense of the ‘corporate’ environment they will be visiting regularly (whatever regularly will mean in the future) as well as the reaction of the interviewer to their answers.

Yes, the hiring process has dramatically transformed. Embracing these changes contributes to (hopefully) more engaged employees and smoother recruiting practices. It applies to both employers and employees. The expression “You get what you give” is a mantra to be used by everyone involved in the hiring process.


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