Published: Apr 9, 2021Time to read: 5mins Category: Recruitment

Recruitment After the Pandemic: A Major Opportunity for Improvement

As we edge towards the end of the COVID-19 crisis, Cliff Stevenson, Principal Analyst, Talent Acquisition and Workforce Management for Brandon Hall Group, writes about post-pandemic recruitment. Recruiting, he predicts, won’t involve a whole new set of processes, but successful hiring will require completely different ways for those processes to play out. Read the article for more, including data-driven reasoning.

As we start to see the finish line on the pandemic crisis, we can expect an uptick in hiring. But what will hiring be like after such a long, shared experience? Brandon Hall Research points to recruitment as being just like it used to be, pre-pandemic… but in a completely different way.

Let me explain: first, Brandon Hall Group research has shown that before the pandemic, 16% of organizations had more than half of their employees working from home but afterwards, the number of employers with more than half their employees working from home is projected to rise to 36%.

So one major difference is obvious: there will be more recruitment of remote workers.

This is a quote: "Before the pandemic, 16% of organizations had more than half of their employees working from home but afterwards, the number of employers with more than half their employees working from home is projected to rise to 36%."

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The Lasting Impact of Remote Working

However, not all differences will be as obvious.

For one thing, think of how many organizations had few to no remote workers before the pandemic. This may have been cultural (some companies want all workers in an office environment), industry-related (manufacturing, for instance), or perhaps they lacked the tools and technology to support remote workers.

Now that the pandemic is nearly over, those organizations may have come to the realization that working from home can be just as effective, and in some cases more effective, than working in an office and may have purchased—or be purchasing—the software to support those workers.

Considering the cost of physical plants, that means that those organization who only used to search locally are now widening their net to the rest of their local nation or even globally.

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New Skills

What about those employees and managers who have worked through the pandemic?

They have a new set of skills that may have been in short supply, such as the ability to:

  • troubleshoot home networking issues
  • work in remote teams
  • manage remote workers, etc.

There are new search terms and new skills in high demand that require an agile organization to design reqs and source employees accordingly.

Of course, just like before the pandemic, simply finding and screening an employee isn’t enough if they have no interest in your offer. Creating an environment of meaningful work in a space where employees feel looked after, and not just in their productivity needs, but also their emotional and external well-being is paramount. Those more supportive environments then need to be positioned and marketed to possible candidates as well.

This is a quote: "There are new search terms and new skills in high demand that require an agile organization to design reqs and source employees accordingly."

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What’s Next for Hiring Practices

Throughout the pandemic, people have been through a lot and one of the main reasons they may be looking for a new role is because they weren’t feeling supported by their employer with ways to manage their work and their life. This is especially difficult when only an office door separates you from your family, and sometimes not even that.

The hiring process was already focusing more on video and objective, non-human assistance in AI- and ML-supported assessments and recruiting tools, used for ferreting out bias and helping hiring managers make better, evidence-based decisions.

Now that more candidates have gone through those processes, it’s going to require a couple of things from each side:

  1. Employers have to be transparent about how they’re using the powerful tools given to them to help make better decisions.
  2. Candidates have to learn to work within the confines of these new processes and maintain a sense of professionalism in whatever the agreed-upon standard turns out to be.

Ultimately, it’s up to recruiters to set expectations for video interviews, text-based communications, and other forms of new hiring process tools.

Finally, internal mobility may become more sideways or fluid and will rely more on assessing quality over quantity—putting in all those hours is sort of meaningless if no one sees you, so more reliance on project completion or other forms of quantifiable output will determine eligibility for moves.

This is a quote: "Internal mobility may become more sideways or fluid and will rely more on assessing quality over quantity—putting in all those hours is sort of meaningless if no one sees you."

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The Future of Recruitment Is Agile

In other words, post-pandemic recruitment will involve no new processes, but will involve a completely different way of how those processes play out.

Successful organizations will prepare for the future by investing in tools and creating systems that allow for maximum flexibility, regardless of the candidate’s type, location, or any specialized needs.

The key word for the future of post-pandemic recruitment is agility.

It’s about realizing that there will be another major disruption eventually, but also being prepared for multiple avenues and having the right tools and the right mindset for success.

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