The lockdown consequent to the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed traditional business practices. In the recruitment industry, change was already underway as the current hiring practices were not serving any good to the organization. The pandemic has brought with it unemployment and hence many organizations who want to hire would find themselves in an advantageous position. However, the fact is that there has been a steady rise in job openings as well in recent months, which means that demand for top talent still exists. During such uncertain times, it becomes all the more imperative to hire the right candidate.
However, the pandemic has made the current traditional methods of recruitment style obsolete. Because of fast-changing technological advances, the shelf life of many skills required for many roles is very short. A survey conducted on 3500 managers threw up some interesting facts. It said that only 29% of the candidates possess the skills required for their current roles and that they do not know any skills for the future. It further said that at least 10 new skills are required in the next 18 months, for key functions like IT, Finance and sales. It has also become difficult to predict the kind of skills that will be required for current and future jobs as the increasing demand for remote work has triggered the automation or redesign of many tasks.
Secondly, it was found that the talent pool like top universities and colleges which were traditionally talent clusters has become outdated. During this period of lockdown, many people acquired various job skills in the online mode, straight from their residence. Huge cases of loss of jobs and slow business growth give a huge boost to virtual learning, thus prompting many to develop skills on their own, outside of their regular day jobs.
Thirdly, candidates have become very choosy about their prospective employers. Hence the employers have to make themselves appear appealing and attractive to the candidates. The regular attractions of a good compensation package are not enough. They need to offer career development opportunities and very high goodwill of the management in the market. Candidates with very high positions are looking at prospective employers differently. They have to be offered meaningful work and a good work-life balance.
During the pandemic, remote work style has increased their expectations for managing their own schedule and they exert control over the design of their own jobs. Thus the employer has to offer a very good and unique employee experience that will truly be valued by the candidates.
Thus to keep pace with new developments in the hiring process, companies should focus on the following :
While hiring gives more importance to the potential of the candidate, than his experience. The employer should not just hire someone as a replacement to the employee who left. Most times, it happens with employers where they just look someone for a mirror image experience of the earlier employee. This would not add any value to the organization, as the new candidate would just be equipped with handling yesterday’s challenges and not for tomorrow’s. Hiring managers should be pushed into looking at the larger picture and hire candidates who have the skills to succeed in the future.
They need to have a better understanding of the long-term needs at the organizational level. The hiring managers should also be able to look beyond the certificates and degrees of the candidates, as most of the skills are now acquired in a non-traditional environment in a hands-on manner. They can also tap into in-house talent who has newly acquired adjacent skills which is generally self-taught. With more reliance on remote work, they can look beyond geographies, which will give them a better choice of a larger talent pool and will also cut down on hiring costs drastically.
Mere dole-outs of freebies and customary gestures of fun activities will not help anymore to get the right kind of candidates. The candidates do a background check of the organization to know how they fared during the pandemic and whether the organization took good care of their employees, or failed to do so. The candidates also check whether the organization facilitates their employees to have good work–life balance. Hence it would be difficult for recruiters to just rely on their usual incentives.
Thus the pandemic has forced employers to think beyond traditional methods of hiring candidates and has provided an opportunity to reform.
Reference links: HBR