The COVID-19 outbreak has altered the way many businesses operate, ushering a shift in recruiting and hiring practices post-pandemic, said recruiting strategist Jack Whatley. Whatley added, “Safety and job stability are at the top of mind for the job seeker now – and that changes what they want in a job.” In his perspective, businesses will have to be both employee and customer-centric.
Business leaders should also be cautious in choosing who to rehire and they must have legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons to assess which ones to bring back to the workplace. Employers are looking for new talent while others have gotten rid of jobs that are now gone, prompting job seekers to reassess their career path. Right now, workers are concerned about having a stable paycheck and paying the bills.
Survey On Job Searching During the Pandemic
Jobvite, a leading recruiting software, surveyed 1,500 job seekers and employers about their opinions, behaviors, and preferences related to job searching in February 2020. Jobvite surveyed the job seekers to find out if their previous insights had changed amid the pandemic in April 2020. 73% believed that finding a job this year is harder versus 48% of those who shared the same sentiments in February 2020.
44% thought it is “much harder” now than it was six months ago to find work versus 23% two months ago. In February 2020, only 28% were afraid of losing a job at some point this year but the proportion of respondents who felt this way skyrocketed to 47%. Further, 65% of job seekers said remote work is “very important” or “somewhat important” in their decision to accept a job offer.
Respondents who were most likely to weigh remote work heavily when deciding upon a job offer are workers with children at home (38%), those with a college degree (33%), and men (32%). Women (48%) were more likely than men (34%) to check internal postings, so as 33% of respondents with a college degree (versus 48% of those without a college degree). In April 2020, 38% said they would preemptively reject a potential employer due to publicly available reviews.
The respondents who were more likely to reject employers based on public reviews were Hispanics (45%), young adults (45%), those with college degrees (43%), men (42%), those who live in the west (42%), adults with kids (42%), and democrats (42%). Job seekers were using multiple channels to look for work, but online boards remained (69%) the most popular followed by friends (45%), social media like LinkedIn (42%), and professional connections (31%).
In times of uncertainty, 61% said they are “very” or “somewhat comfortable” negotiating, 51% were “very” or “somewhat comfortable” asking for a raise, and 33% were willing to accept less than their current salary.
How Will Employers Adjust to the New Normal?
Global Head of Talent Acquisition for GroupM Michael Wright adapted AI-enabled video interview to be “more emphatic and more contextually aware” prior to the pandemic, cited Scott Steinberg of CNBC, a business and financial website. They have also established “video handshakes” to allow people to discover what they can be and become rather than what they do and what they have done in their careers.
Hence, job seekers should expect to interact with chatbots and other AI-driven tools, which are capable of screening candidates, asking interview questions, and answering questions. They should also expect video interviews to be a standard and the hiring process to be much longer.
AI is beneficial to the hiring process, but critical thinking, collaboration, and leadership skills are important in recruiting someone, said Rebecca Bowsher, head of people at health-food provider Huel. According to Bowsher, they would prefer to take their time getting to know their applicants.
On the other hand, companies that can still hire during the pandemic are tapping into virtual tools to expand their teams, stated Darren Murph, Head of Remote for GitLab. In fact, many businesses with partial or no remote work policies are struggling to transition to remote work settings, forcing the hiring and recruitment process to evolve.
Streamlining the recruitment process will help drive companies forward. “If the recruiting process gets backlogged, it causes problems for your current employees and an under-staffed company,” Whatley explained. This will frustrate employees as they are obligated to work overtime, decreasing their morale and increasing turnover.
The new norm will focus on how companies can hire wisely and quickly. Whatley reported, “Most companies look at hiring people as a transaction – they need to fill a seat.” However, it’s not enough for employers to place a job posting, hoping for an applicant to fill the job. Presently, companies are expected to engage applicants earlier and more thoughtfully, as well as prioritize what an employee values most in a job.
What Do Employees Want In A Company Now?
"Most people think money is the most important thing to consider when choosing a job,” said Whatley. However, money is not the only factor in deciding whether an applicant accepts an offer. Nowadays, job applicants will be more cognizant of a job offer as they don’t want to make a mistake in getting employed at the wrong company.
Further, CMO at Jobvite Jeff Rohrs said company culture is an influential factor in deciding on a new job, according to 81% of job seekers in Jobvite’s annual “2020 Job Seeker Nation Survey.” How an employer treats their workers will affect an applicant’s decision-making process in choosing to work for that company.
Employers should also expect employees to look for the following: the firm’s compensation plan, the company’s culture, and values. These three factors will help employees decide which company to work for. In order for business leaders to hire top performers, they will need to communicate the above-mentioned factors effectively. Whatley noted, “Recruitment is all about relationships.” He stated that the human element is how organizations can make the best impression on job seekers and create a lasting impression about their firm.
But employees need to make adjustments in the way they present themselves. For instance, it is important now more than ever before to stand out on video and communicate their value at a glance. The recruitment process has evolved to accommodate the use of AI-driven tools and other digital technologies. Both employers and applicants need to adjust to the new norm, emphasizing the need to communicate what they can offer using technology.