5 Ways the Pandemic has Changed Recruiting Forever
Photo by Edmond Dantès
1. The Game has Changed for Good
Hiring continues to change over time, as it has for decades. Most of it for the better. At the heart of these changes was primarily technology, and now, COVID-19. Before the boom of technology and everyday use of the internet, there were no means of interviewing virtually or using scheduling software to keep recruitment and interview tasks streamlined. Technology has helped HR to save time and money while making everyone’s life easier. The game has changed forever. With COVID-19 forcing companies to make hiring decisions behind the screen of their laptops, candidates and HR professionals alike are missing the human interaction from human resources.
This doesn’t mean the process is bad or unfulfilling, it simply means we’re moving in a new direction as an industry. Embrace change, don’t fight it. These changes being made to recruiting and hiring are for the better. We’ve seen clients and candidates move through the interview process at lightning speeds because there is no delay in scheduling around candidates being at their current employer, they’re at home. They can interview at nearly all hours.
2. The New Normal
Let’s face it, for recruiting and staffing professionals, the ‘old normal’ has been put to rest, at least for the foreseeable future. In the wake of COVID-19, recruiters and hiring managers are making a drastic change to the way they find, communicate with, and hire job seekers. In a recent survey, more than 50% of recruiters said they conduct at least half of their interviews via video. While more than 75% believe in-person interviews are the most efficient form of interviewing. No matter, most of the recruiting and HR professionals believe that a virtual interview will be the standard going forward. So, that 75% will have to adjust their beliefs.
What does this mean for employers and job seekers?
Employers priorities have shifted, as well as job seekers. It is evident job seekers are searching for the intangible incentives such as diversity, inclusion, remote work options. The new normal in recruiting isn’t in-person. It’s behind a screen or phone.
3. Mental Health Check
Now, more than ever, we must all take care of our mental health. Over the past 11 months, the traditional office worker has been thrown a major curveball. They’re expected to work, live, and practically stay at home full time. The coronavirus continues to spread, making office-life increasingly difficult to navigate.
Keep in mind, social distancing does not mean social isolation. According to the Workplacementalhealth.org, it’s important to create and maintain a routine while working from home. An example of what this could look like:
- 7:00 a.m. – Wake up, stretch, take care of kids/animals
- 7:30 a.m. – Breakfast and family time (technology free!)
- 8:30 a.m. – Work and check on updates with small breaks every 30 minutes or so
- 12:00 p.m. – Lunch break, get fresh air, stretch & exercise
- 1:00 p.m. – Work with breaks every 30 minutes, check in with co-workers
- 5:00 p.m. – Dinner and screen break! Call a friend, family, or loved one
- 7:00 p.m. – Self care time
Staying connected to your family, friends, and even neighbors, can be used as a support system, especially if you live alone. Exercise and stay active. We recommend going on short walks during work breaks.
With many organizations requiring employees to stay out of the office, it’s more important than ever to encourage and facilitate regular communication with employees.
4. What Employers Want During a Pandemic
Since the beginning of the pandemic in early 2020, employers have changed their requirements for skill sets. No longer do the Hard Skills (like computer or technical skills) trump Soft Skills (like communication, teamwork, time management skills). With this new way of sourcing and finding qualified candidates, the standard resume is no longer enough. Here are a few skills employers are looking for that stems beyond the written resume and certifications.
Communication: This is top of the wish list for many employers. It’s great if you can code – but can you express yourself too?
As work guide Career Contessa puts it: “Have you ever had a manager who refused to listen? Have you ever worked with someone who could not pick up on social cues; someone who didn’t know when to be sociable and when to power down to work? Have you ever worked with someone who used a ton of office jargon in order to say… seemingly nothing?”
Because COVID-19 has increased the adoption of remote-working software, the need to strike the right tone of voice has, if anything, increased – not just for employees, but for employers too.
Problem-Solving: This skill is about being able to identify a task, break it down, plan and execute a solution. This helps to show employers that you have a range of competencies, including logic, creativity, resilience, imagination, lateral thinking and determination.
Leadership: Being a leader is not always about managing others or being a C-Suite executive. As recruiters are tasked with filling new remote positions, leadership is something employers are looking for in a job seeker. Asking potential candidates questions about their priorities at work, how to create as many solutions to one problem as possible, and of course, honesty. Being an employer, hiring a new employee for a remote position, you’re looking for someone who is honest, empathetic, and transparent. Employers are looking for a trusted source they can count on with daily tasks and projects.
5. Remote Interview Tips, from Recruiters
Recruiters want you to succeed. Let’s face it, we’re working our butts off to help you land an interview with one of our clients. The least you can do are practice these few helpful tips. Remote interviews are not much different from an in-person meeting, although there are a few helpful hints to carry with you.
Preparing for a remote interview requires more than just familiarizing yourself with the company and position, there are a few technical items to take care of.
- Find yourself a quiet area in the house with no interruptions like dogs barking or the kiddos running around.
- Make sure your camera and microphone work! Do a test run with a friend.
- Do an audio check for echo and sound quality.
- Run the program on your computer at least once. Using a new piece of software for the first time can often have updates. Run it once before the interview to eliminate the bugs.
- Dress as if you’re meeting them in person. It’s still customary to wear a suite or something business professional to a remote interview.
- Prepare questions to ask the employer about the role and the working environment. As mentioned, recruiters want you to succeed in the interview process, so often they’ll give you a list of questions to use and ask in the interview.
- Follow up with the interviewer or hiring manager within 24hours of the interview. This is for every interview, but mostly remote. Give the employer an inside glimpse on how you feel about the position and your eagerness to want to move forward in the process.
The Coronavirus Pandemic has changed the recruiting and hiring industry forever. It may have changed your industry as well. If you’re working remote, if you’re socially distant, if you’re struggling to find work because you’re not as tech-savvy as your neighbor, now is the time to take action and learn these new ways of the world. The game has changed, but it’s changed for the good.