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Five Ways COVID-19 Revamped The Hiring Process

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The pandemic changed a great deal of things from how people live their daily lives, priorities within their careers, how businesses are run, overall business culture, and has had some effect on everyone is plans. While some changes are smaller or more intimate to individuals, there are also significant changes, especially in the working world, such as a mass of widespread resignations (with over 47 million employees voluntarily resigning from their jobs in 2021), employee priorities, and radical career transitions.

Before the pandemic, we saw a lot of people stay at jobs simply because they needed a job or dealt with hostile work environments because they had no other choice – businesses saw a significant change in this post-pandemic. As employee priorities changed, organizations had to change with them.

How Have Employee Priorities Changed?

Below, there are some interesting statistics provided by that show exactly where employee needs are shifting and how workplaces who prioritize mental health, benefits, better work-life balance, and higher pay are more likely to get more new hires.

  • 77% of individuals consider an organization’s culture before applying for a job
  • 56% said a strong workplace culture is more important than the salary
  • 40% of potential candidates said schedule flexibility is in their top three factors when making career decisions
  • 67% of hourly workers said they would explore new industries to get the pay they are looking for
  • 66% of employees said they would stay at their current job if their employer offered better benefits (even over a pay increase)
  • 58% of candidates have declined a job offer due to poor candidate experiences while 80% have accepted offers due to positive candidate experiences

The New Normal In The Hiring Process

With such a radical shift in the preferences of employees and potential candidates, organizations have had to adapt the way they hire, present their organizations, and how they cater to potential and current employees. Practices such as virtual interviewing and offering full-time remote work for individuals are now common, when just a year ago they were exceedingly rare.

Technology Over Everything

While technology plays into a large role in business regardless, we see an emphasis on technology in the hiring process specifically. The main way is switching from telephone or in-person only interviews to virtual interviews. There are two main ways that organizations can conduct virtual interviews. Once they have chosen their preferred video conference service, they can do pre-recorded interviews or standard virtual interviews. Typically, pre-recorded interviews are meant to efficiently find top talent before conducting a normal interview. Live, virtual interviews can be held either individually or with a group of candidates, regardless of their location. These live interviews help organizations evaluate potential candidates and for candidates to take the time to learn more about the organization.

Once virtual interviews are completed, organizations can choose to continue the hiring process virtually or hold an in-person interview with candidates they believe are the best fit for their business. This will depend on the location and restrictions of the interviewee, especially if they are in another state or country.

Location, Location, Location

Organizations and candidates used to limit themselves simply based on location because remote work was not as common as in-office. While some organizations have resisted remote work there are many more that have embraced it. From updating their systems to handle remote workload and allowing everyone to work efficiently out of office to offering hybrid models and full-time remote work options. Implementing these options not only allows organizations to better meet their employee’s needs, but it also gives them access to potential candidates who might not have been available due to geographical location or flexibility issues before.

As we continue to move forward from the pandemic, we see that in-office staff is not a requirement for all businesses and that remote work and more flexibility is becoming a huge selling point for organizations to potential employees.

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Access To An Expanded Talent Pool

Piggybacking off an organization’s ability to offer remote work options is the fact that organizations now have access to larger hiring pools and can find top talent that they might not have had access to before regardless of where they are located. This also helps candidates who could have been interested in jobs previously but had to pass them up because they could not be in-office whether this is due to physical location, transportation restrictions or physical/health restrictions.

Having access to an expanded talent pool for organizations and more organization options for candidates means that needs can be met on both ends. Now top talent can be placed in careers they really want – instead of settling for where they can get to.

Search Firms To The Rescue

Another challenge that the pandemic created was a talent shortage. This talent shortage is so severe that according to a study called Global Talent Crunch, the shortage could create 85 million unfilled jobs that cost close to $8.5 trillion in unrealized revenues if unaddressed by 2030.

While search firms cannot solve this problem alone, they can help bring talent to organizations that desperately need it. These professionals are well-informed about their current industry needs, overall labor market situation and have a greater understanding of the current hiring trends. They are the go-between between organization and candidate and typically take the time to get a deep knowledge of both, from wants to needs and overall goals for the future. These firms can deliver the talent that organizations need while giving candidates the communication and transparency about the organization that they desire. Bringing together organizations and candidates that are a better fit from the start can help decrease turnover rates and increase employee morale, which in turn can bring in even more talent due to a positive organization reputation helping to meet hiring needs.

Better Insight Before Hiring

In response to the pandemic, potential candidates and current employees are realizing that they do not want to settle for a job that does not offer what they truly need and want out of their professional career. They also have more options in their job search with the commonality of remote work. This means organizations must stand out from the start.

Organizations need to sell themselves from the jump by making their benefits known and offering benefits that people want. We have moved past the novelty benefits to more important and personal benefits that include:

  • Flexible working
  • Remote work
  • Health and wellness packages
  • Sick leave
  • Childcare
  • Student-loan assistance
  • Better work-life balance
  • Proper health, dental, life insurance, etc.
  • Personal and professional development
  • Mental health support

While we still navigate personally and professionally post-pandemic, we will see more changes to the hiring process, employee preferences for their career and how organizations run their daily procedures. While the above mentioned trends are popular for hiring in 2022, change in business is common and how organizations, employees and potential candidates adapt are exceedingly important, especially with global cases such as COVID-19 and during the aftermath of it.