6 Ways Hiring Will Change Forever

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Hiring is not going to be the same during and post the corona pandemic. In this post, we will take a look at the six core areas in the process of hiring that will change for good. 

The six core areas we are going to talk about are:

  • Remote Recruiting
  • Large scale adoption of HR tech
  • Slowdown In full-time hiring and increased focus on flexible staffing
  • Greater acceptance of online education by amidst hiring managers
  • Focus on diversity and inclusion
  • The emergence of innovative OnDemand hiring platforms

But before we look into the “6 Ways Hiring Will Change Forever”, let’s take a quick look at how the job market has been performing while we have been finding our ways through this global pandemic.

As the global markets reacted to Covid-19 and the way economic activity came to the complete standstill in many sectors, the process of recruitment and hiring followed the suit. Many potential new hires who had applied for, been interviewed for, or even been offered a job  are now facing uncertainty. Here’s a snapshot of the job market during Covid-19 pandemic.

A snapshot of the job market during COVID-19 pandemic

As per the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), An estimated 12.2 crore Indians lost their jobs during the coronavirus lockdown in April 2020 alone. Hundreds of thousands of Indians are losing jobs, most with minimal notice period. As per another independent survey conducted by CII, “Of 200 CEOs surveyed, 52% foresee job losses in their sectors; 47% expect job cuts to be less than 15%, but a worryingly high 32% expect a loss of 15-30% of jobs”. More horrifying statistics come from sectors that are directly affected by Corona. For example, as per a research conducted by KPMG,  “The Indian tourism and hospitality industry is staring at a potential job loss of around 38 million, which is 70 percent of the total workforce”.

For many sectors, the worst is yet to come. In one of it’s articles entitled “How Covid-19 has hit India’s job market” Economic Times shared some hard facts on the impact of Covid-19 on employment across various sectors.

Source: ET Tech

In the auto manufacturing sector, 2-3 million jobs have been lost. This figure is 6 million for retail and about two hundred thousand for auto-dealership. Here are some more industry-specific statistics by ET.

Source: ET Tech

Restaurants, Media and entertainment, and steel sectors have had job losses to the tune of 2 million, 600 to 700K and 200 to 250K respectively. The numbers of real-estate, travel & tourism, and education have been whopping. There were 38 million job losses in travel and tourism as per ET. Real estate trimmed 14 million jobs and about 4 million employees were let go in the education sector.

Although we may not like it but looking at the statistics above, it is apparent that the job market is in a pretty dismal state at the moment. However, as the markets open up globally, things are going to get better. Governments are opening up their economies because it can’t be kept locked down for long periods of time. Now, as we have still not been able to eradicate Corona, the best option we have is to learn to live with Corona till the time we have effective vaccines in place. And even if we find effective vaccines by the end of 2020, it will take its own time to vaccinate every individual on the planet. Hence, there is a strong possibility that organizations would adopt new ways of working till the time Corona vanishes completely. This time frame could be at least one year or more. 

But before we look into the “6 Ways Hiring Will Change Forever”, let’s take a quick look at how the job market has been performing while we have been finding our ways through this global pandemic.

1. Remote Recruiting Will Be The New Normal

What is Remote recruiting?

Remote recruiting involves sourcing, interviewing and hiring employees who are located elsewhere. Remote recruiters utilize technology to connect with candidates regardless of where they’re located.


In this section, we are going to talk about:
Sourcing Post Covid-19Interviewing Post Covid-19Virtual Onboarding and documentationAnd, Virtual recruiting events

The Coronavirus pandemic has quickly changed the way organizations are attracting, recruiting, and retaining employees on their virtual teams. Since social distancing, self-isolation and working from home has become a norm, the process of recruitment and hiring has transformed for good.

As we face the unprecedented crisis of Coronavirus, it’s clear that a transition to remote recruitment is necessary to be able to continue hiring. COVID-19 has pushed recruiters to innovate and reinvent the way they recruited and hired candidates in the past.

Before the Covid outbreak, some large corporations had a chunk of workforce working remotely for activities such as hiring and recruitment. However, this model has become indispensable for companies of all sizes now as most organizations across the globe have transitioned to work from home settings in the wake of the global crisis. Recruitment and hiring leaders are aware that great talent isn’t contained in one area; it’s present all around the globe. But so far there was no pressing need to explore the global workforce. Some employers preferred to hire just the local candidates. Remote recruitment has become a pressing need now and thankfully, advancements in technologies has made it highly feasible. 

Remote recruiting involves sourcing, interviewing and hiring employees who are located elsewhere. Remote recruiters utilize technology to connect with candidates regardless of where they’re located. We will discuss how sourcing, interviewing, on-boarding and documentations are going to change post Covid-19.

Sourcing post-Covid

Whether recruiters use social media platforms, online job portals, advanced ATS or some kind of recruitment software, the process of sourcing does not need to change. There’s very little contact with the candidate in this phase of recruitment beyond phone calls and emails.

Interviewing post-Covid

Asking a candidate to travel to the office or some other location and physically appear for a job interview is no longer a viable option. Thankfully, today, there are a number of tools readily available to recruiters and hiring managers to make these adjustments. This can include both live and on-demand interviewing solutions that offer greater flexibility for candidates to go through the entire process of hiring and assessment without being physically present. 

Practices such as video interviews once take hold, very rarely go backwards. Employers realize the benefits of technology post training and full-scale adoption. Benefits, particularly around cost and efficiency, make the organization ultimately embrace these temporary changes in technologies for the long term. And very soon, It becomes the new normal.

Virtual On-boarding and Documentation 

Onboarding

Before the Coronavirus pandemic virtual or remote onboarding was largely conducted for employees who lived abroad or were supposed to work at a remote location. However it has now become essential for every new employee as organizations have completely transitioned to work-from-home models. Primarily, just like the regular onboarding, virtual onboarding helps new hires acclimate to the organizational cultural, ethical and professional expectations to be able to proceed seamlessly and effectively in their new roles.

As we know, a typical onboarding is done in person. On someone’s first day at the office, he or she gets greeted with a welcome package. Then an HR representative shows the new hire their desk, introduces them to everyone, sets up a meeting, and explains the training process. This constant and intentional contact over the next few weeks helps the new employee get familiarised with the company, the work they’ll be performing, and who they’ll be working with.

In the current climate, such onboarding is not possible. However,  structured “virtual” onboarding can be considered as an equally effective way to onboard new employees. Although the virtual onboarding is different, overall the same ideas apply. Several researches show that organisations that fail to implement correct onboarding practices are very likely to experience lower levels of job satisfaction and motivation amidst their employees, and higher levels of turnover. Hence, even in the current pandemic, both international and domestic companies must ensure that they quickly adapt to the remote onboarding practices. As we continue to work remotely, virtual onboarding is here to stay as well. 

Virtual Documentation

There are a lot of processes that are initiated digitally by the hiring managers before onboarding. One such process is putting all the new-hire paperwork together and collecting electronic signatures for all required documentation. This is different from the traditional on-boarding process where the candidate would submit their signed documents.

Other than digitizing and documenting new hire documents, companies would now need to digitize their own company handbook and create a portal that new employees can use for the purpose of  onboarding. The handbooks would be required to be turned into a PDF and made available online and searchable so employees can come back to it whenever they need clarification.

A good virtual on-boading would ensure that the new hire has the required hardware to perform his or her jobs in a smooth manner. There should be a formal virtual introduction of the new employees with the entire team that is operating remotely. Also, there needs to be a constant and concise communication through various communications and collaboration tools; and training and support throughout the onboarding process. 

Virtual Recruiting Events

Many organizations prioritize recruiting the best and brightest college they can attract during in-person interviews on campus. That’s no longer an option today. Neither will this be an option for the next few years based on the current situation of the pandemic. College recruiters would be resorting to individual Skype or Zoom sessions with candidates. As campus interviews are often conducted in large numbers and involve various selection and elimination processes, recruiters and hiring managers might need to visit campuses for the first few rounds in the post Covid scenarios as well. But as video interviewing becomes the norm, the need to visit remote campuses for the second or third rounds of interviews and even assessment may not be required.

2. Large-Scale Adoption of Technology Will Change the Way Hiring Happened before the Covid Crisis

Michael Dell once said:

“Technology now allows people to connect anytime, anywhere, to anyone in the world, from almost any device. This is dramatically changing the way people work, facilitating 24/7 collaboration with colleagues who are dispersed across time zones, countries, and continents.”


In this section, we are going to talk about:
Key areas in remote recruitment that need to be plannedAnd, the tools needed to create an agile remote recruitment environment

After implementing technology solutions for recruitment and hiring amid the pandemic, some changes are going to be permanent. Recruiting professionals will certainly begin to appreciate the fact that digital processes offer new advantages. Hence, there are chances that they would continue to use these technologies in the post-Covid era as well. 

In order for the hiring managers to complete successful virtual interviews and hire qualified candidates, recruiters would need to adopt tools that are purpose-built for interviewing. While Google Meet, Zoom or GoToMeeting are convenient, they may at times not be considered to be fit for interviewing needs by some. However, if cost is a constraint and cost reduction is a priority, there is no harm in utilizing basic video conferencing tools such as Google meet or Zoom.

Also, in order to avoid troubleshooting any potential technology related issues, recruiters and hiring managers would familiarise themselves with the technology in advance so that they are able to provide the candidate with a seamless experience. This is important because as the recruiters and hiring managers are going to be working remotely, they might not be able to patch in an IT support person immediately as soon as the issue arises. 

Better strategy and accurate planning of an entire process would be the primary requisites for carrying out a successful remote recruitment process. Some of the areas in remote recruitment that need to be planned are:

  • Introductory webinars
  • Online screening test
  • Video interviews
  • Digital onboarding and documentation

Some of the tools needed to create the above-mentioned remote recruitment environment are:

  • Communication/Video conferencing Tools (such as, but not limited to, GoToMeeting, GoToWebinar, Zoom, Google Meet, etc.)
  • Assessment Tools (such as, but not limited to, Talscale, Mercer Mettl, Codility, etc.)
  • Workflow Management/Project Management tools (such as, but not limited to, Trello, Asana, etc.)

These are, ofcourse, in addition to the existing HRMS, ATS and the existing productivity tools.

3. There Will be a Slowdown In Full-time Hiring And Companies Will Turn To Flexible Staffing


In this section, we are going to talk about:
Some of the biggest advantages of flexible staffingHow flexi staffing is becoming a norm

It might not seem unnatural for organizations to occasionally adjust headcount to match business requirements. However, one of the most unfortunate outcomes of such decisions is a very demoralizing impact on the staff that remains. The ones retained constantly fear the disruptive cycle of hiring and layoffs. For the ones laid off, such situations leave a bad taste for long particularly when the layoffs are followed by more hiring when business improves. At this time, organizations were not prepared as no one had ever witnessed a disruption of this scale and magnitude. However, going forward, a better solution would be to bring in interim staff or flexi staff (modern terminologies being extensively used now are OnDemand staff or talent on lease, etc.)  whose services can quickly be accessed when there is a need.  When the need disappears, employers can stop engaging quickly without having the need to adhere to complex contractual obligations.

Instead of a job vacancy or sudden new project leading you to automatically rehire the position or bring on additional full-time employees, a flexible staffing strategy gives you time to work on a more holistic solution.

As per a recent article by Robert Half, here are some of the biggest advantages of flexible staffing (quoted verbatim) :


You save money. The use of contract workers enables you to turn some of your fixed personnel costs into variable expenses by paying only for the talent you need when it’s truly needed. In addition, you lower the high costs associated with hiring and training new staff while reining in overtime expenses.
You improve your competitive position. A flexible staffing strategy gives you more control over personnel. That translates to an advantage over competitors whose rigid labor structure makes them more vulnerable to economic highs and lows.
You make it easier to retain your best people. When employees see you are providing them some relief during times of overwhelming workloads, it helps boost retention.
You avoid bad hires. When you’re going through the hiring process, it’s important to get things right because there are serious financial consequences if you hire someone who doesn’t work out. 

You free up full-time employees. Tapping the talents of temporary workers to assist with day-to-day team responsibilities allows core staff to pursue more complex challenges and occasionally take time off to recharge as well.
You can get specialists quickly. There is a broad spectrum of expertise and experience to choose from when it comes to engaging interim staff. If a new initiative requires specialized knowledge you don’t currently have in-house, you can find project or consulting professionals for hire with extensive skills in these areas.

Source: A Robert Half article entitled “Why a Flexible Staffing Strategy Is Especially Crucial Now”

Modern organizations that had adopted flexible staffing strategy before the pandemic could experience higher degrees of competitive advantage. And that is why, contrary to assumption that flexible staff could be the first to be trimmed during Covid-19, it seems that they may actually have an advantage as they come with variable cost structures and minimal compliance requirements.

As a result of continued slowdown and reduced revenue, companies will have to ensure tight control on costs and laying off staff will be one of the many measures that will be used. At such a stage, organizations, primarily in the IT-ITeS sectors, will use factors such as skills & competency, outcomes & impact, and costs & compliance to take a call on layoffs.

IT and ITeS services providers in India may have to let go of some of their permanent workforce or hire more flexi staff as part of cost cutting measures with projects getting delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

To a great extent, retention of employees will depend on client needs, skill requirements, and the overall financial health of the company. Clients would most likely opt for additional temporary staff against permanent placements in such uncertainties. They may also switch to new models such as more variable pay in the salary structure as opposed to fixed pay,etc.

4. Online Education Will Gain More Acceptance

This one is a short and a crisp section!

One of the good impacts of Covid on job seekers and recruiters would be the acceptance of online workforce education. With the technology infrastructure for remote workforce in place, and the efficacy of remote training on internal workforce, the confidence of the HR increases towards hiring candidates with online degrees or certifications

The needs for businesses have changed. Hiring managers now focus on candidates with the right attitude and the ability to learn new skills faster than others. Degrees and qualifications will always matter but not as much as they did earlier.

The ability of the new hires to learn any new skills quickly will be considered as an added advantage as almost every business would try to adjust to the new emerging challenges thrown by Covid-19 pandemic. It is evident that organizations will prefer to invest in training their current workforce to learn new skills rather than investing more in creating & hiring full-time employees who are neither the quick learners nor tech savvy. Hence, quick reskilling & up-skilling will be another normal in the wake of the pandemic. This will, in-turn, enhance the rapid adoption of e-learning tools & platforms.

5. Companies Will Embrace Diversity And Inclusion Within Their Teams

Our ability to reach unity in diversity will be the beauty and the test of our civilization.

 ~Mahatma Gandhi

This one is yet another crisp section!

Mahatma Gandhi’s quote still holds true after 72 years of his unfortunate assasination. Modern leaders have been echoing similar thoughts after decades. Sunder Pichai  had said once, “A diverse mix of voices leads to better discussions, decisions, and outcomes for everyone”. Andres Tapia, who is the global diversity & inclusion strategist and thought leader at Korn Ferry says, “Diversity is the mix. Inclusion is making the mix work”.

Many large global organizations aren’t limited by location and prefer to keep a diverse set of people within the organization to maintain diversity. Often, teams in such companies have a higher chance to be made up of people with various backgrounds, cultures, and experiences. However, despite great HR practices, many of these organizations couldn’t embrace diversity to the degree it should have been.

With businesses transitioning to virtual environments, and as the organizations adopt the new model of working, hiring remote candidates is no more a wishful thinking for companies – whether these are global, local, or just an early stage startup. Remote jobs would provide opportunities and access to diverse groups of people to every organization to maintain diversity. 

Hiring is tough and involves a lot of work, so it makes sense for organizations to have experienced recruiters to shape the process of diversity and inclusion and partner with hiring managers. It’s crucial to create a fair and consistent hiring process so that excellent people are hired from remote locations globally while reducing unconscious bias.

There are chances that Covid is here to stay. We do not know when the pandemic will end. What we do know is we have an opportunity to adapt and evolve. We have an opportunity to reflect, regroup, and reassess. And we have the very real prospect of creating a culture that truly reflects the principles of diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

The Emergence of Innovative On Demand Recruitment Platforms


This one is the last of the 6 core areas in the process of hiring that will change for good. Here will be talking about:
How some great recruitment and staffing companies that offer great flexi resources are adding valueEmergence of a new “OnDemand” hiring model

All reports collectively say that the worst is still to come. A number of individuals might lose their jobs as companies embark upon cost-cutting measures post Covid-19. A lot of sectors such as hospitality, travel and tourism, aviation, etc. have already started trimming their workforce. In addition, many startups had to announce layoffs as they didn’t have the same strength as their enterprise counterparts to sustain in the crisis with a heavy workforce. 

As per a Crunchbase news article entitled “Layoff Data Report: Startups Under Fire Amid COVID-19 Pandemic”, “As of April 2, 94 startups had laid off 7,793 employees since the coronavirus was declared a pandemic. That compares to 185 startups laying off 15,653 employees as of April 8, which reflects a near doubling of both companies and employees affected in the US alone”. The same trend follows more or less across the globe. We have already seen India’s employment statistics in the beginning of the article.

As we have read in the above paragraphs, there are a lot of skilled candidates in the job market who lost their jobs due to the pandemic. At the same time, employers are turning to flexible staffing models to reduce the long-term cost burden and compliance. 

Some great recruitment and staffing companies that offer great flexi resources are still adding value. In fact, they would offer more value when the markets fully open up and the need for immediate hiring grows. In addition, the new age On-Demand recruitment platforms are playing a key role in offering the flexibility of engagement to the employer as the employers can search for the right fit for their critical projects, without having to recruit the candidates under full-time employment contracts. Even the 3rd party recruitment and staffing companies can use the platform to map their resource profiles with project needs and deploy their ‘benched staff’ on newer, productive projects. Although great flexi staffing companies offer some of these services, what makes such OnDemand platforms more attractive is the fact that they are mostly self-service platforms. Such platforms are bound to offer more agility and cost competitiveness. 

Companies looking for short terms resources for short term technology requirements can quickly find candidates in a few easy steps. All they need to do is:

  1. Create their profile on the platform
  2. Share details of the project and the skill sets required
  3. Find resources from the database of resources available
  4. Assess skills
  5. Sign a short-term contract and start the engagement

Similarly, third party recruitment and staffing companies can find projects for their benched staff in a few easy steps using such On Demand recruitment platforms. All they need to do is:

  1. Create profile on the platform
  2. Share profiles of the benched staff
  3. Search projects for the benched staff
  4. Get connected to a client
  5. Sign a short-term contract and start the engagement

Conclusion

Hiring will change forever post Covid-19 pandemic. Remote recruiting will become a norm. The process of sourcing, interviewing, onboarding, documentation, campus recruitment, etc. will continue to be carried out remotely using digital channels. Large scale adoption of technology will take place. Online education will gain more acceptance. Companies will embrace diversity and inclusion at a much greater scale. There will be a slow-down in the recruitment and this will lead to some degree of lay off. However, new business models, such as Ondemand recruitment, will come into existence offering more opportunities for the job seekers; and more flexibility, agility and cost competitiveness to the employers.

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