How employers turn to find the best workforce for this moment and beyond.
5 min read
The opinions expressed by the entrepreneur's contributors are their own.
Remote workplaces, zoom meetings, a transition to e-commerce: the coronavirus is changing the way we work faster than much of the business world would have thought possible. This shift involves how companies make hiring decisions.
On the flip side, employers have access to a larger pool of talent thanks to changing job dynamics and the number of workers displaced due to the economic impact of the virus. However, some hiring managers rely on old-fashioned tactics and search through countless résumés when the best candidates are still busy.
Then there is the timing. Before the pandemic, some employers stocked up talent even when their companies had no vacancies. Today they are more methodical and prudent in planning interviews and submitting job offers. This is understandable given the uncertainty in the economy, although they may lose the opportunity to get the best workers on board.
Related: The 10 Unique Soft Skills Employers Want New Employees
Just as executives and small business owners need to conduct their business in this new normal, so too must hiring managers evolve their hiring practices.
Consider these new strategies:
1. Assess your approach to hiring
Until March it was a monumental task to find top talent. US companies grew and the unemployment rate was at an all-time low. For this reason, hiring managers have hired outside recruiters on either a withheld or conditional search basis. On hold search, the client pays an upfront recruiter fee to fill a position under an exclusive agreement. In general, such searches are used for executive roles and include candidates who are actively looking for work as well as those who have similar roles in other companies. Quotas are exactly what they imply. Recruiters get paid for helping their clients find the next good job. A third approach emerges that allows companies to pay only for the services they need, while providing recruiters with a deeper look (hence the research) into matching a candidate's qualifications and skills with the position. At a time when budgets are tight but talent needs remain high, recruiting research enables hiring managers to make better decisions about how to identify and hire the right people. It's also a strategic process that enables them to meet their immediate hiring needs and build a talent pool to fill future open positions.
2. Cast a wider net
Covid-19 has taught companies not to limit their recruitment to people within a certain area of their corporate headquarters. On the contrary, the virtual workplace has created the possibility of building a broader network of employees who live in one place and work with a company that has offices in another. Remote working is gaining acceptance among employees and companies alike: a survey conducted by PwC found that 83% of office workers would like to work from home at least one day a week. Similarly, not only are employers realizing that they can move to a remote job if necessary, but 55% expect to get at least one hybrid (remote and office-based) job in the future.
Related: This CEO doesn't look at resumes when hiring
3. Look inside
In searching for the best candidates, employers have made a costly mistake by overlooking members of their team who are willing to take on more responsibility or, in some cases, already doing their job. Harvard Business Review found that from the end of World War II through the 1970s, companies filled 90% of their positions through promotions or side assignments. That number then fell to a third or less, but LinkedIn's Global Talent Trends 2020 report shows that internal attitudes are making a comeback. 73% of talent acquisition professionals say this is becoming increasingly important to their business.
4. Recruit for the skill
In the past, workers were hired based on their skills and experience. These are still important hiring considerations, but think of how many of today's jobs didn't exist five or ten years ago. From alternative energy and mobile applications to social media and self-driving vehicles, new industries are constantly emerging, and they require employees who are flexible and can master new skills. Companies that hire based on the ability of workers to learn and the speed at which they can adapt to change clearly have an advantage.
5. Get the best candidate across the finish line
So you've found the ideal employee – someone with the skills and the ability to take the first steps and who believes in your company's mission. But getting the candidate across the finish line can be a challenge. While the pandemic has strengthened candidates' faith in what they want in a job, leaving a company where they may have seniority – or better yet, job security – can be risky. This is where good hiring skills come into play, reminding candidates of the professional benefits of moving.
Related: 3 Tips When Hiring a Virtual Assistant
How the pandemic will continue to change business remains to be seen. What won't change, however, is the need to hire talented people who will keep businesses running now and long after the pandemic has ended.