Want to stay on top of hiring trends? Here are 8 ways the hiring process has changed in 2021.
The pandemic has driven many business changes and one area that has changed significantly is the hiring process. As people all over the world began working remotely, this brought about many changes, some of which had already begun before the pandemic and others that were accelerated by it.
Technology is dominating the recruiting and hiring process and organizations are offering more flexibility in the workplace and focusing on employee needs. Here are some ways the pandemic has changed the hiring process.
1. Power balance between employer & employee has shifted
Until very recently, employees did what employers expected of them but the tides are turning and the pandemic has accelerated the change. Organizations today need to meet employee needs if they hope to secure the talent that’s necessary for them to thrive in a very competitive world. They have to make an effort to understand and invest in their employees.
The pandemic made employees think about what was most important to them and gave many of them a desire for more of a work/life balance. HR departments and recruiters need to pay attention to what they expect if they want them to be productive and fulfilled.
2. Employees expect more from employers
Would-be employees expect more than traditional compensation and benefits today. They rank work/life balance, values and company culture highly when making decisions. Employers who set up an employee value proposition that resonates with employees and is tied to a sense of social purpose are more likely to hire successfully.
Some changes employees would welcome are days off for wellbeing support, marital therapy, long-term financial planning support, technical perks like smartwatches, and offering health checkups. Changes like this could support their mental and physical health with a real benefit for employers in terms of improved productivity. They also expect organizations to be more supportive when it comes to personalized learning and improving their skills.
3. Diversity and inclusion measures became more of a focus
The pandemic has raised many social issues and candidates will judge a business based on how committed it is and how it demonstrates a commitment to equity and diversity. For some positions, recruiting trends may include removing certain education or experience requirements to help level the playing field.
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4. Employers are focusing more on work quality
Over the past year, employees have had more freedom to design their own schedules and decide how, when, and where they do their work. As the autonomy to do this did not seem to negatively affect their productivity, organizations are inclined to allow it to continue. Some are promoting a hybrid working environment that includes both in-office and remote work.
Employers are generally starting to focus more on quality and productivity than the hours employees are spending sitting at their desks. They are taking the view that employees are accountable professionals who know what they need to do and how to fit that into their lives.
If organizations can find the right model and sufficient trust exists, more flexibility could be here to stay. There is also a chance of more ‘virtual absenteeism’ and employers will have to find policies and procedures to mitigate against this.
5. Technology dominates the hiring and onboarding process
As digital software means physical commuting is no longer essential, it is changing the way organizations hire. The pandemic made organizations more comfortable with remote recruiting processes, Zoom meetings, and video interviews. They will need to have a good grasp of the latest technology in virtual recruiting and hiring and understand which parts of a position require in-office work versus remote working.
Many companies now use video interviews instead of in-person meetings. Pre-recorded interviews enable them to ask questions candidates that must answer. These pre-recorded interviews allow them to quickly identify the best candidates to move forward in the hiring process.
Successfully onboarding new workers remotely is also possible when using the right technology. An organization can simply agree on a date and time to meet virtually with a new worker and convey information about the company culture, values, mission, vision, and so on. Using key people within the organization to build up a presentation can help with tailoring it to meet the needs of new hires.
6. Remote work expands hiring pools
The pandemic showed that it wasn’t necessary for all employees to work in an office building to be productive. This insight has allowed companies to expand their search for talent beyond their own cities or regions. They can now source talent based on where candidates with the best skills live rather than having to use candidates in a specific location.
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7. The skills organizations need have changed
In the interview process, employers will not only ask candidates about the skills they already have but which ones they are working on or would like to develop. This type of questioning indicates that employers are ready to help employees to improve their skills and learn new ones. As the pace of work changes, roles evolve and the shelf life of current skills is becoming shorter. Organizations that want to thrive in the future will need new skills.
Conventional career planning assumes that roles will remain unchanged over the years and follow a linear path. This is no longer the case as static jobs have changed to more project-based work, with employees continually having to adapt to focus on new projects and priorities as the needs of a business change. Organizations are increasingly making use of contractors and freelancers rather than full-time employees.
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8. More adaptability in the recruitment process
In a COVID-19 world, organizations have needed to be adaptable and change their recruiting processes. They are changing the ways they search for new talent and the channels they used to do this. Virtual job fairs have provided one avenue for some employers to widen their search.
Recruiting trends in 2021 have also focused more on hiring from within. The pandemic meant employees were flung into new skills, took on new responsibilities, and shifted positions. It became evident that employees who are able to shift positions and take on different projects may be more valuable than those who only have skills in one specific area.
In 2021 and beyond, organizations will need to diversify their recruiting strategies and use multiple channels to engage with potential hires. Recruitment in the future will require the ability to adapt to a virtual world and use technology to provide more workplace flexibility for employees. Addressing employee needs will be paramount if organizations hope to retain top talent and the need for workplace flexibility is one of their top priorities.