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How Covid-19 Has Changed Employee Recruiting and Hiring

Not since the advent of the world wide web has the world seen workplace disruption like the pandemic. When the world shut down in March 2020, everything changed, including the future of work and how companies are finding, interviewing and hiring qualified talent.

As workers were sent home, forced to learn how to remain productive in a home environment, and often with a hodgepodge of remote tech to support them, many employees began reevaluating whether their current jobs aligned with their personal and professional goals and values.

A year later, American workers began quitting in huge numbers, in what has been called The Great Resignation. In October 2021, 4.16 million American workers quit their jobs. And that was down from the record-high of 4.36 million Americans who resigned in August 2021.

The Great Acceleration, a recent Aditi Consulting survey of 300 IT professionals, found that the top three biggest challenges that organizations are facing in the wake of “The Big Quit” are:

1. Talent Sourcing
2. Salary Expectations
3. Remote Workforce

With tech hiring continuing to trend even higher, hiring managers are faced with the difficult task of attracting top talent for the increasing number of open, and in-demand tech-related roles, such as cybersecurity, cloud, and data science.

As a result of employees becoming more selective in choosing a new employer or career path, and the way in which employers are searching for and attracting qualified talent has had to change as well.

Faced with a tight labor market, more companies are adjusting decades-old recruitment policies on job qualifications, employee incentives, workforce management, and location. Traditional models are making way for more practical recruitment and retention strategies.

A Versatile Approach to Recruiting

The tech hiring shortage isn’t anything new but the pandemic has brought the talent shortage to new levels. In a 2021 Gartner survey, IT executives cited the lack of talent availability as the greatest barrier to the adoption of emerging technologies. The increase in job vacancies coupled with the increase in tech roles, has led to organizations switching up their recruitment efforts in a number of ways.

Some companies are focusing retention efforts on growing their in-house talent by upskilling or reskilling existing employees through reimbursed professional development and certifications.

Other companies are offering better perks and incentives, including signing bonuses, flexible unlimited time off, and hybrid work arrangements.

Nikki Norvell, vice president of people and culture at Aditi Consulting, predicts that remote work and hybrid work models will be the new normal for all organizations by mid-2022. Of all perks and incentives being offered to job candidates, she says that offering remote work or a hybrid work model is at the top of the list when it comes to recruiting and securing top talent, calling it a “differentiator.”

Across the board, companies recognize the need to increase their budget when it comes to attracting and recruiting quality talent, with some of that funding earmarked for hiring trusted and reputable recruitment partners, such as Aditi Consulting, who often have a wider professional network and sources for hiring qualified candidates.

Redefining Candidate Qualifications

In Aditi’s survey The Great Acceleration, 54% of respondents said the greatest challenge they are facing when it comes to sourcing talent is “quality.” As a result, many recruiters are redefining what a quality candidate is.

More recruiters are open to the idea of eliminating resumes entirely in the hiring process, according to a 2021 survey. They argue that identifying skilled candidates must go beyond the traditional resume and hiring practices. Replacing the resume with a skills-based assessment would also remove bias from the hiring process.

In the wake of the Great Resignation, the existing labor shortage, and the high demand for skilled workers, many organizations recognize that a traditional education and career progression do not define whether a candidate is qualified for the role.

Instead, recruiters are turning to technical skills assessment software to optimize the interview process and measure professional aptitude and skills. While a candidate may have a certain certification, whether they have the practical knowledge is another question entirely.

Shifting the focus to measuring candidate skills also opens the candidate pool to those with non-standard job backgrounds, or opportunities for professional development within the organization.

At Aditi, part of the recruitment strategy includes identifying internal candidates and considering what Norvell calls a “reallocation of talent.” These are existing staff members who through specialized training can be shifted laterally to a new role. Offering professional skills development not only widens the candidate pool, but also improves employee retention.

A recent survey found that “employees with access to development opportunities have 34% higher retention and are 15% more engaged.”

Expanding Candidate Locations

The global pandemic may have created a displaced workforce searching for ways to maintain business continuity and productivity from remote locations, but it has also led to a revolution in how we conduct business.

Employers are increasingly less focused on where work is happening and more focused on how the work is being done. That means, more and more companies are becoming geographically agnostic.

Removing the boundaries of location opens up a world of exploring new talent pools beyond a company’s own region. That means more companies are looking beyond the limitations of onsite hiring, and moving toward nearshore and offshore outsourcing to find and hire quality experts.

Aditi’s Great Acceleration survey found that 50% of all respondents are planning to consider supplementing teams with a combination of onshore, nearshore, and offshore hires.

The Future of Recruiting

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to recruiting, especially when it comes to filling high-demand roles in the tech industry. Most of the changes brought about by the pandemic are here to stay, in particular the evolution of recruiting qualified candidates. In addition to embracing a hybrid work model, more companies will find that in order to stay competitive, they need to adopt a hybrid approach to sourcing and hiring talent.

Need help in your efforts to source and hire qualified talent in a tight labor market? Aditi Consulting can help. Contact us to learn more today.