The coronavirus pandemic is changing the way the world operates, from the essential services sectors (e.g., food retail, medical services, retail pharmacy) to international stock market trading. There is now a strong call for the public to stay indoors and limit the time spent outdoors as much as possible to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the country.
While these measures are necessary to ensure public health and safety, they make doing business harder for industries and sectors where face-to-face interactions are crucial. One such example is recruitment.
Recruitment teams in the U.S. have been caught off-guard with the quick turn of events brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. With just a few days’ notice, many were forced to start working from home (telecommute) and move all their recruitment efforts online.
Recruiters also had to face many new challenges:
- With state closing down schools and offices and enforcing shelter-in-place orders, applicants and recruiters can’t meet in person for interviews even if they live in the same city.
- Ill-prepared companies have limited tools for online recruitment.
- Many applicants might have limited access to a computer and reliable Internet connection.
- Companies that were hiring before the pandemic erupted are considering stopping their accounts or postponing recruitment for a later date.
- Many recruiters use HR application tracking systems that are struggling to support 100% online operations.
Faced with these problems, recruiters must innovate and maximize all available tools to make online recruitment work.
Here are examples of how recruitment and HR teams can adapt to the changes in the labor market brought on by the coronavirus pandemic:
- Video conferencing – It’s fortunate that today’s Internet infrastructure and speeds have vastly improved, and that there are now many video conferencing platforms that ensures smooth and clear transcontinental video calls. Recruiters can arrange for one-on-one and panel interviews through Zoom, Google Meet (previously Hangouts), Skype, Messenger, and video chatrooms integrated into an existing Human Resources management software.
- Using a talent acquisition software – Speaking of software, recruiters should consider using one designed specifically to streamline and track recruitment processes. This is helpful especially if your existing HR management program is already overburdened with years’ worth of data on hundreds of employees. A dedicated recruitment monitoring software should make it easier to track and sort applicants, and reduce, if not completely, digitize their onboarding documentation.
- Expanding geographic reach – Video conferencing, online communications, and remote work are becoming the new norm, and there’s little indication that things will change in the foreseeable future. Recruitment teams can, therefore, consider hiring talent from another city, state, or country. It would be an excellent opportunity to put together a “dream team” and find people who already have the qualifications, experience, and skills your company or client is looking for.
- Cutting the red tape – Many companies are now realizing that their existing recruitment procedures are riddled with redundancies and unnecessary regulations that only slow down talent acquisition. Now is the best time to re-evaluate hiring, screening, and onboarding protocols. This is not just for the convenience of the new hires, but also for improving the efficiency of the recruitment team.
The pandemic may have severely limited the recruitment industry and the labor market, but there are still ways to overcome the challenges. It’s just a matter of reallocating resources where they can be most effective given the present situation.