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Recruiters Guide: 5 ways COVID-19 has changed the face of recruitment

Published: Tuesday 20th October 2020

Is the COVID-19 impact on recruitment here to stay? Or is there any semblance of hope lingering for the job market and and the candidates eagerly waiting to be hired? 

The uncertainty that all organizations are currently faced with has created a major roadblock for the hiring market. The cash crunch and a slow-down in the business of several industries led them to lay off several employees, introduce pay cuts and a hiring freeze that affects all new recruitments or offer letters from being withdrawn in certain cases. Is this dark cloud here to stay for good or is there a silver lining for better opportunities in the future? Organizations are certainly optimistic about their growth in 2021 and the years succeeding 2020. But how has this pandemic changed the face of recruitment? Read below to know more about it.

  • Changes in employee rights: A remarkable COVID-19 impact on recruitment is how there has been a new-found demand for employees in safety and sanitation. 2020 gave organizations a reality check of the risks they take to ensure the safety and sanitation of the premises. This started the snowball effect of reshaping policies to give insurance and bonus benefits to such employees for their sacrifice during the pandemic right from when they are hired.
  • Remote work from home: Since the office premises may not function to full capacity this year, organizations implemented work from home for all their staff where it was possible to work from home. Recruitment standards changed while looking for new staff by setting a criterion that they are efficient working from home and have no problem in delivering great performance even with the prospect of working from home permanently.
  • Changes in the hiring market: Industries such as travel, hotels, and entertainment are some of the most adversely affected. Several recruiting departments had to make the tough choice of laying off employees who did not perform as per the company’s expectations as a way of cost cutting. However, industries such as e-commerce, logistics, digital marketing, and finance saw a demand for new employees due to a surge in their business, which meant hiring more staff to cater to this increased flow of work.
  • Changes in hiring requirements of organizations: The hiring departments of organizations have been through the wringer when reallocating requirements and vacancies due to the changes in operations. A few job descriptions have observed a sudden surge in demand whereas some previously popular designations are now stagnant. The hiring department also has to make sure that the screening, tests, and background checks on prospective employees are now more stringent, since everyone will be working remotely at least for the next six months. Since online recruitments bring up the chance of fraudulent candidates slipping through, the hiring personnel have to be extra careful to ensure a candidate ticks all their checkboxes.
  • Changes in the recruitment process: In terms of the COVID-19 impact on recruitment drives, the process has been modified to fit the occasion where corporate offices, companies and firms are no longer recruiting at their workplace. Instead, all of the screening and interview procedures are conducted online, which are just as rigorous. Telephonic interviews were not a prerequisite before the pandemic, but now are the modus operandi for the first interview round, thereafter, being switched to Zoom calls. Any assessments and tests are conducted online for candidates to apply from their homes. An upside of this kind of recruitment is that skilled freelancers and employees away from the organization’s geographical location are no longer off-limits to hiring.  

While these changes surely make the best of the current circumstances organizations are facing, the way we work, and recruit will be changed forever. Perhaps for the better, as the organizations have observed that these new methods have created more opportunities for growth at places they did not look before. If you’re a hiring company looking for worthy talent to recruit, we’d highly advise you to join Zoek and find the right fit for your company. Despite the COVID-19 impact on recruitment, we have a continually  expanding pool of job seekers and hirers on our portal finding an excellent match!

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