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Changes to the recruiting process post-COVID-19

June 1, 2020
Once states allow people to return to the workplace, companies will have to decide if they really need to have employees come to the office every day or if they can continue operating with a remote workforce.

COVID-19 has changed the face of employment. Many companies have learned it is possible to maintain productivity and efficiency with a distributed workforce that is working from home in some cases far from the corporate headquarters. Once states allow people to return to the workplace, companies will have to decide if they really need to have people come to the office every day or if they can continue operating with a remote workforce.

Jack Whatley, a recruiting strategist, said that in addition to the shift to work from home, “the coronavirus will fundamentally change recruiting and hiring practices long after the pandemic has passed.” He believes that safety and job stability will be of utmost importance to job seekers.

Companies will have to be especially aware of how they approach workers that were laid off as a result of the pandemic. The goal with these returning employees is to make them feel valued and to rebuild relationships.

Companies may not be able to bring back their entire work force, so they need to be careful about who they bring back. “Employers will need to have a legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons for choosing which employees to rehire. Those reasons include seniority, operational needs or documented past performance issues,” according to Whatley.

One obvious change that is the result of COVID-19 is that the balance of power in the job market has shifted from employees being in the driver’s seat because of record low levels of unemployment to companies now being in control.

This does not mean it is OK to abandon all the best practices around things like job candidate experience and time to hire. Those practices will still serve companies well to ensure they get the cream of the crop. In addition, “If the recruiting process get backlogged it causes problems for your current employees and an understaffed company,” Whatley said.

He added that too often, companies look at the hiring process as transactional. “They place a job posting and fill the job. In the new world, that will no longer be the case. To get the best talent, companies will have to engage people sooner, more thoughtfully, and put a higher priority on what employees value most in a job.”

It will also mean that companies may have to look at hiring in different ways. They need to be prepared to conduct video job interviews instead of, or in addition to, face-to-face interviews as this will open up the candidate pool to a much wider audience now that we know many employees can work from home anywhere in the country and still be effective.

About the Author

Jane Clark | Senior VP of Operations

Jane Clark is Senior Vice President, Operations for NationaLease. Prior to joining NationaLease, Jane served as Area Vice President for Randstad, one of the nation’s largest recruitment agencies, and before that, she served in management posts with QPS Companies, Pro Staff, and Manpower, Inc.

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