This downturn was indiscriminate. Given the scope of the recent job losses, it may seem counterintuitive to say speed will be the most important factor in recruiting going forward. After all, the market is saturated with talent at the moment.
The fact is that a lot of the displaced candidates on the market are highly qualified. As the stay-at-home orders lift and our economies recover, recruiters will have to do more than just find qualified candidates in an applicant pool that is far larger than it has been in recent history. They’ll need to find professionals who have the right skills before their competitors find them.
Speed will be crucial in enabling businesses to recover and sustain their competitive performance in the coming months, especially in industries like retail and hospitality. Digital platforms and tools can help build the framework for hiring success, but process workflow and solution delivery experience will be the key differentiating factors.
Pivoting Your Hiring Process
Hiring is disrupted in many organizations right now, but companies need to take time to fine-tune their processes and build safe, quick ways to access top talent and get back to work once the pandemic wanes. Technology can and should play a central role in enabling this process through tools such as objective prehire assessments, virtual interviews that enable social distancing, automated scheduling tools that cut time to hire, and automated workflows that deliver a great candidate experience.
If you are looking for tools to support the pivot of your process, I recommend adopting solutions with the following features:
- Hyper-relevant role requirements: Traditionally, hiring leaders don’t delve into the nuances of individual jobs until the hiring process is well underway. However, once you discover a candidate is missing a skill necessary for the position, you realize that everyone’s time has been wasted. By implementing technology that evaluates candidates based on hyper-relevant role requirements, you ensure you’re only moving the right candidates forward.
- A variety of touchpoints: With in-person interviews off the table for now, talent acquisition teams can and should leverage other mediums, including on-demand text, audio, and video, as well as live video.
- Candidate fast-tracking: Given the rising unemployment rate, you’ll likely have a large pool of candidates to choose from. So will your competitors. Tools that enable the fast-tracking of qualified candidates can help you lock in top talent in your industry.
- Mutual fit: Determining candidate fit is one of the most challenging aspects of the hiring process, but virtual job tryouts and similar assessments make the process more predictive for both recruiters and applicants.
Above all, you need virtual hiring technology that is designed to provide flexible, customizable solutions. You will need the technology to scale and provide reliable outcomes across a range of vastly different roles within your organization. For example, the role of a nurse requires very different skills than the role of a healthcare administrator, but a hospital would need hiring technology that could enable a fast, objective, and relevant recruiting process for both jobs.
We Won’t Be Going Back to Normal
While some employees and business leaders are clamoring to know when things will return to normal, others have accepted that they likely never will. Twitter recently announced it would allow employees to work from home forever, and other tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon have enacted similar policies. The coronavirus has forced companies across the globe into an experiment in remote work — and many have found that it works.
To thrive in our new normal, you need to be empowered with technologies and workflows that are configurable and adaptable. The key characteristics of recruiting processes and technologies going forward will be:
- Efficiency: It should come as no surprise that the best candidates are hired the quickest, usually within just 10 days. Recruiters will have to leverage virtual hiring solutions to find top talent quickly and move them through the hiring process with minimal manual effort on their end.
- Effectiveness: Recruiters will need scientifically valid assessments to identify the best-suited candidates for a specific role before competitors do. Virtual job tryouts in particular offer employees and employers alike the chance to assess fit before committing to one another.
- Fairness: Technology has the additional benefit of being able to eliminate much of the human bias inherent in traditional hiring. The more fair the talent acquisition process is, the better positioned you’ll be to surface qualified and diverse candidates.
We’re poised to enter a new era in recruiting. Whoever gets the high-quality candidates first, wins.
Peter Basking is chief product officer at Modern Hire.