Randstad Sourceright Survey: Digital Tools Will Be Key to Post-Pandemic Hiring

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If businesses had any doubts about the need to embrace digital transformation, COVID-19 has made clear the importance that technology and digital competencies will play in the newly remote working world. Organizations that have not yet adopted the right technologies risk falling behind and must rethink their digital talent strategies if they want to respond quickly to changing business needs. The seamless adoption of technology and acquisition of digital skills are going to be crucial for businesses looking to secure top talent both during the pandemic and once it ends.

The pandemic has forced businesses across the globe to shut their office doors and move their operations online to protect the safety of their workers. According to “Talent Trends: COVID-19 Surveillance Report,” a new survey from Randstad Sourceright, only 18 percent of employees globally were working remotely prior to the pandemic. As of August 2020, that number jumped to 55 percent; employers expect 46 percent of workers to continue working remotely through the end of the year.

While 78 percent of employers report it has been more effective than they had anticipated, remote work has also forced organizations to adopt new technologies to transition successfully to online work. Fifty-five percent of businesses globally have adopted or scaled an average of three different technologies, such as videoconferencing and employee engagement systems, due to the coronavirus crisis. Seventy-one percent of talent leaders expect to carry these new processes into the future, proving that such technologies are a valuable and necessary investment.

Hiring Is Likely to Remain Digital After the Pandemic

In addition to changing the way employees work and engage with one another, the pandemic has also drastically impacted the recruiting and hiring processes. Many human capital leaders are concerned their ability to acquire talent will be restricted as a result of the crisis. More than one-third of businesses (34 percent) believe that hiring volumes will remain low into 2021, which means they must rethink their recruitment strategies.

Technology will be crucial for businesses that are continuing to hire new talent in the midst of the pandemic. No longer able to conduct in-person interviews, employers have embraced technologies that allow talent leaders to carry out the hiring process from home, often in a more cost-effective and timely manner than before. In fact, 29 percent of employers are now using virtual recruiting events to reach candidates in an online setting.

Per Randstad Sourceright’s survey, other hiring technologies, like video and online interviewing tools (adopted by 67 percent of respondents in the US), textbot and chatbot recruitment tools (23 percent), and virtual onboarding systems (13 percent) have also been widely adopted by businesses during the pandemic, and companies overwhelmingly expect to continue using those tools once the pandemic subsides.

The implementation of this technology has also given employers the ability to recruit the best candidates from anywhere in the world. No longer bound to hiring candidates who live within a commutable distance of the office, employers can now access a whole new pool of qualified talent, allowing businesses to find the person best suited for a job regardless of their physical location.

Technology can also provide more flexibility to the interview process, reducing the time it takes to fill open roles and allowing employers to meet their talent needs more quickly. Sixty-eight percent of businesses have implemented video and online interviewing tools that allow them to easily align schedules, record interviews, and send feedback directly to candidates during the interview process.

While some of these digital tools were already in use prior to the pandemic, their role in the recruitment process has taken on a new importance as the working world has shifted to an online setting. Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of organizations feel that, while they were able to accelerate their digital transformations in the beginning of the pandemic, they need stronger competencies going forward to compete in today’s evolving global economy. In fact, fewer than half (46 percent) of businesses are confident they possess the talent and resources to accelerate their digital journeys over the next 12 months.

Investing in Digital Technology Today to Meet the Demands of the Future

To secure the talent they need to compete in the coming year, businesses must begin adopting technology that will help them to source, screen, and hire the best candidates from around the world. Investments in digital tools that make this process easier and more cost-effective will set employers up for success now and once hiring picks up again post-pandemic.

Although COVID-19 has presented challenges to businesses that will likely continue for years to come, technology has allowed companies to respond to this unprecedented moment in a way that would not have been possible just a few years ago. While the future of work is unpredictable and constantly evolving, adopting digital tools now can help businesses successfully retain and recruit qualified employees who will help them meet the demands of the future.

Mike Smith is the CEO of Randstad Sourceright.

By Mike Smith