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5 Ways COVID Has Changed Recruiting As We Know It

Picture of a man and woman working remotely from their laptops while wearing masks

COVID-19 has no doubt mixed up, turned upside down, and permanently altered so many long-standing business processes, especially the way recruiting is done.  

In this blog, we’ll explore 5 significant changes COVID has made to the way recruiters and hiring managers find, engage, and hire top talent. 

Remote Workforce

The traditional, in-person 9-5 work environment now seems like a distant memory of the past. Most technology and corporate businesses have entirely shifted from the conventional 9-5 work environment and moved to a flexible, remote work style. At first, this sudden transition came with its fair share of growing pains, but by now, most businesses have evolved and are thriving under the “new normal” of working.

Today, offering a flexible work environment is an absolute must, especially when recruiting and retaining top talent. With 2021 on the horizon, there’s very little doubt that the flexible and remote workforce paradigm will change.

Video Interviewing

In the recruiting world, video interviewing technology remains one of the greatest tools to keep the hiring process moving along, if not faster than traditional methods. While not perfect, video interviewing does come with quite a few benefits, including convenience for both employer and candidate. Additionally, travel costs associated with formal interviews are eliminated, and the overall hiring process is sped up, saving time and money.

On the flip side, it’s not as powerful or impactful as interviewing an individual in person. Even after COVID has been eradicated, interviews, or at least the first interview, will likely remain virtual. 

Nationwide Recruiting

Now that most of the US professional workforce is working from home successfully (21.8% as of 11/20), more and more employers are expanding their recruiting geography ranges to find superior talent to work in a remote capacity. In the past, this was simply not a viable option. Businesses would either have to pay high relocation/commuting costs or forgo the candidate they were interested in. Additionally, we’re seeing a surge of remote job options for many clients, especially in the technology sector. 

If we look at Google Search data for the phrase “remote jobs,” we can see a steady increase over the last five years with a sharp rise in 2020.

Picture of a graph that shows a gradual increase in the Google search traffic for the keyword, "remote jobs"

The Gig Economy Influence 

It’s estimated that roughly 57 million people, or 35% of the workforce, worked as freelancers in 2019, and that number is only expected to rise. The gig economy model can be attractive for both employers and professionals in certain scenarios. On the employer side, you are able to operate at a leaner capacity without providing benefits and can access talent on-demand when you need it. On the talent side, you can charge a higher hourly rate and work when you want. While these are benefits to consider for certain roles, full-time hiring is still king–especially for in-demand, strategic leadership roles and functions like sales, marketing, and technology. 

Virtual Networking 

The days of posting a job to a physical job board are long gone. COVID has pretty much shifted every networking function, job posting service, and referral network to an online platform. While this shift was going to happen anyway, COVID really kicked it into overdrive. 

Overall, these online recruiting platforms are excellent spaces to connect with talent, but they do have an Achilles heel. Recruiting top-tier, passive leadership talent has been immensely challenging with the absence of live, in-person networking events and conferences. In the past, leadership (often C-level) would hear about a new role/opportunity at an in-person event or by word-of-mouth from their peers. For this very reason, many businesses rely on experienced executive recruiters to help them find exceptional leadership talent.

Working with an Adaptable Recruiting Firm 

Recruiting has changed more than it ever has in the last year. Regardless of what the future brings, you can confidently count on the ImpactSearch team to help you navigate the future of hiring. 

As a fully remote recruiting firm, our team has adapted well to the sudden shift of COVID, and we’ve never stopped helping high-tech and high-growth companies find the exact talent they need. If you’re looking to expand your team or have any questions about the recruiting changes, we’d love to connect!

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