Recruiting the Post-Pandemic Worker
As businesses return to a “pre-COVID normal,” new considerations must be taken regarding the recruitment process. The pandemic changed everyone’s relationship to work, from new expectations to different mentalities of what a workplace should be, and businesses need to adapt to these changes. Below are practices for recruiting the post-pandemic worker.
The Importance of Culture
Work culture has always been an important factor in prospective candidate’s decision-making. Glassdoor’s Mission and Culture 2019 Survey reported that 77 per cent of adults “consider a company’s culture before applying for a job,” and 56 per cent believe that culture is more important than their salary. Since the pandemic, of course, work culture is valued even more highly. Candidates are looking at the ways in which companies support their employees, such as:
- schedules that favour “life” in regard to work/life balance
- allowances for equipment for their home office
- extended mental health benefits and additional vacation time
- actionable strategies regarding diversity/inclusion and equal/equitable opportunity
Before the pandemic, businesses focused on re-skilling employees as continued automation, digital transformation, and artificial intelligence (AI) impacted the “future-of-work.” Now, the importance of re-skilling has increased as businesses advanced these technology-driven strategies to continue operating and servicing customers with greater flexibility to adjust to varying demand.
Based on the Mercer Global Talent Trends 2020-2021 report, 49 per cent of the organizations surveyed will continue to focus on re-skilling employees, and 59 per cent will “concentrate on reinventing flexibility,” as part of their 2021 priorities.
With the newfound need to re-skill, recruitment strategies need to consider:
- the functions of the business that will transform in the next three years
- plans to outsource specific work or establish strategic partnerships
- emerging economic and industry forces that affect business strategies
Global Access to Talent
Remote work has allowed businesses to expand their talent pool, offering a wider recruitment reach. This makes it important to tailor candidacy expectations and to consider:
- how to equalize the experiences & skills of candidates from diverse geographical and industrial backgrounds
- the necessity of cultural & local knowledge
- efficacy versus difficulty in the onboarding process
Businesses also have increased options to outsource or hire contingent workers, as their operations return to pre-pandemic levels. According to a 2021 Harvard Business Review article by Gartner’s Chief of Research, businesses will “expand their use of contingent and contract hiring or expand their partnerships with organizations to ‘rent’ employees for a short period of time to meet the skill needs that they are facing.”
Recruiting contingent workers comes with financial benefits as they lower the need for physical office space, thereby reducing rental expenses. Combined with the savings from remote workers, funds can be reallocated to reskilling and implementing programs to promote employee well-being and support social causes.
In summary, as businesses return to normal operations, their HR recruitment processes need to consider how to:
- Ensure their brand & culture align with the values of today’s employees
- Measure candidates’ skills in order to meet the business’ needs
- Capitalize on greater access to resources
Nigel Taklalsingh | Contributing Writer