As we adjust to wearing masks on trips to the grocery store and visiting family and friends on our phones rather than in person, it’s certainly easy to see that the world has changed for the foreseeable future. Things are different as we strive to stay healthy and keep moving forward as our nation (and the world) seeks to get through this pandemic. But, while so much has changed in our daily lives, it’s also worth taking a step back to wonder how recruiting has changed in a COVID-19 world. 

Things are different, to be sure. We’ve all had to adapt and even pivot in some ways, very quickly. And yet, March seems almost lightyears away from where we are today. Things have already evolved from where we were when the pandemic first hit, and they’ll likely continue to change in the coming months. 

What recruiting looks like in a COVID-19 world.

Still, recruiting is different today thanks to COVID-19. To help you get your bearings, devise strategies and continue to move forward in uncertain times, here are some of the most profound changes to recruiting in today’s COVID-19 world:

Changes to recruiting volume are often monumental

Depending on your vertical and specific company needs, your recruiting volume may be through the roof and you’re struggling to find enough talent to meet demand. The most obvious industries where recruiting needs have dramatically increased include health care, retail/customer service, warehouse and more (and the recruiting needs within those industries include every area of the business, including tech). 

The realities of today’s economy are not lost on many industries, though. Still, others have seen recruiting slow to a standstill. Layoffs and furloughs are still a major player, and although you may be recruiting for select roles, your recruiting team may be significantly leaner than it was pre-COVID.

As with any situation, I’m sure there are outliers, and some who have thus far managed to stay in the flow of “business as usual.” Perhaps your recruiting volume hasn’t changed much, yet. 

Candidate engagement takes on a whole new meaning

Pre-COVID, talent certainly seemed to be in the catbird seat. With more openings than talent in so many roles and industries, candidates demanded personalized, engaging experiences with prospective employers. Your commitment to a strong candidate engagement strategy was essential if you wanted to attract top talent. 

The expectations haven’t changed for talent. They still want and need you to provide an engaging hiring process with clear communication. And top talent will always be especially discerning in this department, regardless of the economic outlook. 

Talent needs to be informed.

But on top of those expectations, today’s talent need, want and expect you to keep them informed. They’re leaning on you to help them get through this challenging time. So whether it’s communication about your efforts to keep employees and candidates safe in a COVID-19 world, providing updates on hiring status, sharing resources to help talent stay safe and get through this challenging time, or other everyday communications now is the time for your business to double down on its commitment to candidate engagement. 

Remember, candidates will remember how you treated them during the most challenging of times. When we get through this time, the organizations that treated them the best are the ones that will be top of mind. 

Here at Matlen Silver, we take pride in our commitment to candidate engagement. Culturally, our team is invested in the success of our talent network. We care about our candidates and consultants, and one of the ways we show it is through our commitment to communication and engagement. 

The obvious: Interviews have changed

Although some offices and areas are getting back to in-person interviews, many are still relying primarily on virtual interviews. Those organizations that were scrambling to get the technology and processes in place to effectively and efficiently recruit virtually are now hopefully hitting their stride. They’ve worked out the kinks and are a well-oiled machine.

But wherever you’re located, interviews have changed pretty drastically. 

Video interviews are the norm and are likely to remain as such for the foreseeable future (possibly even permanently). Strong internet connections, cameras, microphones, and backdrops have become critical. In fact, recruiters may even be assessing candidates based on their connectivity and technical strengths during interviews. 

Virtual interviewing has added some roadblocks as far as reading body language, expressions, and even intonation. If you haven’t already, it may be time to take a frank look at how you’ve been assessing candidates to see if it’s worth an update in today’s COVID-19 world. 

By now, most people have had the opportunity to upgrade their technology. But, eye contact is especially challenging during video interviews. Lighting can make it difficult to even see candidates that well. Do you judge candidates based on their lighting or home interview setups? 

Some organizations have begun sending a checklist of technology and framing to candidates to ensure the interview experience goes as well as possible. It’s worth considering if you’ve been disappointed in some of your virtual interview experiences. 

In-person interviewing has changed too.

Of course, if you’re in one of the handful of states that isn’t currently (as of the date of publication) seeing a rise in COVID-19 cases, your recruiting and interviewing may be fully back in house. 

Even those organizations that have returned to the office have seen their recruiting process changed due to COVID-19. Masks are critical. Handshakes are out. And physical distancing is essential. Keeping interviews short to minimize shared time indoors has also become commonplace. 

Some of the challenges mentioned above for virtual interviews also apply to our current variation of in-person interviews. Is it fair to have the same body language expectations of someone in a mask? Or someone who may be worried about COVID-19? While there are no easy answers, it’s worth considering and addressing these questions among your recruiting and leadership teams. 

The right recruiting partner is essential in a COVID-19 world.

As I mentioned above, recruiting is constantly changing and evolving, and that evolution is on hyperspeed now that we’re in a COVID-19 reality. The best way to stay on top of changes and keep your business moving forward is to choose the right strategic partner to help you find and land exceptional talent. 

Here at Matlen Silver, our network of on-shore, highly skilled, engaged talent is ready to step in and start contributing to your IT projects and departments right away. We’ll help you get through this. To learn more and talk to a member of our team, contact us today.