The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the need to balance the efficiency of talent acquisition technology with the effectiveness of personal attention in hiring.
With widespread job cuts roiling the economy and health risks looming in the workplace, candidates want to work for employers who care about them personally and professionally, perhaps even more than they did before the pandemic when unemployment rates were historically low.
Pressed to hire the best talent with the limited resources available, companies increasingly rely on HR technology to help them identify and recruit top candidates. Companies must meet employees where they are physically and emotionally when hiring during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Companies are using virtual events and interviews to capture interest from qualified candidates since in-person recruitment opportunities like job fairs and networking events have been canceled due to the pandemic.
Kamal Thakarsey, vice president of employer marketing at Handshake, suggests setting goals for virtual events and choosing speakers that appeal to candidates. Then following up with qualified and engaged attendees afterward.
“This can be as simple as a thank you note with a recording of the event or more personalized outreach that hones in on getting to know them, setting up an interview, or seeing whether they have any additional questions,” Thakarsey wrote in a TLNT.com article on how to keep talent acquisition running, even in the midst of COVID-19.
Leverage technology for virtual interviews. Teach hiring managers and candidates to use tools like HireVue and Zoom to avoid technical snafus and maximize their time together. “Make candidates feel valued by being transparent, creating open communication channels and keeping them informed on next steps,” as part of talent acquisition’s response to COVID-19 and beyond, EY suggests.
AI hiring tools
Artificial intelligence has assumed a bigger role in talent acquisition for companies hiring during the COVID-19 pandemic. “You had to find the tools that were going to enable you to identify a candidate, which we’ve always been doing online, but then very quickly be able to screen that candidate and identify whether this person was going to be a good fit or not,” Greg Moran, CEO at OutMatch, a SaaS-based talent intelligence platform, told Human Resource Executive for an article about how AI is transforming talent acquisition during COVID.
With AI-based tools, candidates can apply online, immediately take an assessment, and then complete a real-time interview based on the results. “What AI has really enabled more than anything else is a truly candidate-led process, as opposed to a more recruiter-led process,” Moran told Human Resource Executive.
“Seismic shifts in society caused by the pandemic’s fog of uncertainty mean that employers will have an expanded role in the financial, physical, and mental wellbeing of their employees,” hiring consultant Dr. Charles Handler noted in explaining how the pandemic is reshaping hiring.
“The pandemic has accelerated a movement that has been gathering momentum in HR — a focus on creating a human experience for its workforce (and customers),” Handler wrote for ERE.net. “This mindset encompasses the importance of communication, creative upskilling and reskilling, and business continuity while keeping employees and customers safe and healthy.”
Seventy-five percent of employer brand directors and talent acquisition professionals who attended this year’s RallyFwd conference agreed that over the next three to six months, “a company’s stability” and “how a company treats its employees during COVID-19” will be most important to job-seekers, according to an ERE.net article on candidate expectations for hiring during COVID-19.
“Before COVID-19, 26% of candidate questions were related to the application and interview process. Since the crisis started, that number has dropped by a whopping 10%, while questions about the company and role rose by 15%,” employer-branding consultant Bryan Adams wrote, citing research by PathMotion, a recruitment technology company. “Collectively, this trend indicates that job security and company reputation are now front-of-mind for candidates.”
Employers and employees may continue to examine their values and evaluate their priorities in hiring during the COVID-19 pandemic. But HR tech and the human touch will remain vital to ensuring efficiency and effectiveness for candidates and companies alike.
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