19 Jul 2021

Recruitment in a post-Covid-19 world


It is undeniable that the Covid-19 pandemic has dramatically changed working practices over the last year and a half. But now, as infection rates continue to fall and restrictions are gradually eased, what will recruitment in a post-Covid world look like for Birmingham-based businesses?

Remote hiring practices are here to stay

The Covid-19 pandemic has shifted almost all of the hiring process online, with the most notable change perhaps being the introduction of video interviews as a replacement for physical interviews. According to a recent survey by Software Advice, this has been a welcome change for candidates, with many preferring the convenience and ease of remote interviewing. Findings from Rec Right further confirm this, with 82.4% of 30,000 respondents reporting feeling ‘satisfied' with video interviewing as a recruitment method. Hence, it is likely that many candidates will continue to expect and even prefer remote hiring practices, viewing companies that offer them as flexible and adaptive to change. Video interviews should therefore remain as an important part of any organisation's post-Covid recruitment strategy.

A shift in candidate-employer perceptions

Candidates' perceptions of potential employers in the post-pandemic world also arguably rest upon an entirely different set of criteria than in the pre-pandemic world. Recruitment is often mistakenly seen as a one-sided process, but it is imperative to remember that candidates are interviewing a potential new employer just as much as the organisation is interviewing them.

As a result, candidates are less wowed by in-office initiatives like lunch perks and early Friday finishes, and instead are valuing companies based on their employee value proposition - i.e., an employment offering that combines multiple factors. Competitive candidates increasingly factor in out-of-office aspects when choosing which company to accept a role from. These may include freedom to work remotely and flexibility to manage one's own schedule around family and other lifestyle commitments. Consequently, employers should be open and responsive to factors important to candidates in order to exhibit a competitive advantage in the labour market. It is also useful to reconsider the way in which your job advertisements are written, and how these benefits are communicated to candidates.

Showing an agile attitude to working practices also indicates that organisations can easily adapt to shocks like the pandemic. This is especially important to communicate effectively to headhunted individuals, who tend to be securely employed and not actively seeking a new role. These individuals are often reluctant to leave a safe position for the unknown, and will be even more hesitant to do so during this current period of high uncertainty. So, make your employee value proposition an attractive offering: consider what you as an employer can offer these candidates to assuage their post-pandemic concerns. Whether a more competitive salary than you would typically offer or an agreement that the candidate can work in-office for half of the week and out-of-office for the other half, it is time to rethink what sets you apart as an employer.

Access to a wider talent pool

One final way in which the pandemic has changed recruitment for local businesses is by removing physical location as a barrier to the hiring process. Many employees have proven that they are able to work effectively from home, thus leading a growing number of firms, particularly in the technology industry, to recruit employees from further afield. Indeed, a Gartner Inc. survey found that 74% of CFOs plan to move a proportion of previously on-site workers to permanently remote positions post-Covid. This growing normalisation of a remote workforce widens access to the talent pool firms are recruiting from. Widening your search past the city or even country in which you are based may make it easier to find the ideal candidate for the position, providing you have the relevant technological infrastructure in place to seamlessly integrate this candidate into the organisation.

We understand that many of these changes may appear new and unfamiliar, and so we are pleased to offer complimentary 30-minute consultations for all Chambers members to discuss how to improve your current recruitment practice. Please visit our website https://worksmithhr.com/ to find out more and arrange a time, or reach out to us via LinkedIn.