5 Ways in which COVID-19 Has Impacted the Hiring Process

Photo by Maxime on Unsplash

It’s no exaggeration to say that the pandemic has affected every industry at every stage, including the hiring process. With delays in communications, travel bans, and a general decrease in jobs available, the situation out there looks very different than it did a year ago.

Sharp Increase in Remote Hiring

With the challenges COVID-19 has brought to talent acquisition, businesses are finding ever-innovative ways to hire their staff, namely by going remote for the safety of all. On the bright side, online recruitment allows for a better and more consistently structured hiring process. Because of this factor, HRM software and remote hiring tools have multiplied, with 84% of recruiters now adapting their hiring processes to facilitate remote exchanges, according to Jobvite. Among them, 58% mention the use of social media networks (LinkedIn, Facebook, and even Instagram) rising to connect with potential hires – with nearly half of businesses reportedly increasing the number of online postings they use to advertise open positions.

These changes have come hand in hand with the use of analytics tools, which can scan resumes to identify key insights and data. Over the past year, the number of businesses that have or will invest in chatbot solutions increased by over 500%, according to research from Aptitude Research Partners. They also report 80% of users being happy with their choice. The 2019 Job Seeker Nation Report adds that over 90% of organizations who’ve turned to text-based recruiting methods have chosen to stick with them. This seems to work for everyone, as nearly two-thirds of workers prefer this type of communication to an email or phone call.

Companies are now reimaging recruiting, often turning to digital solutions in the process.

Remote Interviews are the New Normal

The COVID-19 pandemic has also given rise both to two-way video interviews and one-way video interviews, which have their own set of benefits:

  • Quicker hires through less logistical and scheduling hassles
  • Lower hiring costs by canceling logistical and travel expenses
  • A simpler process thanks to online platforms that allow for automation of interview invitations and skill comparison for example
  • Unbiased interviews, through in-built diversity tools with inclusion features
  • Higher quality of hire, through the increased importance of data in decision making, and a more standardized skill-based process

According to Jobvite research, 80% of recruiters are now using videoconferencing solutions as a key part of their hiring process.

The Rise of AI Tools

AI’s constant evolution is now allowing companies to automate the hiring process, every step of the way, through Machine Learning (ML) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA), with the goals of reducing time to hire and increasing quality of hire – something that only came about because of the particular circumstances brought by COVID-19. A LinkedIn survey on talent trends showed that 35% of professionals, hiring managers and human resource personnel feel that AI is the trend most impacting who and how they recruit.

A Longer Hiring Process

As the international economic situation remains very unstable, companies have had to be very careful about bringing new team members on board, choosing to spend more time assessing and vetting candidates before making a decision. Different factors are leading to this delayed hiring process:

  • Companies are increasingly thorough: they have generally added extra interview rounds and new forms of evaluation to make up for the lack of face-to-face interaction. They have also increased internal hiring and are now taking longer to make budget decisions as pertains to bringing in new talent.
  • They receive many more applications: Screen and shortlisting time have also expanded as the job market is facing an ever-increasing demand.

This increased time to hire has had an array of consequences for employers:

  • Decreasing company productivity, as important activities are getting delayed by all positions not being filled
  • Hampering employer branding, as candidates look elsewhere or walk away with a bad experience of the company
  • Compromising quality of hire, as top talents want a smooth process and spend less time on the job market, which forces companies to go ahead with candidates that are still available

Virtual Onboarding as the Way to Go

A new lockdown has hastened the rise of virtual onboarding programs. Since everything is now happening remotely, HRs have had to find innovative ways to make the new hires feel welcome.

While it is easy to get information in an office environment, it can be really difficult when working remotely.

Overall, many technologies are now available to help businesses function virtually and remotely – they are also slowly becoming the norm as companies become accustomed to the benefits brought forth by digitization and automation.

If you are also looking for an online hiring platform or remote hiring tools to combat the effect that remote working is having on your team, start using the Unicorn.io platform now!