How the COVID Pandemic Has Impacted the Recruiting Industry

The COVID pandemic has certainly impacted the economy in many ways. Lots of government stimulus may have propped the economy up during early lockdowns but might also be a factor fueling inflation. Millions of workers are reconsidering their career plans and options, and the recruiting industry has certainly not escaped the many effects of what the whole world is going through right now.

COVID’s Impact on Recruiting

The global pandemic has changed every industry for better or worse, and sometimes both. The specific impacts on the recruiting industry include:

Many Employees Hate Their Job Now: Whether you buy into the so-called “Great Resignation” or not, millions of people are leaving their jobs to find something they’d be happier with, and many more are thinking about it. That means there is both a need for recruitment for replacements but also plenty of people to recruit from. Two-thirds or more of business leaders report that the pandemic has hurt team morale, and over one-third say it lowered the productivity of their teams.

Communication Is Crucial: While this has always been the case, it’s even more important now. Given that more business is being conducted digitally than in-person than ever before, knowing and using the proper channels of communication is crucial to keep your organization accessible to recruits who might want to join. You have to convey and sell your culture in new ways. At a minimum, constant communication is crucial to minimizing the unprecedented levels of anxiety that everyone is facing.

Industry Experience: You need to find candidates that come to you with some level of industry experience already in their pocket. Across many niches and sectors, team leaders expect over half of their staff to suffer from some kind of skills gap in their current positions within just the next three years. Someone who already has time in your industry will be productive longer, and they’re also going to be more receptive to training and continuing education.

Educational Credentials Are Different: The skyrocketing costs of higher education were already putting many potential employees on different paths into their working years. While you might still prefer to see candidates with degrees from well-known schools, you should also realize that you can find diamonds in the rough that went to smaller schools or even community colleges to save money. Many starting professionals also grab any entry-level work they can and boost their credentials with professional certifications in lieu of a diploma. With many universities having shut down for stretches in the pandemic or having switched to remote learning, each year’s graduating class might not be as rich a resource as you’re used to harvesting.

Maximize Retention During the Great Resignation

While the pandemic has forced many businesses to focus harder on recruitment, there is also just as much need to focus on retention. Finding prospects to replace those you lose or to fill new positions is a must, but you should also focus on trying to draw in the kind of people that will stay with your organization for a long time. Resource One Recruitment and other recruitment agencies like them, are firms that specialize in finding long-term IT workers likely to stick around for a while.

Some of These Changes May Be Permanents

As noted by Forbes, some of the changes in recruitment might be permanent. Some companies desperate to fill positions are actually making a regular practice of going back and contacting previous applicants who had been denied hiring originally to see if they’re still interested in their companies.

While that’s one way of expanding the pre-pandemic typical talent pool, another is the utilization of remote work. While sometimes a pandemic necessity, it does open the door to using talent in other geographical locations than where your company might be based so you can cast a wider net.

Practice Flexibility Moving Forward

Be sure to practice flexibility when moving ahead. Many states and municipalities have different standards in terms of pandemic rules and restrictions, and things can vary even between companies. Recruits themselves might also exhibit startlingly different preferences between things like remote or in-person work, and the constant threat of a new variant can always upend everything at any particular time.

Heron Nelson

Heron is a business blogger with a focus on personal finance and wealth management. With over 7 years of experience writing about financial topics, Heron has established herself as a trusted voice in the personal finance space. She has a deep understanding of financial concepts and strategies, and is able to explain them in a relatable and actionable way for her readers.