HOW THE HIRING INDUSTRY IS ADAPTING TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
To say that the Coronavirus pandemic has rocked global industry would be a massive understatement. Companies around the world are scrambling to develop new remote-based workflows to limit the potential for exposure to the virus, and many service-based businesses have had to close down entirely. The hiring industry has also felt the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and many companies are overhauling their hiring practices in light of this new reality.
Hiring in China has plummeted to about -45% year over year following the outbreak. In Italy, Europe’s hardest hit country to date, hiring is well below zero, reaching a low of -40% during the lockdown. The US will likely see a similar trend in the near future, at least temporarily, but many companies have already been adapting their practices to take the hiring process into the digital realm without becoming impersonal.
New Online Assessment Practices
If you are reading this post you are surely doing your application process online (you are, right?). Ideally you are using a process that automatically ranks candidates based on their probability of success so you don’t have to screen 100s or thousands of resumes/applications. Regardless, at a minimum people are able to apply online.
For many roles, after people have applied you are likely to want custom problem solving assessments that match the job. For companies that wisely rely on testing to identify and hire top candidates there has been a dramatic shift away from large group test sessions with “bubble sheet” test forms to completely online, but still proctored, testing.
The proctoring is done via some amazing technologies that allow the user to be monitored to ensure they are not cheating while they take the exam. These include screen monitoring, facial tracking, audio flags and statistical techniques to mitigate cheating. Bottom line, testers who used to have to test in a group setting, at a specific time and place, using a clunky technology (scantron scoring) are now able to test at their leisure in a secure setting using state-of-the-art technology.
This shift not only limits social exposure and slows the spread of COVID-19, but it also ensures a higher level of test security, better scheduling options, faster turnaround of test results, less testing time and more creative and job-related test content. While the online testing protocol has been standard procedure for many businesses, in light of current events, almost 100% of our clients are now choosing to streamline their pre-employment assessment processes with secure online assessments.
Videoconferencing is the New Norm
While many companies are slow to hire new employees during such a tumultuous time, others are going to need to continue their recruitment practices under different terms. Additionally, once the worst phase of this disease has passed, there will be an incredible influx of available talent the likes of which hiring managers haven’t seen in a lifetime. As people who have lost their jobs or parted ways with companies that have permanently shuttered look for new work, the hiring industry will need to adapt quickly and adeptly to the forthcoming surge of employment candidates.
One of these adaptations will be video conferencing technology which is quickly becoming the go-to method for companies to interview job applicants, conduct Q&A sessions with potential recruits, and handle the onboarding process without risk of spreading COVID-19. Video conferencing tools are also useful in many cases for new hire orientation, training, telecommuting, sales, and many other aspects of modern business. To this end, we highly recommend the Zoom platform, but we also have utilized Skype, Gotomeeting, Facetime, Google Hangouts and other platforms successfully. For early adopters, we’d recommend checking out https://www.around.co/.
Adapting for the Future
These new hiring practices may seem like temporary stopgaps, but they are actually improvements to the business-as-usual resume/interview approach to hiring, which is far from optimal. The decisions companies make during the current epidemic will have a profound impact on the future. By making the right call now you will help the country quickly get our talented workforce back in the game.