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Is the pandemic changing hiring fundamentals?

When you’re in the middle of a disaster, your horizon shrinks. Instead of thinking about the coming year, you’re focused on making it to the end of the week. Challenges are being dumped on your (virtual) desk on a daily basis – so you’re not stepping back to consider the bigger picture. In fact, it’s not entirely clear exactly what the bigger picture is.

The bigger picture is a big reason why I conduct the Recruiting Trends survey each year. It’s a chance to get your input on what has happened to you in the past year – and what you think will happen in the coming year. I’ll have the complete results available in a few weeks, but an early analysis provides a sense of how the hiring industry is staying the same – and also changing.

It will not surprise you to learn that revenues over the past 12 months are down for 59% of the respondents. What I found more interesting was that 22% saw increases in revenue during the pandemic. Even more promising is that 62% have seen increases in revenue in the past 30 days. That doesn’t mean that things are ‘back to normal’ – but it seems to indicate that enough businesses across a variety of industries have started hiring again to have an impact on recruiting sites.

We know that remote work has become the de-facto norm in many industries – but that it can’t translate into many areas, such as health care, hospitality, and the skilled trades. People still need to be physically present to do this work. However, is the ‘how’ of hiring in those ‘non-remote’ industries changing? One possibility – at least based on the survey results – is an increased use of assessments and screening. Those respondents whose sites cater to ‘non-remote’ industries are twice as likely to offer assessment and screening services to their employers, compared to sites that are catering to ‘white collar’ employers. This would make logical sense – if you have less direct contact with candidates during the hiring process, assessments help offset that lack of exposure and provide insight into the candidate’s capabilities.

Another change seems to be the rise in services that allow employers to manage the hiring and onboarding of new employees remotely. In this case, it seems the pandemic is simply accelerating what were already existing trends. An obvious add-on that recruiting sites could offer employers would be video-based interviewing systems – either pre-recorded or live. These have been around quite a while – but now seems to be their time to thrive.

What isn’t clear is what the pandemic will ultimately do to certain sectors, such as restaurants. Will they ever return to what they were – or are they simply going to morph into something different, that is less reliant on in-person and more reliant on delivery? I have no insight into this – but it will certainly take months or years to play out.

What I do know is that crises – and you have to call the pandemic the mother of all crises! – provide opportunity as well as chaos. Now is a good time to consider if the pandemic has changed the hiring fundamentals in your business.

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Jeff reports that 59% of job boards report decreased revenues over the past 12 months, 22% saw increases over the past 12 months, and 62% have seen increases in revenue in the past 30 days.

    At College Recruiter​, we saw a significant slowdown starting in March and for a couple of months but our July was one of our best ever and August and September were even better. Why were we fortunate when some others weren’t? We’re really well set up to help employers who hire at scale, which is where most of the hiring has been since COVID hit, and we’re really well set up to sell programmatic, cost-per-click advertising, which is the future of our industry.

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