The Great Rehiring: Post-Crisis Recruiting

What is the ‘Great Rehiring’?

We started the year 2020 fighting a ‘War for Talent’, but it’s been six months since the word ‘Coronavirus’ entered our life, turning the recruitment industry around. In fact, we’re currently experiencing a truce made of hiring freezes and furloughs.
The first months of the crisis signed the beginning of a period of uncertainty. We’d never experienced a pandemic over the course of our lifetimes and were caught off guard by this unknown and very deadly virus, but as an increasing number of countries around the world have been able to ‘flatten the curve’, we see the number of job openings on the rise once again.

Will post-COVID-19 hiring be like before? If you ask anyone, they’ll tell you they don’t believe things will go back to ‘normal’, once the current medical emergency reaches its end. But then, what should we expect of the future, when it comes to rehiring post-corona? As Recruitment and Talent Acquisition professionals, how can we make sure to thrive in a post-crisis scenario? you might ask.

As the virus struck, companies worldwide had to quickly adapt to working from home full-time. What if this became the new normal, as many foresee?

What’s expected of companies, in terms of hiring trends?

How relevant will Candidate Experience be during and after the crisis?

Many questions cloud our minds with worries, but they also alert us of exciting possibilities for the future. Let’s take a look at some of the current predictions and get a clearer view of what tomorrow could look like for people in Hiring.

How will Talent Acquisition be different during the ‘Great Rehiring’?

Once we fully bounce back, as explained by D’Arcy Coolican and Jeff Jordan, the ‘Great Rehiring’ will start. It won’t have the magnitude of the Unemployment Claims Filed, but this new ‘War For Talent’ will probably remind us of a Blitzkrieg. We can foresee a noticeable change in the composition of candidates, who are currently mostly passive, as active candidates will be on the rise. Meaning, during the times of rehiring post-Corona, people won’t be applying for jobs while working somewhere else as much: applying for jobs will be their full-time activity.

If our predictions are right, companies can expect:

  • Far more applicants per role than they’ve ever seen before
  • A much faster process
  • A fully remote hiring process
  • Far more applicants per role than they’ve ever seen before.
    This will be especially true of candidates coming from suffering industries like hospitality and travel, trying to access more thriving ones like healthcare, or switching to fully remote jobs.
    The volumes could be astonishing, as the system is built for a turnover rate of 3 or 4%, and that number could spike to 30 or 40%, although we hope for a less dramatic outcome.
    Now, there are some questions you can ask yourself to prepare.
    Are you ready to handle this volume? Do you have the right processes in place and is your Talent Acquisition team fully up to speed, or did you do many lay-offs in this team? If you did, then recruiters should be your first hire
  • A much faster process.
    The common benchmark within Recruitment is the fact that you shouldn’t have people in your process for more than 30 days, and in 2018 the average was 38 days.
    Given the scope and urgency of this crisis, the length of the hiring process will decrease drastically: people will have a far different mindset. They’ll be as eager as ever; by then, they will have been in their houses for some time without employment.
    If we wanted to try and take a peek into the future, we would probably direct our glance towards China, which is now entering a post-COVID-19 scenario. Many job seekers there have lowered their salary expectations and are choosing to focus their energy on finding job security, all while competition for jobs among them has become fierce.
    For your future job applicants, timing will be of the essence – and the same will be for you!
  • A fully remote hiring process.
    While this is already the norm for some companies, the vast majority of the businesses out there are still used to having face-to-face interviews with candidates. Now, hiring remotely requires a different approach, since you will miss out on a lot of body language, energy, and small-talk with other team members.
    Video communication will now be key to your interviewing process. You’ll need to get creative with it and structure your interactions so that technology doesn’t get in your way. As much as you’ll need to put some effort into mastering it, it’ll give your candidates a chance to show you their true colors in spite of the logistics of it all, and you will have a shot at showing your culture.

How is a great Candidate Experience still relevant, then?

In a few words, the relevance of Candidate Experience can be reconducted to three factors:

  • Good candidates won’t take mediocre treatment
  • People talk, and the crisis will end
  • Select the right talent from the get-go
  • Good candidates won’t take mediocre treatment.
    We recently had the pleasure of interviewing Ellis Briery. During the webinar, he shared how he believes that the relevance of Candidate Experience won’t be suppressed post-crisis. Whether COVID-19 has negatively affected your activity or not, top-tier talent is key to your company’s success. Now, if you want excellent talent, you need to provide them with an excellent hiring process. Especially if you’re looking for future employees with a Bachelor’s degree and higher, do not overlook the fact that they could be less impacted by the crisis, as it gives them leverage.
  • People talk, and the crisis won’t last forever.
    When you start considering the long-term consequences of your actions during this phase, it’ll be clear to you to see that this crisis, too, will end.
    As the economy recovers, job applicants will gain more leverage and will be able to pick the opportunities they prefer.
    Your reputation will precede you, as word of mouth has become more and more relevant, thanks to the democratization of the internet, and now sharing a bad experience only takes a few clicks.
    These are difficult times, and nobody is perfect, but Recruitment and Human Resources mishaps won’t be automatically forgiven because of the current strain on the economy, and there will be negative consequences for those who forget one of Gerry Crispin‘s three fundamental rules: putting the candidate first. In fact, there is already a plethora of articles pointing fingers at companies for neglecting their People Experience during the Corona crisis.
    As Debra Corey told us when we interviewed her, “It’s a time that people are going to look back to and say, “Did you live your values, or did you just do what was easiest for you? […] If you’re ever going to bring your values out to play, the time is now.”. Your actions will show your worth.
  • Select the right talent from the get-go.
    As shown in Jobvite’s 2019 Recruiting Benchmark Report, 43% of new hires leave a job that doesn’t meet their expectations.
    The Candidate Experience you provide your job applicants will indelibly shape their opinion of your business. Post-crisis rehiring at scale will already be frantic, and the last thing you’ll want is to have to do it all over again.
    Remember, a happy candidate can be a happy employee, and there’s nothing more precious than motivated and committed high-quality talent.

If you’re aware of the relevance of good Candidate Experience during a phase of great change such as the one we’re living right now, there are resources you can explore to help you streamline your current hiring process and improve the way you treat your candidates even while recruiting remotely.

Why now is the perfect time to start measuring CandE

It’s the right time to do some house-keeping and make sure you have the best process in place for when you’re picking up your post-COVID-19 hiring at full speed.

  • As everything is changing, you shouldn’t let your Candidate Experience deteriorate
  • Don’t forget to be human
  • Because you still have time
  • As everything is changing, you shouldn’t let your Candidate Experience deteriorate.
    The shock brought to the system by the virus is revolutionizing aspects of Recruiting and Talent Acquisition such as the logistics side. As everything is rapidly mutating, you should keep an eye on things when rehiring post-Corona.
    Your candidates’ experience, for instance, will be very different if they won’t have any face-to-face interactions with recruiters in the post-crisis scenario. Whereas this might become our normalcy, right now it could destabilize your potential talent.
    Not taking the pulse of the situation as you perfect your remote hiring methods, could lead you to horrible revelations once it’s too late. That’d mean, for some of you, that you’d discover about these issues only once they’ve already brought irreversible damage to your reputation.
    Asking the right questions, let you learn how to treat your candidates better as times are changing. It can help you streamline better processes.
  • Don’t forget to be human.
    Not so long ago, some recruiters might have exclusively relied on their gut feeling, for hiring purposes. As face-to-face interactions are wildly limited by the current scenario, it will be tougher and tougher to read your counterpart’s body language, for instance, limiting your ability to study them and determine whether they’re feeling comfortable and appreciating your business’ hiring process.
    If you want to know more, it’s advisable to ask your talent, using Candidate Experience surveys. Additionally, asking them about their experience will make them feel more valued and help you connect with them at a more human level. Now more than ever, candidates also want to feel heard, as they too are feeling the anxieties and challenges of the ever-changing Coronavirus situation.
  • Because you still have time.
    Once the ‘Great Rehiring’ will begin, the rhythms will be frenetic, due to the vast amount of candidates and the faster pace of hiring that we expect. Now’s the perfect time to work on your processes, while you still have time to optimize them.

Develop the right set of questions to ask your recently hired talent as well as your candidates, and you won’t regret it. Some examples mentioned by Bridgette Corridan during our interview with her were “Was this an efficient process?”, “Was it quick enough in your opinion?”, or “Did you feel connected to our mission in the process?”.

Remember Bridgette Corridan’s words, “Candidates are looking for companies that they can connect to and that match their personal values”.

Too Long; Didn’t Read

Due to COVID-19, Recruitment and Talent Acquisition are transforming.

Our expectations for the ‘Great Rehiring’ include huge volumes of candidates, a faster pace, and different logistics, which might see us hiring remotely full-time.

Despite the rise in unemployment rates that’s to be expected, you shouldn’t abandon your Candidate Experience efforts. If anything, once businesses start rehiring post-Corona, these are days people will look back upon, and your actions will let your true colors shine through.

But how does one know they’re doing the right thing when trying to satisfy their job applicants in times of great turmoil? The solution is to measure Candidate Experience. There’s no better time for you to gather feedback from your candidates. Their guidance will help you redirect your post-crisis aim and focus on what matters most. Acting now gives you enough time to optimize your processes based on the insights from your feedback – don’t wait too long!