There's no denying that the COVID-19 pandemic changed things for employers. From layoffs to remote work to difficulty finding qualified candidates, hiring managers have been through it in the past year. The hiring process, candidate experience and onboarding has had to be updated to keep applicants interested and new employees successful. Let's take a closer look at what's changed or changing in 2021.
How the Candidate and New Hire Experience Has Changed.
Attracting New Applicants
Job seekers are more selective and/or hard to come by for some employers. In fact, some employers are taking creative measures to find and attract more qualified workers. Hiring managers are looking to hire quickly and transparently, improving the candidate experience for any and all who are applying. A positive candidate experience also improves new hire referrals from existing employees.
Recruiting and Hiring
Recruiting in the past year has gone remote. Recruiters had to think outside the proverbial box to connect with potential matches without meeting them in person. Recruiters and hiring managers have also been tasked with increasing their diversity hiring which includes addressing the gaps in diversity, equality and inclusion. Employers are looking to increase hiring within their organizations, seeking out specific job skills and lowering the costs of recruiting.
Background checks and screening have also been affected. When court closures slowed down background check turnaround last year, employers had to get selective about which screens were absolutely necessary. (VeriFirst has always suggested job-specific screening to minimize turnaround time and cost.) In 2021, many employers are opting out of drug-testing (or more specifically, marijuana drug screening) and others have opted into continuous screening or post-hire background checks.
Applicants are being asked interview questions that they've never been asked before. With some employers choosing remote or hybrid working models, job candidates are expected to be able to work with minimal or no supervision. Questions related to remote work preferences and the ability to stay connected to other distanced employees could be asked. Employers are also looking for employees that can adapt quickly, so they won't be taken by surprise if things change again.
With remote workers comes remote onboarding expectations. New hires are choosing positive employers with positive candidate experiences and expecting them to continue through onboarding. They are looking for authenticity, transparency and a productive start to their workplace experience. SHRM offers recommendations for onboarding and directly connects it with employee retention.
Most importantly, employers are looking for flexibility, both in their staff and their processes. Job seekers are looking for businesses that care about them and their needs. When both are satisfied, employee retention and productivity increase. The pandemic may have shaken things up but perhaps they needed to be shaken to find a new and better way to hire new employees.