Businesses in all sectors have spent much of the past year scrambling to adapt to extraordinary circumstances. The employment landscape in the UK and around the globe has changed dramatically. Companies in highly-impacted industries may find themselves either laying off or continuing to furlough employees. However, there are organisations that will need to scale up when they emerge from the current crisis.
While the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic is not entirely won, there is at least a faint light at the end of the tunnel. Despite the unpredictability, we can be sure that the job market will recover, and hiring will begin again.
Five challenges organisations currently face for a hiring recovery
Meraki Talent doesn’t need to tell you how different the world, economy and recruitment landscape looks today compared to February 2019 - we’ve all experienced it within our businesses, and even in our own homes.
Upskilling vs Hiring
Organisations are likely to have already implemented upskilling and reskilling programmes for current staff as a way to keep the company operating. In the long run, upskilling employees can improve staff engagement and retention, attract new talent, increase collaboration between departments and speed up the adoption of new trends within the organisation. However, there are likely to be areas where recruitment needs to take place, such as in the growing area of IT as there might be a need to hire experienced tech specialists.
Talent Acquisition Teams (TAS)
Of course, we don’t know exactly what the economic recovery will look like, or even when it will happen, but we do know that employers are facing a different talent landscape than pre- pandemic. For companies that have TAS teams, these may have been scaled down as internal recruitment has been on hold, or projects set aside. Going forward, companies may decide to rebuild their teams, or outsource their recruitment. If they currently have an in-house team, how realistic is it for them to take on all of the challenges included in a hiring recovery?
More Applicants than before
The UK unemployment rate in the three months to January 2021 was estimated at 5.0%. In Scotland alone, the unemployment rate during the same period was 4.1%. This current unemployment rate results in a high volume of applications.
If we think back to 2019, for many sectors it was one of the most difficult job markets to hire in; it was challenging to find someone for virtually every job, and recruiters were struggling with low volumes of applicants. Today, we are seeing hundreds of ‘good’ applicants for every position advertised. As such, hiring managers have to deal with more applicants, which can potentially create a poor candidate experience when recruiters are busy and don’t follow up with every candidate. With employer branding vital nowadays, we are already witnessing companies being shamed on LinkedIn and Glassdoor, when they have failed to feedback or communicate to applicants.
A substantial portion of a business’s success is attributed to hiring suitable candidates at the correct time. Remote working has become the ‘new normal’, which opens up new possibilities to companies, especially those who might be looking for specialist skills, for example in finance or IT. If you are just getting started with your first remote hire or building a remote team, know that this is not a process to treat lightly. It can bring fantastic benefits to the organisation, but selection and interview processes need to be robust.
If you haven’t been hiring since the pandemic began, you may also need to revise parts of your recruitment process for the health and safety of your employees and candidates. With current government guidance and the trend of remote workers, it might be that hiring and onboarding continues to take place online. It is therefore important to think about interviews, assessments and onboarding exercises for new starters.
A helping hand
We know the economy is going to get better, however we don’t know exactly when – so now is the time to start these conversations, and begin planning. Even if your company is not ready to make hires now, you should embark on conversations about when and how you will recruit when the time comes. That way, you won’t have a long lead time to delay your hiring process. Meraki Talent can help, so if you are looking for advice or guidance about your hiring, simply give us a call.