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Adapting Hiring to Disruption

It is inevitable that once the economy stabilises and companies recover, there will be a surge in companies increasing their hiring in order to match up to the competition in their respective markets. As such, the industry must retaliate to disruption by adapting hiring methods, fine tuning industry specialisms and paying strict attention to trends.

Securing the right talent could be fundamental to accelerating recovery and despite the new regulations, more and more companies are embracing virtual hiring. Subsequently, virtual onboarding may become the ‘new normal’ for hiring, with companies like CVS going virtual almost overnight by hosting virtual hiring events and looking to hire around 50,000 more to suit recent demands. Similarly, tech giants like Google, Twitter, Microsoft, and IBM are planning virtual internships as are the financial powerhouses like JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. The commitment by the companies that can operate remotely to building a talent pipelines provides confidence that the long term implications of not investing in talent outweighs the hopefully shorter term impacts of coronavirus. The surge of hiring using these methods is supported by an article in Business Leader, which suggests that unlike previous economic crises (like the 2008 recession), companies are being put in the position where they want to or need to hire people, but are restricted due to the nationwide lockdown.  

There may have been a fundamental changes to the interview process too. A recent study by Checkster noted that the use of telephone and video interview increased by over 60% during the pandemic and those firms that used significantly more remote hiring methods actually had faster turnaround times when hiring new employees. Checkster also noted that a majority of individuals who started using remote tools for video interviews, reference checks and phone interviews wanted to keep using these tools even after COVID-19, suggesting that the incorporation of remote interview methodologies is here to stay. Further supporting this train of thought is the fact that: more remote working; accelerating digital transformation; implementing change faster; faster decision making; and increasing automation are the top five permanent changes to businesses following coronavirus as identified by a survey conducted by Eden McCallum. If companies don’t embrace technological changes, new ways of interviewing and remote onboarding, they’ll find themselves left out of the new normal.

The UK Government’s furlough scheme provides scope for companies to retain staff, but also gives them the strength to invest in hiring once they are back on their feet, thus improving the strength of business long-term. This stance is corroborated by thought that the government release of £330bn to fight COVID-19 will have a significant impact on businesses’ ability to retain staff and “will make it quicker and easier for companies to return to previous levels of productivity, which can only be a good thing for the recruitment sector.” Respectively this is not only promising for the hiring industry, but could bring a much-needed resurgence across the board.

With the world becoming increasingly reliant on technology and the digital sector to function remotely, hiring for specifically skilled individuals across AI, IT and Digital is likely to increase. In corroboration, BCG recently claimed that whilst companies in some industry sectors are trimming staff to deal with the crisis, “the pool of available tech talent may temporarily expand.” So, whilst some sectors aren’t hiring, this is being balanced out by a surge in skill and sector specific hiring based on strategies to keep businesses functioning. The High Value Management Consultancy firm Kearney recently discussed ways in which leaders could capitalise and optimise their digital transformation practices. They foresee an increase in the opportunity for driving value across artificial intelligence and automation to suit the new way of working. In conjunction with this, Sylvain Duranton (BCG AI Expert) outlines that “AI-powered companies may be well positioned to thrive once the Covid-19 crisis abates.”

The use of telemedicine and virtual health platforms are both on the rise, with Teledoc Health (a large US telemedicine service) increasing their services by 50% in March, and adding thousands of doctors to its network. A McKinsey & Company insight suggests that most Healthcare leaders are assembling high-functioning teams to respond to the surge of patients. With these services under increasing pressure many specialists have agreed that the virus is accelerating the adoption of new technologies to help with the feed of information, advice, and treatment of Covid-19. An article in Mobi Health News urges that all stakeholders act quickly to overcome barriers for a wide implementation push of digital solutions. They also explain that the main challenge facing digitally enabled healthcare is scaling up capacities by training and hiring new healthcare professionals.

Despite the fears and the disruption to life in the recent months, it can be said that we are in a unique position that presents us with the time and resources to take stock, pause and reflect. With many preparing for post-lockdown, investing in hiring can be seen as a fundamental requirement to the future of stability and the ‘new normal.’ As suggested by Glassdoor, job search activity often picks up during recession and can flood hiring teams with an overwhelming amount of candidate data. Now may be the ideal time for companies to take stock and audit current hiring channels and methods to ensure they are on the best possible route to recovery. Virtual onboarding presents the opportunity for companies to continue hiring and developing teams when and where they need to most and in areas that are crucial to business. The best thing that we can do for the survival of business is adapt to our circumstances in all aspects.

IRG continues to work digitally with our clients as they expand and invest in their teams across EMEA and North America. We also conduct comprehensive Market Mapping and Market Research for firms looking to understand the market fully before committing to hiring. Contact a member of the Leadership Team to find out how we can assist your organisation.