As the COVID-19 pandemic takes its toll on the economy, businesses are tweaking their strategies, resource management, and marketing tactics. Many industries like travel, tourism, hotels, entertainment, and other related sectors are freezing pay and hiring or carrying out massive layoffs.

On the other side, several industries like e-commerce, education, logistics, and e-services are hiring in lots as people take their activities online to maintain social distancing. This has led to a demand for more workforce and many have started absorbing the laid-off workers of other sectors. Many HR professionals are taking a future-oriented attitude and planning to their hiring practices regarding the benefit of their organizations.

Let’s understand these changes in recruitment brought about by the influence of COVID-19 here.

First of all, the hiring needs of most companies have changed. As many companies are forced to shut or downsize, we find a drastic decline in most of the industries, but in some, the demand has soared. Some companies have put their recruitment on hold. When we consider the companies that are active in hiring, the strategies are changing a lot.

With this pandemic, the biggest change in recruitment is about conducting the hiring process itself. In-person meetings are off the table these days and job interviews are conducted remotely through phone or video conferencing. Big tech companies have already adopted video calls as a common form of communication.

New Hiring Trends:

Some of the new hiring trends are:

Change in workforce landscapes:

Workforce dynamics are highly evolving. Many organizations are focusing on a mix of GIG, contractual, and, permanent employees. To ensure optimal use of resources across the organization, HR professionals are identifying and encouraging candidates with fluid horizontal and complementary skills. This helps the existing employees to quickly move up in their roles without affecting productivity.

When sourcing candidates become difficult as employees show less willingness to change as they value the security of jobs amid crisis, this would help the organization a lot in utilizing the resources to its maximum.

Virtual recruiting:

The new way of recruiting i.e., online recruitment – virtual recruitment is gearing up in all industries. Virtual recruiting is speeding up the hiring process as prospects, hiring managers, and key decision-makers are available on one platform simultaneously. Virtual recruitment has kept the hiring process moving while protecting the people from the coronavirus.

It also helps HR professionals to establish a rapport throughout the various stages of the interview. It helps the HR team to understand the strengths and weaknesses of a candidate leading to better hiring decisions.

Live interviews are conducted with Zoom, Skype, and other video call platforms. Moreover, there are recorded interviews wherein there is a combination of pre-recorded questions created and answers are recorded by the job candidates for revisiting and making hiring decisions.

However, it is noted that many companies are already using recruitment software before the COVID-19 and this transition was easier. Most of the processes remained the same for them while replacing face-to-face interviews to live video interviews.

Virtual onboarding:

Like, virtual recruitment process, the onboarding process has also gone virtual. Virtual onboarding makes the process smoother and faster while keeping new and old employees safe by maintaining social distancing norms.

The onboarding software package may include a company culture handbook, team videos, and a set of questionnaires. Further, many are defining a schedule for new employees to understand the career path, culture, and learnings. Many organizations are adopting AI and chatbot driven processes to improve their onboarding experiences.

The role of HR professionals

HR professionals are in crucial action mode to introduce and deal with unconventional and sudden changes happening due to COVID-19. As the frontline workers, they are expected to deal with the dynamic changes regarding working capacities, capabilities, and changes.

In brief, when agility is becoming the new order in the workplace, organizations require a renewed HR team. The new employee lifecycle has paved the way for an agile recruitment model which calls for the revitalized HR team. It is time for professionals to revisit their HR careers too.

As HR leaders focus on re-skilling their potential employees and equipping them for multi-tasking, learning and development are essential for HR too. To revisit their value proposition, it is recommended to focus on career development.

Innovation makes HR’s list in today’s priority list including digital, technical, and data visualization. Being agile, entrepreneurial, and deploying design thinking is the need of the hour.

There are best HR and talent management certification programs available that might help HR professionals to focus on learning and development in their HR career. This way, they can lead by example and encourage other employees for reskilling.

Exploring the future roles and career experiences in the context of COVID-19 post-era will help to improve the market value and encourage employees to increase their market value. It’s a win-win situation for HR professionals and the organization as well.

Author's Bio: 

Niti Sharma is a professional writer, blogger who writes for a variety of online publications. She is also an acclaimed blogger outreach expert and content marketer. She loves writing blogs and promoting websites related to education, fashion, travel, health and technology sectors.