Josh Smith Gibson Watts

Recruitment and onboarding: How the pandemic has changed the process

By Josh Smith

The recruitment and onboarding of candidates always comes with challenges. But COVID-19 has brought a whole new wrath of hurdles into the equation. With several safety precautions, physical limitations and financial setbacks to deal with, recruitment and onboarding has been forced to adapt to this new remote-first environment.

However, as vaccinations are becoming more available and workplaces are beginning to plan for transitioning people back to the office, some hiring practices look set to move back to pre COVID-19 ways. Whist some look here to stay.

We’ve identified some key ways recruitment and hiring processes have changed in the past year.

The process often takes longer

With the challenges stated above and more, extra processes need to be implemented to successfully recruit and onboard. This includes ensuring the candidate has the right home environment to work efficiently and making sure that even through a virtual interview, the client gets all the right information to make an informed decision about the candidate.

To help overcome these challenges, more communication between the client, candidates and recruiter is required, so everyone is well informed, and both the candidate and client can make informed decisions throughout each phase.

When it comes to onboarding, a virtual introduction will require a more engaged approach and may also require a longer period. Unlike an introduction to the office, new recruits won’t get to meet a lot of the team in their first day and won’t get to ask as many questions. Therefore, it’s important feedback is gained frequently, and candidates feel able to communicate any questions.

Digital is here to stay

The pandemic has definitely taught us that technology can be effective in successfully managing the recruitment and onboarding process. From virtual meetings and interviews to on-boarding and training. With the right platforms, these new ways of hiring can make organisations more efficient and enable access to a wider talent tool. In fact, 81% of talent professionals agree virtual recruiting will continue post-COVID-19, and 70% believe it will become the new standard.

Source: LinkedIn

With the increase in digital comes the decrease in face-to-face interaction. Therefore, it’s important candidate monitoring is carried out regularly. To incentivise candidates, benefits packages should also incorporate well-being activities to help improve employee mental health. These can include discounts to gyms or passes to online fitness classes. Companies now need to be looking at how they can attract and retain candidates by support employee’s mental and physical health and wellbeing.

Changes in the job market

Since the onset of COVID-19, internal mobility has increased by nearly 20% year-over-year. As the pandemic has forced the requirement of certain skills, for example those in tech or problem-solving, there’s been increased demand for employees to have a wider variety of skillset. Therefore, rather than recruiting more employees to fill these gaps, upskilling is becoming a more favourable option.

There’s likely to become a wider emphasis on building employees’ skills within the company and encouraging long-term growth in their roles. When it comes to recruiting, employers are also looking at how someone will fit into the organisation long-term, rather than just having the skills to fill a specific role at a specific time.

Coronavirus has changed the way the industry works and the job market. However, a key to success is communication and agility. With an ever-changing market, it’s important for recruiters to stay ahead of the curve and adapt their approach to fit the new and changing landscape.

If you would like help finding your next candidate, or expanding your workforce globally, speak to a member of our team today.

Written by Rob Walker, Senior Consultant Gibson Watts.

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