James Hyndman

How COVID-19 has changed recruitment


 

COVID-19 has taken the globe by storm and introduced new words and phrases to the lexicon. From “social distancing” to “flatten the curve”, perhaps the most overused term of them all is “the new normal”. Played out though it may be, it’s also extremely accurate, as many aspects of life and the world of work may never be quite the same as they used to be. This includes the recruitment industry.

Going fully remote

Perhaps the biggest shift is the typical work environment. Prior to the pandemic, being in offices was the norm. But out of an abundance of caution and in an attempt to flatten the aforementioned curve, businesses around the country closed their doors and encouraged employees to work remotely. While working from home is neither new nor novel, going fully remote was for many people. For some, the shift has been quite difficult; while for others, the transition was smooth. More than two-thirds of Australian respondents in a Springfox poll said they’re “okay” with returning to work at some point, but 40% acknowledged feeling anxious or cautious about going back.

Mom working from homeWorking from home may be something employees want to do permanently.

This suggests more people may prefer to work 100% remotely moving forward, something that employers may want to evaluate to see if it makes sense for them and include as a perk in online job postings and listings.

Joanne Orlando, a researcher at Western Sydney University, told ABC News that such a move could be a game-changer in terms of cost savings.

“I think businesses will be able to see there’s quite a bit of money to be saved by not having to pay for office space,” Orlando explained. “This shove into working from home, I think it might actually allow more flexible working arrangements.”

Business people interviewing womanIn-person job interviews may no longer be the norm.

Conducting interviews by video conference

Another way the coronavirus has altered the business and recruitment universe is in terms of interviewing. Typically, job interviews occur in-person, where the interviewer(s) and interviewee share the same space. But a case could be made for allowing applicants to interview via video conference. Connecting via Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams or GoToMeeting, may help applicants relax and ultimately perform better. At the same time, however, there is something to be said for face-to-face interviews, as it’s easier to read body language and other non-verbal cues.

COVID-19 is unlike anything most of us have seen before. It could fundamentally change how Australians work and businesses recruit moving forward. Time will tell whether it’s for better or for worse.