For some, the pandemic has meant furloughs and job losses; for others, it has meant expansion and a hiring frenzy. Industries hit the hardest by COVID-19 include hospitality, tourism, travel, and transportation, while healthcare, e-commerce, and others, are facing a sudden boom in the need to hire new employees.

Due to remote working, the resource pool for certain skill-sets and categories has grown, as earlier recruiters used to look for local resources but now, organizations are comfortable with resources working from any geography. With remote working, the female working population has also increased. But for certain roles, there is still a huge shortage. For example, customer service companies are struggling to get good resources, as many of their offshore customer service centers are closed due to COVID. Also, some of the big retailers and e-commerce brands are experiencing a shortage of drivers and delivery staff.

While the number of job postings has dropped, there are certain roles firms are unable to fill fast enough, specifically in security, cloud computing, data science, robotic process automation, artificial intelligence, and collaboration (around remote working enablement). The rapid adoption of disruptive technologies, because of the global pandemic, has led to a shortage of qualified candidates in these fields. Employees across the globe are apprehensive about making major career decisions or changes. With the huge rise of unemployment over the past year, many of those still employed are choosing to play it safe and most are not actively looking for new job opportunities. This is posing a significant challenge for recruiters looking for new talent.

The pandemic and subsequent economic conditions have greatly affected IT hiring; however, IT professionals are faring better than most overall. While demand for IT talent has been affected, opportunities are still very much there with the shift in focus domains and technologies. Recruiters are facing a shortage of experienced talent in emerging fields, due to increased demand. They are struggling to fill these needs, due to preexisting talent gaps. Additionally, the shift to fully remote workforces has human resource professionals searching for the best remote working tools that suit their organization’s needs and culture. One of the major reasons why recruiters are struggling is due to the lack of agility in processes, as many hiring teams are not designed for agility and bandwidth to reach a larger population base.

During times of uncertainty and upheaval, it is critical to respond swiftly and take the immediate action that the crisis demands. Effective and timely communication is key. Recruiters should ensure that the organization can communicate to all employees (even during out of office hours) when an important or immediate policy change has been implemented, due to new government health and safety guidelines.
Staffing organizations are now looking for intelligent automated systems that provide a virtual screening environment and interview experience to meet client needs. The usability of such solutions has increased primarily because the resource base is putting more pressure on the recruiter’s bandwidth.

Recruiters who were apprehensive about remote hiring must now use remote hiring tools to conduct online interviews and onboarding, in order to ramp up remote hiring and working capabilities. Some of these technology tools and innovations include the following:

• Microsoft Teams is a very advanced and comprehensive tool to manage the entire recruitment cycle digitally and through process automation. Its uses are not limited to setting up video calls, but also greatly helps manage virtual interviews with multiple stakeholders, share interview questions, candidate responses, and previous communication with all participants, manage interview status of all prospective candidates in the planner, and more.
• AI for recruiting is an emerging category of HR technology designed to eliminate time-consuming activities, like manually screening resumes and sending acknowledgment and status emails, and more.
• AI-based chatbots are critical when reaching out to hundreds of applicants. They have the potential to improve the candidate experience, support new employee onboarding and allow recruiters to use analytical data to present recruiting KPI’s, including quality of hire, etc.
• Big data and data analysis allow recruiters to make data-driven hiring decisions, rather than decisions based on their intuition or “gut feeling.”

Now is the time for intelligent recruiting through smart candidate discovery, integrated and structured interviews, seamless recruitment, and accurate data. The new emphasis on remote working has the potential to lead to an increase in the amount of diverse talent coming into organizations in the future, as a physical location is no longer a barrier. The opportunities are exciting – businesses that were reluctant to shift to remote working are realizing that not only does it work, but also that it’s a great tool to attract, and retain talent. Recruiters will find amazing talent without having to conduct lengthy, time-consuming, and expensive searches, as they now have more resources at their disposal than ever before. To ensure your securing top talent, be sure to engage with your network across many channels, expand the search beyond your geographical location, and promote internal vacancies through online job fairs.

The recent crisis and unprecedented situation have given birth to the new concept of a borderless workforce. Organizations are adopting this idea by leveraging modern processes, leading-edge recruitment technology, and remote solutions to fulfill their staffing requirements.

This new concept helps businesses stay operational without compromising the quality of work or the health and safety of their employees. Hiring experts should work toward building a recruiting technology roadmap, which can be used by recruitment leaders to make informed decisions about integrating technology into their efforts. Right now, there is a huge opportunity for employers to analyze their current workforce to see how they can upskill and train them to meet future needs. There is a strong sense that organizations won’t go back to the old ways of operating and thinking, but instead try to use the current pandemic as an opportunity to build a new and better normal.