November 14, 2022 | by Dr. Jia Wang

Optimizing Your Hiring Practices in the Post-Pandemic Workplace

Even before COVID-19, changing technologies and new ways of working had dramatically shaped the way businesses sourced and hired people — and the pandemic has only accelerated this dynamism. Today, the traditional workplace is being replaced by different modes of work; new skillsets are in demand, and talent diversity and inclusion are given more attention than ever.

According to World Economic Forum’s The Future of Jobs Report 2020, 84 percent of employers planned to expand remote working. They realized that to win the war for talent in this new world, they will need to rethink traditional approaches to talent acquisition and development.

Complacency about changing business and talent expectations can cost your business a competitive edge. Here are some emerging trends that will most likely impact future hiring practices.

Virtual hiring is here to stay. In the same way that hybrid and remote work structures are being normalized, a hiring process that combines both in-person and virtual components will become an increasingly common practice. For recruiters, virtual hiring powered by video interviews and digital feedback collection, offers unique advantages, such as removing geographical limits and reducing the time to hire. These benefits will allow companies to build a larger and more diversified talent pool, leading to a more inclusive workforce.

DEI-focused hiring is a ‘must have’. With a heightened awareness of social issues around them, more candidates will pay attention to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and make job choices based on their assessment of their future employer’s commitment to DEI and related policies. As a matter of fact, DEI is now key to sustainable business — a ‘must have,’ not ‘nice to have.’ Recruiters and hiring managers can take a leading role in building a diverse pipeline of candidates by developing inclusive job descriptions, forming a diverse hiring team, keeping cognitive biases in check, and mandating data-driven hiring decisions.

Employer branding is a new recruiting strategy. The pandemic has presented unprecedented challenges on multiple levels. For employees, this global crisis prompted many to rethink the meaning of work and life, leading to new phenomena, now known as the Great Resignation, and Quiet Quitting. For employers, the pandemic forced them to think about the value of people and find new ways to become the best place to work. Consequently, employer branding has become a critical business investment, and a key strategy for talent acquisition and retention. Talent acquisition leaders must make concerted efforts to improve their digital talent platforms. Here are some questions for you to consider. What values, vision, and mission does your company embrace? What compelling stories can you tell future employees about your company? Who can best advocate your brand? And, how will you showcase the greatness of your organization?

Hiring through talent networks. Given the changes in today’s workplace, it is imperative that business leaders and recruiters constantly nurture a pool of talent available for employment tomorrow, next month, or next year. In addition to relying on some of the traditional ways to attract future employees, such as the company website and career fairs, take advantage of digital job-seeking platforms such as Hire Digital and Indeed. They can give you instant access to a large database of potential applicants.

Updated recruiting skills are needed for the new world of work. Finally, for hiring professionals, the challenge is to stay ahead, or at least current. Here are some questions for self-assessment. What skills are required in the post-pandemic workplace? With the current skillset you have, are you effective as a recruiter? What additional skills do you need to acquire to prepare yourself for the next challenge to stay ahead of the curve? How will you fill your knowledge gap? As a hiring manager or recruiter, if you have not already invested in learning and development for yourself, now it is the time.

So much has changed to the workforce and the workplace by the COVID-19 pandemic. With each unexpected challenge, comes with a learning opportunity. Perhaps one of the biggest takeaways offered by this global crisis is the importance of human capital to the sustainability of an organization. For business leaders and HR professionals, demonstrating this elevated appreciation for people starts with a full commitment to optimizing your hiring practices. So, take action today!

Dr. Jia Wang is a professor in the Department of Educational Administration and Human Resource Development at Texas A&M University. Her research focuses on international and national human resource development, organization crisis management, and learning within organizations.

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