Top 6 Challenges for Recruitment Agencies in 2020

2020 has not been a good year for most industries. The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic threw everything into disarray, and for most of the year, many businesses and corporations just struggled to stay afloat. The recruitment industry was one of the hardest-hit. Businesses were shutting down, some were downsizing, and the majority of them put in place measures that allow their employees to work remotely. But despite all the ups and downs of the year, recruitment continues to be a growing need, since companies are always on the lookout for the next best talent. Here is a brief look at some of the challenges that most recruitment agencies faced in 2020:

Dealing with the Impacts of the Covid-19 Pandemic

The greatest challenge that placement agencies had to deal with in 2020 was the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. With countries closing their borders, travel being restricted, businesses downsizing or shutting down, and slow economic growth in multiple sectors, recruitment agencies found themselves in a position that they had never been in before. As a result of the pandemic, hiring activities were significantly reduced. With so much uncertainty, most companies were reluctant to recruit because they just didn’t know how long the pandemic would last. In addition to the anxiety caused by such uncertainty, many companies were downsizing in order to absorb some of the economic impacts. For most agencies, therefore, 2020 was a relatively quiet year, especially when the pandemic was at its peak around mid-year.

Conducting face-to-face or physical interviews

Conducting face to face interviews become a challenge for most of the recruitment agencies owing to the restriction on travels. Since remote interviews have always been an option during instances when distance, urgency, or travel restrictions dictated so, there are just certain fields where remote interviews are never the right option in determining who the right candidate might be. For example, hiring in technical fields where a practical demonstration was a part of the hiring process became very difficult in cases where candidates couldn’t travel as a result of the restrictions.

Candidates Fielding Multiple Offers at the Same Time

Due to the Covid-19 outbreak many businesses and companies had to send their staff home – either temporarily or permanently. This led to an increased number of unemployed people scrambling for a limited number of opportunities. Consequently, most of the candidates were applying for multiple jobs, in a bid to increase their chances of landing one. The candidates sometimes applied for different positions within the same company and sometimes made multiple applications at different companies. This is always a challenge for recruiters during the hiring process. The candidate will never be fully present psychologically speaking, with their toes dipped in so many ponds.

Accurately and Fairly Assessing the Skills of the Candidate

The main aim of every recruiting agency in Montreal is to hire the right candidate for the available position. This implies that before they settle on any candidate, the agency must have the conviction that the candidate possesses the necessary skills to achieve positive results when given the chance. This is not just a challenge in 2020, but is something recruiters have always had to deal with. Depending on the industry and the position available, there are various ways agencies can gauge whether or not a candidate’s skill set is a good match. With the varying range of abilities candidates may possess, this is not always an easy task, Agencies have several different approaches for dealing with the candidates they interview.

Hiring Managers Rigidity Vis-a-vis the Candidate they Have in Mind

You can think of it as hiring managers being somewhat inflexible in terms of the candidates they’re looking for, or you can see it as a glaring gap in the number of qualified candidates. Either way, some managers have been accused of being too picky during the selection process, with the candidates they desire to have. In 2020, Covid-19 has something to do with it. Since there are so many people scrambling for the available positions, hiring managers are concerned that there might be a lot of chaff among the applicants, and feel that if they lower their guard, they might end up with candidates they want to avoid.

Ensuring a Good Experience for the Candidate

The candidate’s experience is a factor not only when it comes to employer branding, but also during the evaluation process for a potential a job offer. Most temp agencies and hiring managers don’t realize that the way a candidate is treated during the hiring process is a reflection of how they will be treated after the hiring process. Should they have a nasty experience during the hiring process, they will be less likely to accept the offer. On the other hand, a good experience will make the candidate more likely to accept the offer if they are given the chance. Again, this is not an issue only in 2020 – but Covid-19 certainly didn’t make it any easier to navigate.

The other challenges that most recruitment agencies face in 2020 include creating an efficient recruitment process, building a strong employer brand, using data-driven approaches in recruitment, and a lack of industry-specific knowledge to respond to the candidates’ questions.