The recruitment industry was one of the most impacted industries as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Due to the uncertainties presented by the virus, the entire industry was in complete chaos. Companies were scampering using all manner of tactics to deal with the effects of the pandemic – some were laying off staff while others were avoiding hiring simply because they did not know how things would turn out.
The virus may have been contained, and several aspects of economies are slowing reopening, but this does not mean that the effect on placement agencies will be immediate. So much has changed, and agencies are now forced to adapt in ways they have never done before if they are to continue meeting the expectations of their clients. Read below for a brief look at some of the challenges facing the industry, and some of the potential remedies that might be put in place to try and salvage the situation.
Increased caution in landing the right candidates.
Staffing agencies have been compelled to be super cautious in their hiring process so that they get only the candidates that are necessary for their organizations. With the pandemic, companies are more cautious than before. For instance, most have tightened the hiring process, introducing a lot of due diligence and proper prodding of candidates as well as open positions. For example, companies now must evaluate in detail if they need to fill in the positions they are hiring for.
It is no longer just a matter of having the right candidate for the job, but the job must also be right for the candidate. With such requirements in the hiring processes of companies, recruitment agencies have now been forced to be extremely cautious and choose potential hires with a higher degree of certainty.
Recruiting from home
The end of Covid-19 is still not certain, and consequently, both companies and recruiters will have to accept that norms have changed, such as face-to-face interviews during recruitment may not be possible anytime soon. Just like with many other industries, recruiting agencies in Montreal have opted for the relative safety of working from home – most of the businesses are currently being conducted in the comfort of homes, with recruiters and the candidates all working from home.
Recruiters are, therefore, resorting to the use of technology, it is a completely different work environment from the previous years when it was easy to simply call candidates in the office for interviews. Some of the technologies that recruiters are deploying are wide and varied, with the notable ones being video conferencing software, applicant tracking systems, and other collaborative technologies such as Slack and Microsoft Team.
Creating and maintaining a positive candidate experience
One of the most important things in the recruiting industry for ensuring greater satisfaction for the candidates is the candidate experience. With the current Covid-19 situation, however, ensuring a positive candidate experience is not a walk in the park since nearly everything is virtual. The outbreak of the virus has without a doubt negatively affected the candidate experience. As such, recruitment agencies and hiring managers now have to become more creative to ensure that despite the lack of face-to-face meetings, candidates are still guaranteed a good experience during the hiring process. One of the tips towards ensuring a good experience currently is to allow for clarity and assurances through the process so that the candidate clearly understands expectations.
Also, there is a need now more than ever for the outreach to be prompt and accurate. This simply implies that the candidate should get clear and concise details for all they need for the interviews and assessments. Also, should you encounter any technical glitches along the way, you should be equipped with some sort of Plan B so that everything goes as planned. Finally, it is a tough time for everyone, and some empathy is needed. The candidates are as nervous as you are, therefore, showing some vulnerability on your side could only be beneficial.
Struggling with diversity and inclusion
If you have not been thinking about the issue of diversity and inclusion as other placement agencies have been, you might want to start to consider these aspects as soon as possible. It is said that most recruitment agencies are still shy when it comes to diversity and inclusivity, yet they are in a very good position to promote diversity through the implementation of intentional recruitment practices. Such agencies can always be the very first point of contact and a powerful force. It may not be an easy task, but with foresight, work, and proper training, it is completely achievable, and it is a tool that recruiters can use for the benefit of all the parties involved.
The pandemic created a situation never witnessed before and, though, nearly every sector of the economy was affected, things must get moving forward. Recruitment agencies are a true force that can help the economy get back to a stronger position.