The most significant legacy of the pandemic is the remote working norm. According to a survey, only about 8% of the employees that had office jobs worked remotely from their homes. However, post-2020, this number increased to over 40%, and in some cases even more.
Business owners have always been skeptical of the effects that remote work can have on productivity and efficiency. However, we all know how WFH has been a successful social experiment. It not only produced better results but also reduced expenses on workforce management.
Office rents and utility bills reduced to null. Besides, employee efficiency improved.
What has changed over the last year (statistics)
According to a January 2021 survey, college graduates were four times more likely to work from home. And degree holders were six times more likely to take up remote working opportunities.
Experts at The Conference Board analyzed some of the LinkedIn and Indeed ads for hiring. According to their survey:
- Nearly 68% of computer skills and mathematical jobs mentioned remote work as an option.
- About 54% of ads for business and financial operators offered work from home.
A Feb 2021 report suggested:
- 8% ads for actuaries and 8% for software developers mentioned WFH. This number is already up from less than 2% of the hiring ads in Feb 2020.
Another survey report supports this prediction too.
- Nearly 10% of business owners said they would hire fully remote staff. This number was reported less than 5% before the pandemic struck.
- About 51% of business owners said they would hire staff who can occasionally come to the office.
- And only 12% said they would not hire any remote staff.
- Before the pandemic, about 48% of the business owners said otherwise.
The numbers are pretty evident that WFH culture is going to last longer than the pandemic. And probably stay for nearly years to come. However, this shift from in-office jobs to remote working will be posing some challenges before recruiters.
How business owners and recruiters can adjust their programs
The statistics mentioned above evidently prove that recruiters and business owners need to change their hiring strategies. For the most, embracing the remote working norm has already resulted in a bigger labor pool with reduced labor costs.
Recruiters are already exploring prospects and potential employees from a global pool. More and more business owners are leveraging a boundless talent pool.
Refining hiring strategy
In 2020, nearly 114 million jobs were lost to the pandemic. Some businesses suffered closure while others struggled to get through it. Nonetheless, this has caused permanent ramifications to the recruitment and hiring industry.
According to the experts, the jobseekers are now preferring job security and safety over other factors while applying for a new position. The recruiters would not only have to refine their hiring process but also their employment screening procedures. From application to interviews and then onboarding, everything would need recalibration.
It is noteworthy that financial rewards are no longer adequate to attract talents. The recruiters would need to go far and beyond. And since the hiring procedures are more likely to be remote, the recruiters would also need to leverage technology. Not just the video conferencing apps but also other tools that could streamline the hiring procedure for both – employee and employer.
The recruiters not only need to refine the hiring strategy but also their onboarding process. In the pre-pandemic world, this process was typically carried out with pen and paper. But it is no longer feasible to onboard any new hiree in paper formats.
Typically, the onboarding process included getting personal details like previous employment records, identity proofs, account details, and more. Although most of these can easily be managed with the help of cloud technologies, there’s one thing that is pretty difficult to manage – introduction to the company operations.
Experts point out one of the critical problems, particularly for remote work. While earlier it was accessible to onboard an employee, you introduce them and hand over their system and desk. But, since the recruitments would be preferably remote, the employers need to find a way to hand over company equipment to the new hirees. For security and productivity reasons, employers cannot skip this step. Instead, they need to find a solution to it.
Employee eligibility or identification
For most businesses, especially the ones registered and hiring in the US, some legal obligations are to be met. Business owners need to get their employees verified and registered with their organization.
In most cases, these legal formalities are to be completed in person. It means that both parties, the employer and the employee, must be present at the time of verification. But, since employees are more likely to work from home, and the recruiters also prefer to work remotely, this could be a bit of a challenge.
Some industry insiders suggest digitalizing these legal formalities, while others suggest calling the prospects for a one-time personal meeting. Regardless, these matters are the least of all that employers and recruiters can control. Hopefully, some amendments and bills may further in parliamentary sessions that may ease this process for recruiters.
In the pre-pandemic world, most companies and recruiters looked at hiring people as a transaction. They only needed to fill a seat. However, the pandemic has been an eye-opener for many.
Not only are employers growing smarter, but the employees are also more concerned about their future security. Most of all, the employees and job seekers are now turning their heads from small businesses to more prominent brands. And the reason is quite simple – brands offer more financial security.
This is yet another challenge that most business owners would need to overcome. While there are financial limitations for small businesses, better talents can be hired at lower salaries if the recruitment is done the right way. Business owners need to adopt a more streamlined hiring process. And most importantly, employers need to be more transparent with jobseekers especially, if they are looking for a long-term relationship.