COVID + Christmas = a needed shift

Improving interview-to-offer times is also a critical factor in talent acquisition, no-one likes to feel as though they’re being strung along. Once again, technology can help here, for example, the flexibility of video interviews or games based assessments offers candidates the ability to interview anytime, anywhere. This approach also helps to cut down hours for management who can instead invest their time into more valuable activities, rather than scheduling and attending interviews, writes Tom Cornell, Head of Assessment (APAC), Hirevue.

Despite infection rates falling and many states opening their borders, it would be wise to assume that we’re not out of the woods yet when it comes to COVID-19. At least until we have a guaranteed vaccine. More importantly for businesses, the pandemic has sparked several longer-term behavioural changes, as many of us increasingly interact online. As a result, in order to thrive in the next month, during what is typically a busy season, many industries will have to accordingly shift their approach to recruitment.

Treat candidates as you would your own customers. Remember, even if they don’t land the job, they’ll most likely still be using your services in future, so leave them with a great impression.

Serving consumers online
Firstly, instead of recruiting traditionally in-store or on-site positions, social distancing measures and the shift online, means businesses need to focus on roles that support virtual interactions.

For example, for retailers the $4 billion boom is seeing a pivot away from in-store to ecommerce, meaning retailers need to focus on talent that will help support a healthy ecommerce operation. This will include talent in fulfilment, logistics and contact centres.

Additionally, for larger businesses, it’s likely they will need to hire high volumes in a relatively short period of time, which in itself poses a challenge as hiring managers will potentially have to identify and then assess the skills of thousands of candidates.

The solution, for hiring relatively new positions en masse, is technology that can automate parts of the process. For example, the use of video interviews and online assessments can be used to seamlessly screen talent and narrow down the selection process. In a COVID environment, this also helps to cut down on non-essential in-person meetings.

Wooing talent online
For employers needing to rely more heavily on virtual interviews and assessments, the key is to maintain a human connection. The candidate mustn’t feel as though they’re just one of many on a hiring conveyor belt.

More importantly for businesses, the pandemic has sparked several longer-term behavioural changes, as many of us increasingly interact online. As a result, in order to thrive in the next month, during what is typically a busy season, many industries will have to accordingly shift their approach to recruitment.

Employers need to be as approachable and accessible as possible — therefore, employers should offer a personalised and user-centred experience. This can be achieved by interacting with and sourcing potential candidates in the channels where they are most likely to be, whether that’s via SMS, WhatsApp or LinkedIn. Making full use of these channels, adapting where necessary and using a human-tone can ensure candidates find it easy and even enjoyable to apply for roles.

As a business, with a brand to protect, you also want to deliver an interview process that is enjoyable. This means one that is hassle free and not too long winded. Treat candidates as you would your own customers. Remember, even if they don’t land the job, they’ll most likely still be using your services in future, so leave them with a great impression.

Improving interview-to-offer times is also a critical factor in talent acquisition, no-one likes to feel as though they’re being strung along. Once again, technology can help here, for example, the flexibility of video interviews or games based assessments offers candidates the ability to interview anytime, anywhere. This approach also helps to cut down hours for management who can instead invest their time into more valuable activities, rather than scheduling and attending interviews.

We’ve found that prospective employees are open to this approach, therefore it’s definitely one to consider during the holiday season. Over the past year, we’ve seen globally, virtual interview volumes amongst HireVue’s retail clients increase by 50 per cent from January to September from the prior year.

Also, we’re seeing a huge increase in on-demand video interviews being complete during weekends rising levels of chat based candidate engagement. These factors both show that candidates appreciate a flexible and personalised experience through the hiring phase.

Looking beyond Christmas
The migration to online interactions is nothing new. What we are seeing though is an acceleration of this shift. For example, C-suite executives say COVID-19 has accelerated their digital plans by as much as a decade in a matter of months, according to recent research by McKinsey & Company.

Employers need to be as approachable and accessible as possible — therefore, employers should offer a personalised and user-centred experience.

Therefore, if you are pivoting your hiring approach in the next month, consider that these changes are likely to be long-term, therefore ensure you rollout processes that are sustainable and have the support of the wider businesses. This altered approach to hiring isn’t just for Christmas.

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