Post-COVID Recruiting Trends

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By Loyd McIntosh

Now that 2020 is behind us and, with any luck, the worst of the coronavirus pandemic on the wane, people will be anxious to get out of the house and back to work. That means everything will be going back to normal soon, correct? Not so fast! Even with people returning to the workforce, the effects of 2020 have permanently changed the world of work, and not just for the white-collar worker who can work remotely. In the post-Covid-19 world, job seekers and employers of every type will have new expectations about where and how they work. Here are predictions of industry experts on post-COVID recruiting trends.

FILLING THE SKILLS GAP 

Despite so many people out of work, 87 percent of employers say they are struggling to fill positions as a result of the skills gap, according to data provided by the job board Monster.com. 

“Even though there are tens of millions unemployed, we still have a skills gap for a highly skilled workforce – that’s not going to go away,” says Bob Melk, chief commercial officer, Monster. “If employers are investing in establishing a dialogue with candidate pools, they will be in a much stronger position when they are ready to hire again.”

Staffing agencies like Automation Personnel Services can be leaned on to create training programs to help reskill candidates who demonstrate leadership, teamwork and problem-solving skills says Tim Robbins, VP of staffing and recruiting for Monster. “There’s an opportunity to upskill candidates, helping to change candidates’ lives with significant new career and growth opportunities.”

WORKPLACE SAFETY 

According to more research by Monster, 58 percent of candidates say their job search expectations have shifted during the coronavirus pandemic, and projections for 2021 indicate more post-COVID recruiting trends along these lines ahead. Among their top priorities: safety. 

“Employers are very concerned and conscientious about the importance of this issue,” says Herman. Some have added verbiage in their job descriptions along those lines, while others are spelling out their COVID-19 safety plans on their career sites, she adds. Besides sanitation and social distancing protocols, many employers are giving employees an option to return when they feel safe or have a hybrid schedule. 

“Companies understand how they handle this speaks volumes about their brand and employees and prospective candidates are watching how they handle this and expect them to take action,” says Beth Herman, regional sales director, Monster. 

With the pandemic expected to continue through the first quarter of 2021, candidates will be concerned about how serious an employer takes workplace safety. “This will be critically important. Candidates won’t want to go into a physical workplace if the company is not taking safety seriously.” 

EMOTIONAL WELLBEING 

By this stage of the pandemic, life as we know it has been altered significantly, and the emotional damage is apparent. Almost everyone at this point has experienced the loss of a loved one, had coronavirus themselves, seen their children’s education altered, or lost a job, not to mention the isolation and skyrocketing levels of social mistrust.  

Employers, especially staffing agencies, will be called on to help job seekers and employees cope with that stress. “In these times, every company needs to take care of the emotional needs of their employees,” writes Jonathan Kidder at Human Resources Today. “(I)f you show your concern for their mental and emotional wellbeing, they will become more loyal and hardworking to you. 

“Though it would have not been an issue a year ago,” Kidder adds, “many of your employees have gone through something bad, and you must help them deal with that stress and depression.”

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