Insight September 29, 2022 Colin Gillespie

The Ultimate Guide to Hiring Post-Pandemic

We are slowly emerging from the shadows of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we’re all trying to re-contextualize our businesses and working lives in the midst of the new normal. For companies who are looking to hire, this is especially challenging as the entire recruitment landscape looks very different from what it looked like just two years ago.

Remote working is obviously a key topic with 57% of employees working remotely at least part of the time, but it doesn’t stop there. There is a range of new adjustments that need to be made as a result of this pandemic – because things have changed for good. 46% of recruiters believe that global workplace pandemic changes will become permanent. You should be preparing for that possibility if you want to remain relevant moving forward.

In this guide, we’ll walk through some of the main considerations that should be top of mind as you adjust your hiring practices for a post-pandemic world. Hopefully, by taking these into account and applying them to your unique situation – you can make the most of how the world has changed.

Understanding the Lay of the Land

The first step that any company must take is to assess the current state of affairs in their particular market. It’s clear to see that the supply and demand dynamics have seen a radical shift and any hiring strategy is going to rely on a solid understanding of what the market looks like right now.

In the EdTech industry, this is crucial because we’ve seen more dramatic shifts than many other industries have in the past 18 months. Taking your time to evaluate the challenges you’re facing is the only way to make smart decisions as you move forward.

Don’t Forget the Pre-Pandemic Workforce Realities

Many of the trends that we’re seeing were not solely symptoms of the pandemic, but rather have just been accelerated by the changes in the global business ecosystem. It’s for this reason that it is important to remember the workforce realities that we were facing before the pandemic itself.

Hiring times were coming down, interactions were shifting to virtual ones, remote work was growing, and the millennial generation was showing that they cared about a wide range of new considerations. These realities were making their impact before the virus and they continue to play a role today. If you acknowledge how this impacts your organization, you give yourself a much better chance to make the right adjustments for the years to come.

Put the Tools in Place Today

It’s impossible to understate the impact of technology in the world of hiring, and your ability to leverage the available new solutions goes a long way to predicting your eventual results. The trick though is to be proactive with these tools including applicant tracking systems and communication platforms.

You need to be thinking long-term and installing the enabling tech that you’ll need in the future so that when you get there, you’re ready to go. The value of technology compounds over time, so the earlier you invest in it – the more your results will scale.

Elevate the Candidate Experience

The hiring process is a two-way experience and in order to captivate the great talent you’re hoping to hire, you need to make the recruitment process one that aligns with how you want to be seen as a company. Candidates today are spoiled for choice and the quality of the candidate experience is quickly becoming a crucial part of their decision-making framework. By elevating the candidate experience, you set the tone for your organization and you ensure that you’re putting your best foot forward.

A great way to continually improve on this is to ask for feedback from the people who go through the process. They can often help you to identify components that need improvement – so that you can always work to enhance the experience from start to finish. This is something that should always be a work-in-progress.

Research from Retorio shows that 64% of candidates who experience a negative hiring process would share that experience with family and friends, with 27% going on to actively dissuade others from applying to that same organization. The candidate experience has significant knock-on effects on the way that your company is perceived. So why not get it right?

Clarify Your Employer Brand

Taking a new job is a very personal process and from the outside, candidates have very little to go on when it comes to understanding the inner workings of the company. That’s what makes your brand such an important signaling factor. Your employer brand is the perception that potential candidates will have about your company – and it will impact the types of people who are attracted to your organization in the first place.

It’s important to mention that your employer brand is subtly different from your company brand in some important ways. While your company brand speaks to the value proposition for customers, an employer brand speaks to the value proposition for employees. There will be some overlap in terms of the mission and strategic objectives, but an employer brand takes things further to encompass working culture, treatment of staff, and growth potential for an individual’s career. Making this as clear as possible is a vital component of a hiring process that attracts the sorts of people you’re hoping to hire, while simultaneously screening away those that won’t be a fit.

Automate Your Hiring Process

A strong hiring process is all about efficiency – finding the best way to move people through your funnel without compromising on quality along the way. When you have only a couple of candidates to consider this is relatively easy, but as things grow it becomes more and more challenging. The most successful companies are the ones who leverage technology to help them streamline workflows and eliminate bottlenecks.

One of the ways you can do this is through carefully considered automation. There is a wide range of different parts of the hiring process that don’t actually require human intervention. Any tedious procedural work, generic communication, scheduling, and the like can often be done better and faster by machines. Automating these tasks allows you to free up time and resources for your staff so that they can focus on higher-value things. This is not only great for morale, but it makes for a much stronger hiring pipeline overall.

Expand Your Talent Sourcing

Good talent is harder to come by than ever before and it calls for new strategies and techniques, especially within EdTech. That’s what makes it so important to expand your talent sourcing – to reach into new networks and modalities that have become important in a post-pandemic world.

These include leveraging your existing employees, engaging on social media, attending industry-specific events, producing content that attracts talent, and more. By expanding your sourcing you’ll get in front of many more people – which improves the overall quality of candidates that you interact with. This is especially true when you consider how many potential candidates are passive and not actively looking for jobs. You need to go out and find them, rather than the other way around.

Solidify Talent Pipelines

Building on the point above, each pipeline that you use needs regular attention to ensure that continues to provide value for you. That’s why having a clear strategic vision for your hiring is so important. By having this clarity in mind, you can action the regular maintenance that you need so that each pipeline is looked after and receives enough attention to keep it fresh.

This all needs to be done in advance of when you need it. It’s too late to be trying to pull these together when you have an urgent hiring situation. The more you can get ahead of things, the more decisive you can be, and the better candidates you’ll be able to close on.

Don’t Compromise On Quality By Rushing

There’s a tendency, in the midst of our current talent shortage, to rush through the hiring process because there’s a real sense of urgency. However, when you do so – you can find yourself hiring below the level of quality that you should be expecting. That’s why it’s important to take your time and trust in the systems and branding that you’ve invested in – to get you the quality that you need.

Hiring the wrong person can be a very expensive mistake and it takes a long time to rectify. So, assuming you have the right strategic pillars in place – it’s much better to be patient when making these decisions. Slow down and ensure that the person you’re bringing on board is aligned with what you’re doing and is going to make an immediate impact in the area in which they are joining.

Be Prepared to Do Your Full Hiring Process Virtually

If there’s one thing the pandemic taught us about business, it’s that most of it can happen virtually. It’s the exact same thing with hiring. The future of recruitment is going to be virtual and if you’re not prepared for that, you’re going to be left behind. All of your hiring procedures and workflows need to be tied into a fully remote setup – that can not only be completed remotely but also is tailored to a remote workforce.

This brings with it a unique set of challenges, but also a set of opportunities – that can only be leveraged if you are willing to shift the ways you’ve always done things and adapt to this new normal. Invest in the technology, skills, and networks that you need to make this happen – or find yourself on the wrong side of history.

Build Your Hiring Bench

Regardless of whether you have an opening or not, you should always be searching for strong talent. Too many companies only think about hiring when there is a vacancy and they miss out on all the value they could unlock by continuously investing in their hiring bench. By being proactive, you ensure that you’re always looking to improve your team’s personnel, and you aren’t stymied by poor timing or a lack of focus.

In addition, you never know when someone is going to quit. Having a strong hiring bench means that you can move fast and mitigate the damage – without compromising on quality. Instead of starting from scratch, you have a head start that can make all the difference. You can never know enough good talent, so invest in your bench and you’ll be glad that you did.

That brings us to the end of our guide through the muddy waters of post-pandemic hiring. As you’ve seen, there are a lot of things to keep in mind as we transition, but if you have the right mindset and you invest intelligently – your hiring can thrive in this new paradigm.

The Renaissance Network

Here at The Renaissance Network, we’ve seen just how this shift is impacting our clients, and it’s something that we think we can really help companies navigate. So, if you need a partner to help you with your post-pandemic hiring needs, then look no further. Get in touch today and let’s explore how we can assist with supercharging your recruitment and bringing in promising talent that can take your organization to the next level.

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Colin Homer Gillespie is a strategic and purpose-driven GM with significant global experience and a record of product innovation and business transformation.

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