It would really be putting your head in the sand like the proverbial ostrich to pretend that the world of work is not affected by the pandemic. The global economy is experiencing a major crisis that is clouding everyone’s crystal balls. You read the same news as me, the negative impacts are real on the economy. But what about recruitment?
Job growth and the unemployment rate are likely to play a quarter-by-quarter yoyo. It is to be expected that we will see macroeconomic data fluctuate at a seasonal rate as we learn to live with the virus. Let’s be optimistic. Some sectors are surprising in their resilience.
Indeed, in this Category 5 hurricane named Covid, the pandemic paradoxically benefits certain sectors. North Americans are confined to their suburban bungalows and downtowns are turned into deserts. As a result, e-commerce is exploding. In mid-September, Amazon announced the creation of an additional 100,000 jobs in the United States and Canada.
Other giants, such as supermarket chain Walmart and logistics group Fedex, have also hired cheerfully. IT services also have the wind in their sails because of telework in the basement of the house or the guest room, now forbidden to friends.
Quebec’s unemployment rate, which rises (in May) and then falls back (in July) forms a roller coaster landscape that will not resemble tomorrow morning the tranquil water of a lake at sunset.
Telework, which made people happy in the early days of confinement, can become cumbersome. Fatigue sets in, Zoom becomes ugly and the lack of socialization gradually creates dissatisfaction. The general impression is that we suddenly have more time. In recruitment as in work, it is our relationship to time that changes.
Job seekers take their time
This newfound time is beneficial to many. The numerous temporary or permanent layoffs, sometimes massive, have begun to make headlines but they also have a paradoxical effect.
In job search during the COVID-19 Crisis, from the Institute of Labor Economics, three European economics professors have identified some recent trends from one of Sweden’s largest job websites.
Researchers find some disaffection with the employment website in general and easily automatable occupations. It is easy to understand employees who realized that their jobs were precarious or would be easily replaced by a next wave of robotics or artificial intelligence. They take the time to look for a more sustainable job.
Similarly, interest in jobs in the health sector has increased on the same site. Remember that these are jobs where the human factor is irreplaceable. And very much in demand these days. The same is true for jobs that left room for telework. Certainly, employers who can offer a little more flexibility in telework will be favoured by job seekers after the pandemic. Candidates will listen carefully.
In short, job seekers, at least in some job categories, have changed their research strategies.
At Recruitscope,the search for candidates for middle and executive positions remains active. These are decision-making positions where the human factor is so important that these jobs are not impacted in the same way as more “automatable” jobs. The leadership, communicator and strategist qualities of these candidates will remain the same.
It’s time not to waste your time
What about the hiring processes initiated by organizations?
Well, nothing has changed in the recruitment process as such, except that a higher number of executives work from home. But many more are still in the workplace.
One fact remains: companies are always looking for talent. No matter where you work, take advantage of this mandatory break to continue posting your positions and looking for your candidates. They have more time to evaluate the different offers that come to them.
However, there is a distinction between the recruitment process and hiring.
The recruitment process, as the name suggests, is a “process,” a long, multi-step process in which Recruitscope follows a rigorous methodology to ensure its success. Hiring is the result of this long process.
It is therefore important not to postpone your search for candidates when many of them are calmly considering “opportunities” in these uncertain pandemic times.
If you had hiring needs before the crisis, you will have hiring needs during the pandemic, and you will get after. The best strategy is to:
- Make a list of your needs for the next quarter
- Determine the priority positions to be announced
- Start the hiring process despite the pandemic today
The business environment may have changed, but the skills do not change. Only our relationship to time has changed. There will be a lot of reorganization in many organizations and there will be a lot of opportunities on both sides.
The pandemic will end. It should be seen as an opportunity to attract the best in your ranks and expand your base of potential candidates. While business may be a little more slow, it’s time not to waste time. Many candidates are on the lookout.
However, in my experience I can tell you that a hiring process is mostly longer than expected. Start now!
The art of remote conversation
On our side, things have not changed.
For headhunters like Recruitscope, it’s even easier to reach candidates at home.
The pandemic does not add to the process but encourages conversation. I did my best interviews in a way. It can also be done with the employer, which I can advise. You still have to visit the workplace, if possible, because it is impossible for a candidate to accept a position if they have not seen the company’s website. All precautions must of course be taken.
In general, I believe that the concept of “quality of life” will become the focus of job seekers, executives or not, and that employers who will best play their cards at this level will attract the best candidates. Negotiating these important “small details” is one of recruiter’s strengths.
Certainly we had a busy time when the “economic machine” was fast forward, or fast-tracked if you prefer. We will have to press the “pause” button a few times during the pandemic, before we can weigh the “Play” button for good, once the pandemic is a thing of the past.
Take advantage of this troubled time to hire key people who will be able to navigate these uncertain seas on sight. Don’t put off your hiring process.
Please contact me personally on LinkedIn,via the Recruitscope website or by phone at 438-870-7075. I’m always happy to discuss with you what’s going on in your industry and the particular challenges you face in filling some, even the most complicated, positions!
Together, let’s take advantage of these uncertain times to find together the candidate you are looking for. We have time.
“Never miss a good crisis” Winston Churchill