According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD,) the Covid-19 pandemic triggered one of the worst job crises since the Great Depression. As a result of pandemic-related economics, a shift in worker priorities, and the growing number of unfilled positions in the US, employers are learning to be more intentional, open-minded, and retention-focused than ever, while navigating post-pandemic recruiting and hiring trends.
Intentional hiring starts with expanding searches beyond the algorithm-based online hiring platforms that solely match keywords such as job title, company name, and job description. After months-long shut-downs, candidates are relocating and reconsidering their careers more than ever, therefore employers today must consider skills and performance rather than work history and previous industry involvement. Glancing at resumes and skimming cover letters may have worked in the past, but times have changed, worker priorities have changed, and more deliberate matches can mean the difference between perpetual vacancy and successful recruiting.
Whether small, local businesses or large, multinational firms, employers’ ability to shift to intentional, big picture hiring practices will determine whether or not they thrive in the post-Covid environment. More objective hiring includes interviewing candidates that may not have made the cut in the past, analyzing and updating hiring protocols, and, most importantly, doing away with biases that may have plagued past hiring practices.
The end-goal with all hiring is the same: engage the best candidate for the job and, at minimum, get an acceptable return on the investment. Taking the time to hire the right person for the job, rather than someone to simply fill the gap, ensures a higher outcome because a well-matched worker will out-perform one that is not. The right hire will enhance performance amongst their team, boost company morale, and reduce turnover. According to a Gallup report, the cost of replacing an individual employee can range from one-half to two times the employee’s annual salary. And, while over half of employees say that their manager or organization could have done something to retain them, these employees may not have been the right match from the start.
The COVID-19 pandemic transformed how people think about their careers and their work/life balance. As employers chart a path ahead, it will either lead to a stronger, more productive and fulfilled team, or leave them in a constant cycle of recruiting, hiring, and training, only to have to do it again when mismatched applicants inevitably move on. Businesses need the right people in order to operate. To meet their goals, they must have the properly trained and competent individuals on their team. In this unpredictable time, employers must rise to the occasion to ensure they reach and engage the right candidates, candidates that believe in and further the organization’s mission. “Businesses need to stop looking at resumes and start looking at skills.”