What’s the compensation range for this position? Is parking included? How about relocation?
Just two years ago these were commonly asked questions of talent acquisition teams. The use of ‘basic Zoom’ rarely featured into the recruiting process; and many of job offers were fallen by exorbitant commute times and expense.
So, what changed? A global pandemic hit, and the world was at home during prime time and witnessed the killing of George Floyd on television.
For the first time in history job seekers wanted to know about an organization’s commitment to safety in the workplace, social justice, and diversity. I’m talking about diversity beyond the occasional ethic dish buffet that usually surfaced in breakrooms coast to coast, typically around the holidays.
If your organization changed their strategy around acquiring and retaining talent with minimal disruption, seemingly overnight – kudos to you, but that may have been the easy part.
Understanding and responding to the need for constant innovation in this strange new world of remote work and virtual connectivity is a bit more complex.
The talent pool just got a lot bigger, and a lot less dependent on location with many organizations currently working in a remote or hybrid model. Does this mean that hiring will be easier? Not necessarily. A broader talent pool also means that more organizations are competing for candidates everywhere with geography no longer considered as a qualifier.
This competition means organizations need to be strategic about their virtual processes and practices, from interviewing and onboarding through the employee engagement process.
How has the pandemic impacted talent acquisition and talent management?
By now we have all heard of the ‘Great Resignation‘, a movement that has led employees across all industries to look at their careers and what is important to them based on contemporary societal issues. The bad news is that this overdue change came bundled with a pandemic.
‘Sheltering in place’ orders gave many workers the headspace to pause and consider among other things, an environment more conducive to their health and wellbeing.
This movement also resulted in some significant life changes for some including leaving their jobs, retirement; extended sabbaticals to pursue lifelong passions and for some, changing industries altogether; thereby further squeezing an already tight talent market.
Organizations were not only forced to implement more rigorous sourcing and recruiting processes to keep candidate pipelines active; but to also consider alternative and innovative ways to engage and retain top talent which is critical for organizations that want to stabilize their workforce in a complex job market that will only grow more competitive in the coming months.
What have we learned from the past two years?
We learned that the only thing we can predict is the un-predictable. Zoom fatigue and expanding waistlines aside, what we know for certain is that, is the preference for comfort and remote and hybrid workspaces is widespread and rapidly increasing.
We know that the ‘Great Resignation’ (a by-product of COVID-19) has provided exposure to a more diverse and adaptable candidate pool; one that has been traditionally motivated by compensation, and stock options.
With some surveys showing more than 70% of employees wanting flexible remote work options to continue past the pandemic, we know that workers are now driven and motivated by a wider range or factors which include the culture of an organization; their commitment to diversity and social justice; and to what extent they can mitigate an employee’s commute by offering alternative work models.
Adapting to a strange new remote world
We can count on tech companies to continue to launch expanded platform offerings to support HR teams in optimizing the performance of their talent management systems from applicant tracking, and performance management, to measuring employee engagement.
Investing in technology like video interviewing software and online onboarding platforms can help ease the path in the virtual hiring process.
Many organizations have implemented digital interviews and other platforms during the pandemic. With some organizations transitioning to indefinite remote or hybrid work models as a matter of safety or convenience, these methods are here to stay.
As our recruitment teams fine-tune their virtual interview processes and implement other digital-forward recruiting practices, we should also keep the candidate experience in mind and make sure that application processes are streamlined and intuitive with great user interfaces; particularly since more and people are applying for jobs on mobile devices.
Keeping D,E&I relevant
Now more than ever organizations are struggling with how to reconcile the dynamics of remote work with the environment required for effective D,E&I work.
While D,E&I can be a bit more complex, remember that even though today’s environment is more distributed and virtual there must be a solid commitment and willingness on behalf of the organization to dedicate time for ongoing learning, and a cultural commitment to improvement.
Make use of online platforms like Traliant to support your remote DEI training; and despite remote D,E&I being a challenge, make embracing the challenges around both building internal DEI capacity and ensuring diverse, equitable, and inclusive practices across your organization are among your core objectives.
The impact of remote or hybrid models on work culture
Keep in mind that every interaction between the candidate and HR can impact your brand for years to come. These days your opportunity to communicate your values, who you are as an organization, and the culture that you foster is done primarily via email, phone, and video.
Organizations will rise or fall based on how well they manage this complex juncture in the employee experience.
Consider collaborating with marketing to strategize over developing digital marketing collateral, creating new content for social media, or updating your public online content to better communicate your values, culture, and the experience of working at your company.
This is a great time to be in HR! You have an opportunity to be more intentional, strategic, and creative about building our human capital by having to accentuate the characteristics that make your culture unique using alternative media vs. in person interactions.
How you support your HR and Talent teams in messaging your strengths will help attract candidates who will appreciate what your organization has to offer and, ultimately, will thrive once they’re on board.
Ultimately the new remote and hybrid environment could be an important advantage in attracting and retaining exceptional employees.