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Post-Pandemic Recruitment Trends: What HR Professionals Need to Prepare For

In this article, we will help the HR manager and their team identify the most important trends happening in recruitment that were either caused by or accelerated by the pandemic. We hope that this will help your company better understand the employee market to attract the right talent to its doors.

Life after the pandemic.

After nearly two years of COVID-19 and with global vaccine programs well underway, businesses worldwide are starting to look forward to life after the pandemic. However, for many companies, looking forward means hiring new talent to fill vacancies that were created by “The Great Resignation” event of 2021; for various reasons like lockdowns, furloughs, home-schooling, and vaccine mandates, the pandemic either directly or indirectly caused a massive shift of people leaving the workplace.

Companies are hiring again.

Whatever the reason, the result is the same; companies are hiring again and the demand for talent is greater than at any stage in 2020. However, it is essential to note that a lot has changed for companies since the last time they went on a hiring spree.

This pandemic has changed the workplace tremendously - everything we knew and accepted as 'the way things were done' before the pandemic has all had to change. In some cases, companies have had to reorganize to meet CDC's safety guidelines and in others, companies have reevaluated their business practices and have shown a desire to change going forward.

Regardless of the reason for these workplace changes, Human Resource managers worldwide are scratching their heads to figure out how the recruitment process has been affected by the pandemic, and how they can now attract the best talent to their companies.

Attracting the right talent is critical for many businesses right now.

The importance of attracting the right talent

In many sectors, it has become increasingly important post-pandemic to run lean operations and focus on having the right talent in the right positions to gain an advantage over competitors. Attracting the right talent has not been this crucial since the 2008 recession plunged many businesses into bankruptcy and forced them to rethink their recruitment strategies as a means of survival. Attracting the right talent is of the utmost importance right now because:

  • Critical positions were left vacant due to the pandemic,
  • New essential roles have emerged as determined by the pandemic,
  • There’s a scarcity of resources available to recruit extensively, so finding the right person quickly saves time and money,
  • There’s a need to hit the ground running recover some of the losses caused by the pandemic,
  • There’s a need to inspire creativity and bring new energy to the company, and
  • Companies need to forge their new post-pandemic identities.

As seen from the reasons above, the scramble for new talent has an abundance of motivating factors driving it, and in turn adds pressure to the Human Resource managers whose responsibility it is to stay up to date with evolving recruitment trends and attract the right talent.

5 major post-pandemic recruitment trends HR should be aware of

We’ve listed below five major trends that your HR department should prepare for as you go back into the market to recruit new talent to the company.

1. Increase in remote work

This trend emerged pre-pandemic and was further accelerated by the pandemic’s lockdown requirements. This trend for remote working positions is expected to rise to 40% post-pandemic, which is up 10% from pre-pandemic levels. Due to the on-going safety protocols and individual comfort levels for each employee, remote work is expected to continue for the foreseeable future.

This means that many HR departments have to categorize each of their employees into two groups: essential on-site and non-essential on site. To complicate things further, HR also needs to recruit remotely for the prospective employees who will be working remotely.

Remote recruiting is not the same as in-person recruitment; Human Resources departments will need to put into place remote recruitment protocols that suit the company as soon as possible.
    Some concerns with remote work include:
  • How to tackle new remote methods of team building,
  • Developing remote methods of monitoring, supervising and supporting team members,
  • Integrating new technology to streamline work and maintain productivity, and
  • Find remote ways to engage and motivate employees.

Remote work is one of the most widespread trends in the post-pandemic economy, and every Human Resource department has to have a provision for it as recruits new employees.

2. Expansion of the gig economy

The gig economy refers to the economy of part-time/ contractual workers that are usually paid a set amount for a specific project and move on to a new employer when the project is done. While often left to the informal and blue-collar industries, part-time work is becoming more mainstream even within the professional sectors due to the pandemic. Many employees are attracted to the flexibility of choosing their hours and deciding which employers to work for. On the other hand, employers enjoy the limited liability and lessened benefits obligations needed by part-time employees compared to full-time employees; employers can try to recover wages lost to employees not working due to Covid-19 and save on benefits attached to full-time employment.

3. Restructuring benefits and incentives

Due to the changing nature of the workplace mentioned above, companies will have to restructure benefits packages and incentives to better reflect the changing trends. With every company scrambling to recruit new employees to fill their vacant positions, restructuring the benefits and incentives packages to reflect the post-pandemic economy can be a huge selling factor for your company to attract prospective employees.

Gone are the days of everyone fighting for that big corner office with a view or the company awarding remote work as a privilege. Also gone are the minimalist healthcare plans that cover only the basics and don't cater to the needs created by the pandemic.

    Some new benefits and incentives programs could include:
  • Health care plans that cover Covid-19 infections for employees and their family members,
  • Unlimited paid sick leave, so employees don't come in when they feel unwell,
  • Remote recruitment and remote work capabilities as a matter of routine,
  • Childcare and transportation benefits,
  • Mental health support and coverage for employees, and
  • Free Covid-19 tests for employees and family members that need them.

4. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) driven recruitment

This is another one of the continuing trends from 2019 that has been accelerated by the pandemic. Before the pandemic, movements like #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter started a conversation around diversity and inclusion in a bid to increase representation in the workplace. This trend is expected to continue after the pandemic, and many companies have already started to make their DEI efforts more deliberate and structured.

With the pandemic forcing many companies to let go of staff and close their doors, the restart of the economy is not just a chance to reopen. For some, it is also an opportunity to build back better and become more sustainable.

More than 50% of S&P 500 companies now have DEI managers in place to oversee the design and implementation of the organization’s DEI strategy, and of these, more than 80% did not have a DEI manager just three years prior.

It is vital that your HR department is wise to this and puts a strategy in place for more diverse and < a href="inclusive-recruitment.html" target="_blank">inclusive recruitment of new employees. A simple way to get on top of this would be to hire an HR management firm, like Maverick HR, which is committed to diversity and inclusion at every step of the recruitment process.

5. Reorganization of the workspace

Recruits are perhaps more concerned about their safety in the workplace than they were before the pandemic. Before the pandemic, there was a trend towards open floor plans and seating areas for many employees in most organizations. In a bid to encourage creativity over structure, and collaboration over hierarchy, many companies have abandoned the offices and cubicles of the old workplace to favor more open, versatile spaces that the employees can organize themselves.

While this may have been good for collaboration and creativity, it was bad for working during the pandemic as it didn’t adhere to Covid-19 guidelines for keeping people safe. The workplace will have to be reimagined to maintain the level of creativity and collaboration among employees while also maintaining social distance and following public health guidelines.

These five trends in recruitment will make the biggest impact in the post-pandemic economy, and we hope identifying them here will help you tailor your offers to what employees are looking for right and increase your chances of attracting the talent you need to restart your business.

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