Hiring in Times of COVID: What Recruiters Are Looking For?


After a tumultuous 2020, the job markets worldwide are slowly recovering. According to a Monster’s Future of Work Global SurveyOpens a new window , at least 8 out of 10 employers surveyed said they are looking forward to hiring new talent this year.

However, it would be rather naive to expect things would jump back to normalcy and there won’t be any challenges. The first and foremost challenge is virtual recruiting, which makes value alignment a challenge and deprives a candidate from fully immersing a company’s culture.

Quick on heels is the herculean task of finding the right candidate, and the expectation that the candidate will be able to strike a judicious work-life balance.

Effects of Pandemic on the Job Market

The COVID-19 crisis had battered economies and left at least 147 million people unemployed globally, stated a recent studyOpens a new window . Companies ran helter-skelter to manage their workforce while coming up with new policies like remote working and health protocols. Unfortunately, some companies had to execute layoffs and paycuts to tide through the tough times.

HR News Technology: 10 Tips to Reduce Bias When Hiring Developers Virtually

Now with rolling out of the vaccine, there is, at last, some light at the end of the tunnel. The labor market is also slowly crawling back to normalcy. While 82% of employers worldwide say they plan on hiring this year, the hiring process is not going to be the same.

How Has Hiring Changed?

Given the ongoing volatility in the job market and war for talent, businesses are getting employee-centric beyond  customer-centricity. Understanding what your employee wants and delivering to it should be your top priority. A recruiting software company study revealed that 81% of job seekers are prioritizing on a  company’s culture while looking for new opportunities. Also, they are giving slightly higher importance to career growth in comparison to compensation.

Real Concern of Employers

Meanwhile, employers are acutely concerned about the emerging skill gap in the candidate pools. 1/3rd of respondents believe that the skill gap has increased compared to a year ago. Sectors like finance and banking, real estate and tech are suffering the most because of this. While recruiters depend on new tools and resources to find the right candidates, here are four skills needed in a candidate.

    • Dependability: Believe it or not, this is the most important skill an employee should possess. Unfortunately, it also tops the list of skill gaps.
    • Teamwork/collaboration: With work-from-home posing a challenge to teamwork, employers should find people with this quality.
    • Problem-solving capabilities: This becomes key to performance success during remote working as candidates are likely to face an array of challenges.
    • Flexibility: Flexible candidates are likely to respond better to changing responsibilities, ideas, and expectations.

Building a diverse workforce, gender pay equity, and employee training have also been one of the top priorities of global employers. Unfortunately, there’s a long way to go as 37% of employers globally reported that they do not have any diversity or inclusion strategy. This is also evident as racial inequities have worsenedOpens a new window during the COVID crisis.

HR News Technology: How Has COVID-19 Made Racism More Rampant at Workplaces

Final Words

With COVID-19 pandemic changing the world forever, the recruitment processes are undergoing a fast evolution. While business expansion plans turned to business continuity plans, every aspect of the hiring process – from candidate sourcing to assessment and interview scheduling – went the social distancing way. Businesses must jump the bandwagon at the earliest as there is very little chance to go back to how it was before. And as for candidates, there will never be a better time to upskill to stay relevant to the changing demands of the hiring market.