The second half of 2021 while still uncertain, is marked by greater optimism. The availability of vaccines is leading to more confident re-openings in many countries. As businesses recover and grow, discourse on attracting, retaining and investing in talent in the post-Covid era is intensifying across a range of business sectors.
Here are some vital areas to pay attention to as you refresh your post-pandemic hiring playbook.
1. A Skills-First Approach
During the past year, we’ve begun to see a shift to a skills-based approach to hiring.
Before this, hiring tended to be based on a candidate’s last job, experience, paper qualifications or the strength of their network. Today, more companies are looking for candidates with skills and attributes that will help their companies thrive amid prolonged uncertainty.
However, in order for this approach to truly attract the right candidates, job descriptions must focus on skills and responsibilities. Degrees and traditional requirements are unnecessary. Some high-profile companies have stopped requiring bachelor’s degrees for many roles. According to LinkedIn data, over the last year, there has been a 20 per cent increase in candidates without degrees being hired for managerial roles. A growing body of research shows that degrees are not an accurate predictor of job performance anyway.
Recent LinkedIn data has also revealed that U.S. job posts that mentioned ‘responsibilities’ without mentioning ‘requirements’ received 14 per cent more applications per view than job posts that mentioned ‘requirements’ but not ‘responsibilities’.
The key is to view the candidate holistically – their aptitudes, skills and strengths, and focus less on traditional markers of job suitability. For example, just because a person left his or her job during the pandemic to look after their kids doesn’t mean that they are out of touch and won’t excel at the workplace. Raising kids and running a household require a person to coordinate schedules and solve problems, among other things. Surely, these transferable skills would be valuable at work.
A recruitment process that considers factors beyond work experience and education also tends to impress and engage candidates more deeply as it makes them feel like they have a real shot at a job in an evolved organisation.
2. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Research shows that increasingly, people want to work for companies with cultures that are aligned with their values.
Today, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the workplace is a requirement, not just a nice-to-have. According to a recent iCIMS report, Gen Y and Gen Z job seekers want to work for employers who take DEI seriously. More than half say they are looking for evidence of diversity during the interview or hiring process. A quarter are looking for mentions of diversity on companies’ websites.
Diversity markers include not just age, gender, race, etc., but also educational and socio-economic backgrounds, and ways of thinking. Companies must also ensure that there are structures in place to encourage inclusion. Collaboration and decision-making must be predicated on the input of all groups. Processes and programmes at the workplace must also be impartial and designed to achieve equitable outcomes.
Showcase your DEI values on your website and social media in the form of employee profiles, and highlight your accolades, if any, in this arena.
3. Widen the Pool by Considering Untapped Remote Talent
For decades, HR professionals have been urged to consider those who prefer to work remotely.
This could include parents who want to play a larger role in their children’s upbringing or persons with disabilities. These candidates were often left out because they needed flexible working arrangements that many companies were not willing to offer. However, the past year has proven that working from home doesn’t necessarily negatively impact performance.
In fact, a Mercer report found that 94 percent of employers reported equal or improved productivity throughout the pandemic.
Considering that work can be done anywhere, it would be fitting to consider and hire such untapped talent now.
The talent war can be won. Organisations simply need to widen their definitions of roles and suitable talent.