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How to Prepare for ‘Post-Pandemic’ Hiring in the U.S.

Get ready recruiters, the post-pandemic U.S. economy is here and talent acquisition and candidate expectations have again shifted in a short time. As Jobvite’s 2021 Job Seeker Nation Report shows, candidate expectations have changed and employers and recruiters need to be equipped with the right tools, skills, channels, and systems to adapt. But before we delve into that, let’s take a step back and look at the current job market.

What’s Happening Here? Supply and Demand Dynamics

While the pandemic is not over, there are promising signs it’s easing in the U.S. as restrictions lift and activities move towards normal. Yet surprisingly, there is a labor shortage to fill these roles and it has forced companies to get creative. They’re offering higher wages, signing bonuses, and even cash incentives for candidates just to show up to interviews in fields where this is an atypical practice. One $7 billion manufacturer has even created a training institute for recent high school graduates because they were unable to find enough skilled workers to staff their automated manufacturing plants.

According to the Wall Street Journal, analysts say the labor shortages should ease over time. Some businesses are targeting September as a full reopening date, and HR experts predict by then there will be an influx of job seekers as children return to in-person schooling, more people are vaccinated, and extended unemployment benefits end.

Don’t Forget the Pre-Covid 19 Workforce Realities

Yes, there is a lower labor force participation rate right now due to Covid-19. But let’s not forget, even before the pandemic there was a shrinking workforce with Baby Boomers retiring at a record pace, as well as skilled worker shortages in fields such as healthcare. If the American Jobs Act adds more jobs as predicted, competition for talent will continue to rise.

So the challenge for recruiters is complex. As the job market doors fly open, recruiters must:

  1. React quickly to address their immediate hiring needs
  2. Prepare for the Fall 2021 influx of applications
  3. Create a stellar program to attract and engage highly skilled talent in competitive fields

Are you ready for the challenge?

Put the Tools in Place Today

According to SHRM, “technology designed to meet the needs of hiring managers, recruiters, and candidates is key” to preparing for post-pandemic hiring. Recruiters need solutions to automate the process and quickly get talent in the door. Simultaneously, they need the tools in place to face a competitive market for highly skilled talent. Here are some ways to do that:

Elevate the candidate experience

We’ve experienced a collective crisis and people have changed. Candidates have different expectations of their companies, and as recently discussed in the SHRM article Preparing for the Post-Pandemic Hiring Rush, “The application experience reflects the employment experience. If you have a poor hiring process, candidates aren’t going to want to work for you, and they can and will go elsewhere.” Create a candidate-friendly, mobile-friendly, and straightforward process that reduces long application times and drop off rates. Jobvite’s 2021 Job Seeker Nation Report shows that 64% of respondents believe the job seeking process is at least somewhat more stressful than a pre-pandemic. Make it easier for them.

Clarify your employer brand

Talented candidates are weighing opportunities differently, according to Harvard Business Review, including how companies treat their employees. In fact, a Gartner research report found that “65% of respondents reported halting the application process because they found some aspects of the job or the company unattractive.” Attract job seekers and make compelling first impressions with a customized career site that sells your employer brand. Offer relevant, targeted content and a delightfully easy job search and apply process.

Automate your hiring process

The pandemic increased the number of businesses turning to technology for automation for recruiting. Improve recruiter efficiency by eliminating repetitive administrative tasks and data entry errors through automation. Narrow down applications to the most qualified candidates quickly by integrating tools like chatbots to work in the background engaging and informing candidates on-demand. TA teams will have more time to find and hire the best talent that fits your culture, and ultimately reduce turnover.

Expand talent sourcing

According to the Gartner report, companies should empower recruiters to source skills across the total skills market, including nontraditional sources. These nontraditional talent pools also often contain more cost-effective and diverse talent. Sourcing technology such as Jobvite’s Source & CRM can effortlessly publish job postings to 20+ job boards, including boards dedicated to specific audiences, and engage candidates via the channels they’re most responsive to, whether that’s email, text, or social media.

Solidify talent pipelines

A recent Forbes article highlighted that “it’s more important than ever for HR to look to alternative ways of conducting their business to ensure a solid pipeline of new candidates. Technology offers opportunities to meet this…challenge, so don’t be afraid to explore the options.” We second that! Jobvite’s customized reporting tool gives you a bird’s eye view across all talent pipelines, helping you understand pipeline activity in real-time and adjust strategies as needed.

Don’t rush so fast that you forget quality

Lastly, focus not just on time-to-fill, but finding a quality hire that is the right fit to grow with your company. As HR analyst Josh Bersin recently wrote, “Just hiring and churning through people doesn’t work right now.” At a time when candidates are more valuable than ever, focus your efforts on quality, not just quantity.

Let technology work for you. With the right tools and processes in place, your team will be ready as the nation goes back to work. From small businesses to some of the largest employers in the country, Jobvite has a suite of products to fit any recruiting need. Visit www.jobvite.com to learn more.


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