Changes in recruitment and hiring during the pandemic

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wage war on the world, it was expected that companies would reduce the salaries and benefits packages of their workers. The statistics, however, indicate otherwise: 

  • 81 percent of human resource professionals have kept base compensation intact
  • 89 percent of professionals in human resources have not eliminated or reduced employee benefits

Clearly, most companies have avoided trimming the base pay and benefits of their workers. However, it is equally true that stress and burnout have multiplied manifold during the pandemic. 

How has HR been working in this situation? 

Remote work is the common practice not just for the workers but for HR professionals too: 

  • 84 percent of human resource professionals are now working remotely
  • 68 percent of companies are conducting their HR operations remotely

Remote work may have been gaining in acceptance and usage prior to the pandemic, but it received a definitive boost in the crisis. According to 58 percent of professionals in human resources, their organizations brought in remote work programs only in response to the pandemic. 

What has been the change in hiring practices and the experience of work? 

The task for HR professionals is to ensure that the experience of remote work is smooth and seamless for their employees. Additionally, the former now has access to a wider applicant pool, courtesy of many professionals losing their jobs. This has also meant that due to lower location barriers courtesy remote work, policies are more flexible, and more candidates can be found from different locations. 

Another change is in the nature of recruitment and onboarding. Because all of this is now happening remotely, hiring and onboarding have become less personal than when they happened on-site or at physical offices. This is another reason for the uptick in professionals opting for online HR certifications, to boost their skills on the job in HR. 

However, HR professionals are not all pleased about the experience of recruiting and onboarding new hires remotely, especially in the following aspects: 

  • Productivity of remote interviews: 25 percent feel these are less productive than in-person interviews, and just 14 percent say they are more productive
  • Remote onboarding: 38 percent feel this is more difficult when done remotely, while just 9 percent find it easier
  • Remote recruitment: 35 percent believe it is harder to recruit remotely, while only 18 percent find it easier

Has there been improvement in hiring? 

Hiring has not stopped at most companies, as confirmed by 88 percent of professionals in human resources. However, 43 percent of companies are hiring at a slower rate than prior to the pandemic. What most human resource professionals concur on is that current applicant pools contain many better-qualified candidates than in the past – as many as 73 percent of the former say the same. This higher qualification level is likely because of the higher-than-normal unemployment and thereby more experienced workers looking for work. 

What has the effect been on stress? 

Stress and burnout are at high levels across workforces. Employee burnout was reported to have increased at 75 percent of companies, fueled by stress from the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, 53 percent of companies have either brought in new benefits packages or plan to do the same, and 39 percent of these companies have already brought in benefits to tackle stress. Surprisingly, though, nearly half – 47 percent – do not plan to introduce any such benefits. 

A part of this stress could be due to ill preparation for remote work, with not all employees being prepared to handle work from remote locations. A majority of companies – as high as 57 percent – confirm they do not provide any training for remote work.

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