Will Covid-19 Change Recruitment Forever?

We are still in early days of the COVID-19 crisis, and social distancing is likely to be the norm for at least the near term. Many of my clients are still open to some degree, but disrupted supply chains are causing ripples up and down the manufacturing process.

Considering Sector Impacts

Comparing today’s situation to the last recession, there are some distinct differences. COVID-19 caused our economy to hit a brick wall in a very sudden way versus the more gradual slowdown starting in 2007. While the last recession caused all industries to contract to some degree, this recession is further complicated by potential loss of human life.

The COVID-19-related recession will definitely hit specific areas harder than others. Airlines, aircraft manufacturers, hotels, and restaurants are and will continue to be negatively affected while medical devices and pharma are likely to continue to surge. Automobiles will take a hit in the short-term; However, I would see that recovering more quickly as people feel safe from germs in their cars versus on trains and especially in airports and airplanes. Consumer products will be sold in a different way but will probably recover to pre-COVID-19 levels in line with the general economy.

I think you’ll see people will need to move across industries to work in those manufacturing environments that need them and are actively hiring. This will take time, however; Skilled manufacturing will be in need post-pandemic as companies work to reshore and harden their supply chains.

Recruiting Top Talent

In the past during the automotive bankruptcy and bailouts, I worked with aerospace companies to actively pursue the high potential people working in automotive companies who would have been difficult to pry out from their current roles at any other time. Individuals who move across industries gain and dispense valuable insights and new ways of thinking, therefore becoming more valuable and adaptable over the long-term.

Working from Home

This crash course in staff working from home will have long-term effects, and I anticipate a much wider acceptance post-COVID-19. Even post-recovery, people are going to be less interested in working in large offices with lots of people, sharing communal kitchens and bathrooms with limited personal space.

Reconsidering Interview Logistics

The greatest potential for long-term change in recruiting comes down to logistics. As our clients become more comfortable incorporating video interviewing into their hiring processes, they are likely to realize the tremendous cost and time savings these tools can create in the early stages of the process. This is likely to be adopted permanently going forward, with more complex on-site interviews reserved only for finalists later in the process.

Image Credit: tsyhun / Shutterstock

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