7 ways Covid has changed recruiting forever

7 ways COVID has changed recruiting forever The pandemic has led to numerous shifts in job-seeking – particularly in blue collar industries. A widespread labour shortage has left hiring managers and recruiters forced to rethink everything from pay rates to benefits, with many of the pandemic-related trends here to stay. Here are 7 ways COVID…

7 ways COVID has changed recruiting forever

The pandemic has led to numerous shifts in job-seeking – particularly in blue collar industries. A widespread labour shortage has left hiring managers and recruiters forced to rethink everything from pay rates to benefits, with many of the pandemic-related trends here to stay.

Here are 7 ways COVID has changed the recruitment landscape forever, and what you should be considering when hiring next.

1. The virtual interview may be here to stay

Whether you’re hiring for a blue collar or white collar role, Zoom interviews – even initial ones – may become the norm over in-person ones, say experts. That’s particularly odd for blue collar workers, who’d normally front up on-site to an interview that may then lead to a job. Now, they might do a video interview then land the job, and go through online onboarding procedures or virtual tours of the facilities before even heading to the on-site role. Obviously, for those in blue collar roles, the remote nature of work has meant interviews and the job itself can all take place remotely, and that trend definitely looks like it’s here to stay.

2. Blue collar workers may be harder to find or hire

Many industries took a hit, with many blue collar workers experiencing job loss. Those who did keep their jobs because they were critical to society functioning remained on the front line, masked up and aware they were at risk. At the same time, they watched white-collar employees migrate to safer remote working set-ups with their livelihoods protected. That’s led to many blue collar workers contemplating a career change, say experts, and it’s leading to a labour shortage for many industries including retail and hospitality. Knowing this before you start the hiring process and having a strategy to help you reach engaged job-seekers is key.

3. Tailor job roles to candidate experience

As more work places start to reopen, the market has become flooded with job opportunities but with a smaller candidate pool. In order to fill these roles, employers must start tailoring job requirements to accommodate candidate experience. This can be done by dropping a degree requirement for a position, splitting up a larger role into smaller, less stressful roles, or completely changing the job description to attract more job seekers. This, in turn, can then make the job market more attainable for those with a less advantaged background.

4. Employers need to rethink their working practices and policies

Blue collar workplaces have been hit the hardest during the pandemic, and given essential workers don’t have the option of working from home, COVID has highlighted the costs these often lower-income workers face, such as commuting, uniforms or having to buy lunch out. For employers looking to attract good workers to blue collar industries such as construction, retail and manufacturing, it’s become doubly important to consider what your company offers workers. It may be that you can offer more paid time off, flexible start and finish times, variable-length shifts or a simple way for workers to swap shifts, to make employees’ lives easier.

5. Companies need to offer more career advancement

We know that AI and automation are set to significantly transform workplaces in the next decade. For blue-collar workers, it’s no secret that many jobs in their industries may be replaced by robots, computers or machines in the coming years. So it’s up to employers to provide extra peace of mind, training opportunities and job security – which means finding out what your workers’ career goals are, and supporting them in any way you can. That might mean helping them move towards management or leadership roles in the company. Training your team and offering those opportunities to job-seekers doesn’t just leave you with more qualified workers – studies show it also plays a significant role in long-term employee loyalty.

6. Wages and benefits are front and centre

Blue collar talent can be rare right now, and if you’re struggling to find good people, offering competitive salaries and great benefits may for job-seekers, especially after the financial challenges many have faced during COVID. In one study, nearly one third of blue-collar workers said pay was the biggest factor them in accepting a job – so rethinking your pay rates and salaries isn’t just a good idea; it’s essential. Start by reviewing what competitors may be paying their workers and figuring out what you could offer. Along with decent pay, you could offer bonuses and reward programs, benefits such as safety gear or boots or even tangible rewards such as gift cards, sports tickets or off-site training events.

7. Company branding as a strategic focus

It is now more important than ever for an employer to showcase their brand online to attract the best candidates. Job seekers will look to see if the company is the best fit for them, so they have to be impressed. COVID has now made the job search focus on digital platforms like Seek, Indeed and company social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. This is where businesses can showcase their missions, culture and benefits of working with them. Companies now have an increased health and safety responsibility towards their employees and may be a major focus for candidates in the changed social landscape, just like their views on the current social and environmental actions.