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To quote Bob Dylan, “The Times They Are A-Changin’,” especially when it comes to staffing. In just a little over a year, technological fluency has gone from a resume “Special Skill” filler to being utterly non-negotiable. In-person interviews went from the expectation to the exception. Automation and communication speed are now crucial to finding the right hire. The slow and steady evolution present in pre-COVID hiring practices is now in overdrive.
Beyond the recent topographical shifts in the industry, recruiters must also consider the sudden boom of available jobs. Businesses cannot afford to miss out on hiring the right people, and in such a competitive labor market, the interview experience can make all the difference.
Three topics are at the forefront of the conversation right now.
- Virtual Hiring
- Value Shifts in Job Qualifications
The Cronofy 2021 Candidate Expectations Survey cited responsiveness as the top-determinant of regard for a prospective employer, with 51% of those surveyed having abandoned at least one job opportunity in response to sluggish interview scheduling. The numbers held across all ages, genders, and position levels, showing a direct relationship between response times and the candidate’s overall opinion of the hiring organization. Over 60% of the Cronofy sample said a response time of two weeks would cause them to discontinue the interview process.
People join the job market for a reason, and whether it is overbearing management or pandemic-related unemployment, chances are high they are working with limited resources. They are also well aware that a company willing to disrespect people not yet working for them will undoubtedly disrespect people who have signed a contract.
Keeping this in mind, it is also true that there is no universally perfect timeline. Needs vary from company to company and candidate to candidate. GS&A works to accommodate this reality with clarity regarding timelines and diligently tries to manage the expectations of everyone involved. To consistently pair the right team with the right person, we must consider the needs of both.
However, even if your company’s timeline is slower than others, your response time still matters. Your response time communicates much more than a schedule. It is your first impression, the first hint at the leadership style of your company.
To ensure GS&A’s communication is consistent, our founder, Guice Smith, personally spends 50% of his time speaking one-on-one with clients and their potential hires. Guice ends his calls by preempting the possibility for confusion, saying, “If you feel you need an update before you hear from me, please give me a call. If not, I will come back to you as soon as I have an update. .”
The second topic on our list has an express impact on response rate. In the same way, many organizations are experimenting with hybrid office scheduling, businesses of every size and field are combining face-to-face job interviews with new virtual tools to create a more efficient hiring process, leading to process simplification and a decrease in interview no-shows.
Pre-pandemic, many recruiters were reluctant to implement tech-heavy hiring experiences for fear of scaring away qualified, if tech-averse, candidates. Since the world transitioned to remote work last year, the entire Global North received a crash course in technological literacy, obliterating that worry. Cronofy reported more than 50% of respondents’ partiality as bending to tech-based scheduling.
Familiar and straightforward mainstays like email and text are now heavily preferred, as is the intentional use of social media. Outside of traditional digital communication, some companies are digitizing interview schedules completely, using applications to automate composite availabilities from the digital calendars of everyone involved.
At GS&A, we implement technology in our interview process according to the needs of the client and candidates, aiming to combine stability with flexibility. Our interview structure consists of three rounds, with the first round taking place over the phone, but the mediums of the second and third interviews are contextually determined. It is forward-thinking technological integration that allows us to continuously adapt our practices to meet the diverse needs of our client companies, their candidates, and organizing GS&A team members.
VALUE SHIFTS IN JOB QUALIFICATIONS
Standard hiring criteria are also undergoing a makeover. In some arenas, college degrees now signify less to an interviewer than extensive practical experience. Certifications and micro-credentials once considered resume padding are now indicators of precociousness and self-motivation. Resume gaps, which used to be a death sentence, are now a major topic of discussion in a new way. Due to COVID, many people in the job market will have a gap in employment on their resume, leading recruiters to ask how they spent that time, how they grew, and what they learned.
The changes in post-pandemic hiring priorities exemplify why we lean into old and new search styles at GS&A. Our recruitment team handles every job search from top to bottom, utilizing every resource available, from our professional networks and contacts to online platforms and B2B databases.
Any job posting site can filter resumes according to predetermined criteria. We do not rely on artificial intelligence or algorithms. It takes a human to understand and appropriately value the nuanced combination of lived candidate experience, interpersonal skill, and personal ingenuity.
While COVID and the rapid pace of technological progress have challenged us and asked us to adapt in many ways, they also gave us incredible insights and tools to better our existing systems. There is no algebraic equation to determine who will be right for the job. Hiring is more of an art. Maybe that is why we like Dylan so much.