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Part Two: Building the Post-COVID-19 Talent Acquisition (TA) Function Today

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In Part One of this blog article, we looked at how changes in Talent Acquisition practices caused by the COVID-19 pandemic can remain part of the new normal after the crisis has passed. In addition to recruit-from-anywhere models, an increased reliance on video interviews, and a shift from sourcing to selection focus, here are three additional changes that will likely become part of the TA landscape once the COVID-19 crisis passes.

Sourcing Will Finally Be Separate from Recruiting

Although the unemployment rate is still above 8%, it doesn’t mean candidates with the skill set you need are actively looking for a job. Not every recruiter understands how to proactively research and source passive candidates. This is a skill set unto itself that helps create an interested and engaged slate. Today’s recruiters have spent the majority of their time visually screening resumes and conducting interviews. When you separate the two stages, you will need to identify someone who is specialized in candidate research and market intelligence combined with an understanding of successful talent recruitment.

Managers and Interviewers Will Need Upskilling in Selection Interviewing

At many organizations, TA practices for selection have changed dramatically in an off-site mode. Organizations that previously held multiple interviews, large-panel interviews, and longer interview cycles have changed their approaches to make the online process more efficient. Most significantly, interviews that used to happen in person are now moved to virtual platforms and video format. Managers will need to be reskilled in assessment and selection practices on these new platforms, as the tried and true methods of in-person assessment may or may not translate into online formats. For example, non-verbal cues, such as eye contact and attentive behaviors, are much harder to maintain over a virtual interview. Also, assessing a candidate’s physical space and background can lead to false positives or false negatives that have nothing to do with a candidate’s job qualifications. Recruiters and managers will need to be trained in new practices to ensure they are making good decisions based on the right criteria.

Increase in Technology Sophistication for Recruiters

Tools such as CRM software, social media platforms, and other online resources enable companies to reach a larger and/or more targeted candidate pool faster. These tools and their capabilities are changing rapidly.

While most recruiters already use some sort of digital platform to connect with candidates, their knowledge and utilization of these tools will need to be scaled up as these tools become the operational backbone of working remotely. Companies should consider investing in recruiters who have specialized experience in some or all of these platforms. Recruiters will need to become experts in a variety of technology tools and keep pace with changes and upgrades. Smart organizations are acting now to get their TA team trained to handle the full technology bundle that will be the backbone of their day-to-day work.

With all the upheaval in TA brought by COVID-19, we have watched our clients make significant changes amazingly fast to handle the sudden move to remote recruiting. Moving forward, organizations should start now to plan for the post-COVID world, as many of the changes they have made temporarily will become permanent, and new changes will emerge as they move through this current crisis.