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Over the past few years, the importance of adapting the candidate recruitment technique and prioritising post-hire onboarding has become increasingly apparent.

However, now that many businesses are once again beginning to think about expanding the workforce following the wide scale COVID-19 hiring freeze, there are some new challenges in candidate recruitment and onboard that must be considered.

Challenges in Candidate Recruitment

The main challenge we’re seeing in the post-pandemic hiring landscape is developing a hiring strategy that successfully helps businesses to differentiate themselves and stand out from the crowd in what is a tough and highly competitive candidate-driven market.

During the pandemic itself, with fewer organisations hiring and a rise in redundancies, businesses had their choice of candidates. Today, however, it’s the other way around.

In fact, a single week in June 2021 saw nearly 200,000 new job adverts posted in the UK; much more than before lockdown. Coupled with rapidly dropping levels of unemployment, candidate recruitment is becoming a significant challenge.

It’s reported that businesses are increasing salaries by up to 40% to attract the best people. But there may be another way: building a positive candidate experience.

Right now, organisations should be working closely with end-to-end recruitment specialists to develop unique hiring techniques that attract and engage top talent.

While many may turn to online assessments and video interviews to achieve this, research shows that 86% are now incorporating virtual technologies into their hiring process, so it’s no longer enough to stand out. It’s time for organisations to do more.

The smart move is to leverage the experience and insight of recruitment experts to design processes that adequately support and guide candidates through the journey, and perhaps even more importantly, continue doing so even after the journey ends.

During the pandemic, the percentage of businesses providing feedback to all candidates following an interview dropped to just 7%, which isn’t good enough in a candidate-driven landscape. Organisations should be working with end-to-end recruiters that don’t just support the hiring experience but the candidate experience in its entirety, helping to maintain relationships with great talent for potential future roles.

Challenges in Onboarding

As most employers will already know, there are 5 stages to the candidate experience:

  1. Job search/application
  2. Initial screening or assessment
  3. Shortlisting for interview
  4. Offer/acceptance
  5. Onboarding

The challenge with onboarding in the post-pandemic landscape is the fact that remote working has very much become the norm. This means that businesses must be able to support new workers and help them to settle into the company and into the working environment, without relying on immersive office experiences and ‘office osmosis’.

Unfortunately, many organisations appear to be failing to achieve this. Earlier this year, it was reported that more than half of all women – around 58% – and 65% of men felt unsatisfied with the onboarding programme they experienced as a new employee.

The good news is that the challenges of onboarding remotely or amongst a geographically dispersed team can be tackled by adapting your approach.

The bad news is that there’s really no right or wrong way to change. There are, however, three ways that you can uncover the best methods for onboarding:

  • Involve your existing employees and ask for their insight into any areas where they would have appreciated more support as they were settling in themselves.
  • Discuss this with your candidates during the interview stage, asking about their expectations so that you can proactively prepare to welcome them.
  • Partner with recruiters that will remain in touch with candidates throughout the onboarding process to obtain useful feedback for making necessary tweaks.

The COVID-19 outbreak introduced a lot of changes to the recruitment sector. Understanding the impact of these changes, acknowledging the new challenges they’ve brought with them, and being willing to adapt your candidate recruitment and onboarding strategies as needed are key to attracting the right talent, at the right time.

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