How COVID has changed staffing long-term

May 14, 2021 Christina DeBusk

COVID-19 has changed the way many of us interact with the world. The question many are asking is how many of these changes are temporary and which ones are likely to be here long-term. While the answer remains largely to be seen, there are a few staffing changes that some suspect may be around for years to come.

A more remote workforce

Forbes is keeping a running list of companies that say they will remain either fully or partially remote even as the pandemic subsides. Dropbox, Twitter, Shopify, Spotify, and Square are a handful of the companies named on the list of businesses that have indicated that they intend to keep their workforce fully remote post-pandemic.

Those offering a more hybrid work model moving forward—which involves having a mix of both remote and in-person staff—include Ford Motor Company, Google, HubSpot, Intuit, and Microsoft.

One survey suggests that employers may benefit from allowing more of their staff to work from home. For instance, it found that remote workers tend to have less unproductive time than when working in an office (27 minutes per day versus 37 minutes) and they work more days per month (1.4 more days, to be exact, which equates to 16.8 more workdays per year).

They also spend less time discussing non-work topics with co-workers, dropping from 66 minutes daily to 29 minutes, reducing this type of banter by more than half.

Virtual vs in-person interviews

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) reports that many companies are now changing their interview processes, choosing to meet with potential job candidates virtually as opposed to holding the more traditional in-person interviews. Amazon, Google, and LinkedIn are three mentioned, yet there are undoubtedly numerous others.

Virtual interviews provide employers the opportunity to meet and learn more about qualified job seekers without risking exposure to and potential spread of the coronavirus. However, over the long term, keeping this change could reduce logistical issues related to interviewing, such as the need to secure interview rooms. It could also ease scheduling concerns, such as when hiring personnel will be in a certain location to conduct the interviews on a specific day and time.

The SHRM provides some guidance for businesses that want to make their virtual interviews as successful as possible. This includes being fully prepared for this meeting, just as you would with an in-person interview.

Other recommendations include letting candidates know upfront that the interviews will be held by video so they aren’t surprised and double-checking your technology to ensure that it is ready to go at interview time.

Recruiting changes

The coronavirus has made many recruiting tactics now obsolete according to Harvard Business Review. For instance, while in the past there was a heavy focus on finding candidates with certain college degrees or training certifications, many potential employees are finding other ways to boost their education and skills within the confines of their own homes.

Additionally, job seekers are becoming more selective about the companies to which they apply, with companies that offer remote work and schedule flexibility being more appealing than businesses that don’t provide these types of options.

Based on these post-pandemic trends, Harvard suggests that, when recruiting, companies consider a job candidate’s potential as opposed to their experience. This requires looking beyond what the business needs today and, instead, considering what it may need tomorrow in terms of employee skills.

Harvard further recommends keeping a finger on the pulse of potential employee expectations. In other words, pay attention to what job seekers are looking for so you know how to make your company more competitive, improving your ability to bring in your industry’s top talent.

Want guidance on how to recruit the best staff? We can help. Get in touch here.

About the Author

Christina M. DeBusk creates small business content for a variety of publications, some of which include Businessing Magazine, Compendent, Chiropractic Economics, and more. She is also the author behind the column, "The Successful Solopreneur.

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