Q&A: Sourcing Talent After COVID-19
More than a year after the COVID-19 pandemic left an indelible mark on the labor market, many businesses are rebuilding their workforces. But what’s changed since COVID upended corporate hiring? And how can businesses adapt to this new hiring environment?
We recently sat down with Michelle Pasqual, President of MFA’s Talent Acquisition Practice, to learn more about how companies are sourcing top talent and evolving their hiring practices after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Q: What overall changes are companies making in their hiring practices after the COVID-19 pandemic?
Michelle Pasqual (MP): There’s a new sense of urgency. The hiring process moves a lot faster now compared to before the pandemic when the interview process could take weeks or even months. Now, we’re educating our customers that if they identify a solid candidate that they’re interested in, they should provide feedback as soon as possible (even that same day!) to ensure they keep the applicant engaged.
Q: With economies reopening and companies looking to add to their workforce, how should they approach building their applicant pool?
MP: If they anticipate increasing their talent needs during the remainder of 2021, they need to start sourcing and filling the pipeline now. I would encourage companies to start having conversations or reach out to us to start building their talent pool of qualified candidates. If a company finds a potential hire and it makes financial sense to push out a start date, that is always an option. But time is of the essence right now given how quickly things are moving.
Q: How do companies effectively decide who is the best fit for the job amongst an increased candidate pool?
MP: From my experience and with the feedback I’ve received from customers over many decades in the recruiting industry, it comes down to the right match. More specifically, a personality match. Skillsets can be taught, but you can’t turn around a bad attitude. It’s the personality fit for the individual company that applicants need to have – and in today’s environment especially, I think ambition and optimism will be really appealing to hiring managers.
Q: What qualities are companies looking for in their talent pools that might not have been priorities before the COVID-19 pandemic?
MP: Overall, they’re looking for good track records and longevity – which is always important. But I do see customers more open to interviewing potential hires that are currently unemployed, whereas, pre-COVID, they were more likely to reject applicants that were currently unemployed. Given what’s happened in the last 15 months, there’s a lot more understanding for different circumstances workers have had to endure.
Q: What motivational factors have changed for candidates reentering the workforce and how can companies meet those needs?
MP: The biggest driving force right now is job security and stability, as well as flexibility. We’re still seeing a lot of uncertainty from the job seeker’s perspective, and our customers are benefiting by offering a work-life balance to potential hires. For example, we have customers now that are offering unlimited PTO, which is something they wouldn’t have considered pre-pandemic. Customers are more willing to cater to an employee-centric environment today given how important it is to employee satisfaction.
Is your business hiring? Connect with MFA’s Talent Acquisition Team to learn more about how we can support your company’s search for short- and long-term talent.
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