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Hiring In A Pandemic: It’s Not As Easy As You Think

Hiring in a Pandemic

You would have thought that hiring in a pandemic that has ravaged the economy would be relatively straightforward. Everyone is at home, available and hungry for work. There are millions of talented people sitting idle, just waiting to grab an opportunity when it comes along.

Furthermore, the effects of the recession go well beyond specific sectors like airlines and hospitality. Even people who work for high street banks or longstanding retailers are finding themselves without work. Were it not for the furlough scheme; millions more would likely be unemployed. 

Hiring In a Pandemic Effectively and Efficiently

Despite the gloom, we’re also seeing other firms going on a hiring spree as the composition of the economy changes. Nobody in 2019 predicted that the entire structure of economic relationships would need to change in 2020 to avoid the transmission of infection. And yet, that’s where businesses find themselves. Nobody wants bar staff. Everyone wants supermarket personnel. 

This is precisely what is driving bottlenecks and creating onboarding issues. Everyone is clamouring for the same people, trying to outbid the competition where they can and get the labour that they need. For instance, Amazon recently announced that it would be adding 1,000 new employees at a major centre in Nashville. Delivery company Hermes is looking at hiring thousands of new people for customer service jobs and delivery work, and it is still trying to keep up with demand. 

Problems With Admin Burden

Hiring in a pandemic is also made more challenging by the fact that so many people need jobs. Recruiters who advertise a post are receiving thousands of applications from hopefuls looking to find work. Not only is it time-consuming for the applicants, but it is also a big admin task for companies. Firms have to come up with strategies that will let them whittle down shortlists quickly, without removing the most promising candidates. 

In some cases, firms have had to take on more HR staff just to accommodate the increased workload involved in taking on new people. Hiring has never been a cheap process, but the pandemic is making it more expensive. In some cases, it is an embarrassment of riches. Firms have too much choice. 

Problems With Video Hires

Then there’s the issue of needing to hire people without actually meeting them first. Common sense suggests that Zoom is an adequate substitute, but many hiring managers wonder whether this is actually the case. Meeting somebody in person lets you get a feel for them you don’t get in a video chat. You see how they hold themselves, their mannerisms, and their subtle cues. It all makes a difference to their prospects of getting work.

Problems With Team Integration

Finally, there are significant issues with introducing new recruits to your team. A lot of new hires haven’t actually met any of their colleagues in the flesh because of remote working. It’s hard, therefore, to integrate them with the existing team. You don’t get that natural ebb and flow you have in the office when a new person starts work at a company. Some people worry that it will make a difference. 

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