talent technology


HCM Technology Report: Talent Technology Roundup


On March 5, when COVID-19 was still something to think about if you had time. Paychex said that 66 percent of U.S. business owners felt “prepared” for the virus to become widespread. Nearly as many, 59 percent, said they had continuity plans in place to address any business disruptions.

So, how’s that working out?

Not so well, unless most business owners prepared to close their doors and let employees go. In fairness, few people outside of the public health world could anticipate the speed at which the virus would spread. Not to mention the severity of the measures necessary to slow it down.

Less than three weeks later, Goldman Sachs reported that only 51 percent of small businesses believe they can operate for three months (or less) under current conditions. Slightly more, 53 percent, said their employees couldn’t telecommute. On March 25, the business software provider Thryv and America’s Small Business Development Centers said 69 percent of small companies have seen a drop in demand, and 60 percent believe demand will continue to fall.

Nearly two-thirds—64 percent—have cut employee hours, and 22 percent expect to begin cutting hours soon.


Long-Term Thinking

Despite the pressure they’re under, many employers are already looking toward a post-pandemic recovery. Even if they can’t predict the timeframe.

Recruiting vendors suggest many companies are strengthening their talent pipelines and trying out new technologies, so they’ll be ready to hire again when business allows it.

Some industries—such as healthcare, logistics, and transportation—have ramped up their hiring to cope with increased demand for their services. Others, even if they’ve slowed or suspended their recruiting campaigns, are using the time to make changes to their operations and processes. Changes that would be difficult to roll out under normal circumstances, said Ben Slater, vice president of marketing for Beamery.

At many companies, efforts to optimize the workforce must continue, even if new hiring is suspended, noted Keca Ward. Ward is the senior director of talent experience at Phenom.

GEM Recruiting AI

“Companies that are on a hiring freeze still have to maintain productivity,” she said. But although hiring managers “want more muscle,” recruiters have had to slow down or stop their outreach.

So, these employers “need to communicate to all departments that the brakes are on. And they have to optimize their current talent,” Ward said.


Providers Open Up

Many recruiting technology providers have made their services available at reduced or no cost to employers struggling as the business landscape changes daily.

Through June 30, GR8 People is offering its Campus & Event Recruiting solution for free. As college campuses close down and on-site career fairs suspended, the company believes virtual events are the most viable way to fill openings quickly.

Lever has made its Remote Interviewing solution available at no charge through May 31. Including functionality developed in partnership with Zoom. During the past month, Lever said, the number of Zoom interviews scheduled on its platform has increased by 50 percent week-over-week.

JazzHR opened up its healthcare recruiting tools to essential care services, including primary, emergency, and urgent care providers. The company said its partner Wedge is offering integrated video interviewing services free of charge, as well.

Employers looking for IT professionals can use eTeki’s digital interview capabilities for free. The company’s tools help managers and recruiters evaluate coding capabilities, converse over a whiteboard, or share screens to review past work.

All these firms are positioning themselves to take advantage of an explosion of interest in virtual recruiting tools. You can see the evidence on BestSoftwareReviews. The web site said the number of visitors to its video-interview product page has increased by about 73 percent per week over the last three weeks.

In a blog post, the company said searches for “virtual interview platforms” rose 540 percent in a week, “free online interview platforms” rose 291 percent, and “best online interview software” increased 236 percent.

Mark Feffer

Mark Feffer is executive editor of RecruitingDaily and the HCM Technology Report. He’s written for TechTarget, HR Magazine, SHRM, Dice Insights, TLNT.com and TalentCulture, as well as Dow Jones, Bloomberg and Staffing Industry Analysts. He likes schnauzers, sailing and Kentucky-distilled beverages.