Harver – The New World of Work with Barend Raaff
A wonderful guest and a wonderful topic. The topic today is the new world of work, as we all deal with work from home and other work-related issues. We are going to be talking with Barend Raaff of Harver.
Barend is the founder and CEO of Harver.com. Harver offers a recruitment and matching platform used by organizations around the world that have challenges around volume recruitment. For example, call centers, hospitality, and retail.
We fully automate that process. Sometimes from the apply button to the hire, there is no human involvement at all. We can process millions of applicants. So, we use insights and data to help companies strategize their recruitment for the near future and also for the post COVID era that’s coming up.
What are some of the key takeaways? What have you learned with all this research?
The application volumes on what can be considered “safe jobs,” for example, work from home jobs, are spiking enormously. People in hospitality that have been laid off are at large scale moving to work at home positions. We asked them why and sometimes the reason is they don’t feel secure anymore having a job where they have to work with other people. Customer-facing roles are becoming less popular. That’s one of the trends that we saw. What we also saw is big insecurity in the labor market.
How will the workforce change because of this dispersed workforce?
First, there’s the big spike in unemployment. It’s logical; if businesses are closed people will be unemployed. What’s really interesting is what happens after the spike.
This crisis will blow over, and we will go into reopening mode. Companies will open again. But, we realize now more and more that that’s not a normal reopening. We will enter this “6-Feet Society” where there are certain rules. Those rules in a lot of industries will mean that we need fewer people. How will that look in the labor market?
The number of people that you need to open all the restaurants in New York will be half of what it was a quarter ago. Those insights are very interesting.
Of job availability following the pandemic, what do you suggest? Particularly for restaurants and retail. Will these businesses even have the same business model?
If you look at the average floor plan of a restaurant in New York, for example. And you remove tables to meet the 6-foot criteria, you see that you lose half of your seating capabilities. That means that you just need half of the staff.
If your question is can we find the people that we need? Yes definitely. But that also means half of that workforce remains unemployed. This is not only in restaurants, but will also impact the restaurant supply chain.
You will also see this, for example, in the airline industry. You can’t put the same amount of people in an airplane anymore. Less on board mean fewer flight attendants.
This means that unemployment immediately following a reopening will still be really high.
Will other industries or other businesses increase that will be able to take those people on?
Not all those people. Everyone’s talking about logistics. So, Amazon is doing great business now. But there are reports on the categories they sell on. A lot of those categories are around tools that you need to work from home. Refrigerator sales are up because people want to have more food storage in their house. If you take those numbers out, it’s not growing that much. It will not stay on that growth level as well.
If you have a company that is in office design, and you sell tools to make offices 6 feet compliant, you will have a spike of business. But it will never compensate for the loss of business in other industries.
Regarding the hourly worker, what is that candidate like? What are their needs?
Generally, they are not looking for a career, they are looking for a paycheck. They do jobs that you don’t need a lot of education. They can work in a call center one day, and then a restaurant after that.
If you look at numbers in Q1 of this year, there was a large scarcity. In recruitment, the important thing was having the right sourcing channels, having an increasing speed in the time to hire. The applicant experience was important.
I think what you will see now is that as unemployment remains high, the number of applicants per position will go up. Things like efficiency will start playing a role again. Automated matching, for example. I think we will go back to basically 2009, 2010.
Tune in for the rest of the conversation!
We discuss the impact to recent college graduates, the best practices for hiring now and post COVID, and much more! Other highlights include remote recruitment, transitioning from work at home back to the office setting, and moving from scarcity to an overload of applicants. We also dig into efficiency and automation.
Tune in and let us know what you think.
Listening time: 26 minutes
William is the President & Editor-at-Large of RecruitingDaily. At the intersection of HR and technology, he’s a writer, speaker, advisor, consultant, investor, storyteller & teacher. He's been writing about HR and Recruiting related issues for longer than he cares to disclose. William serves on the Board of Advisors / Board of Directors for 20+ HR technology startups. William is a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a BA in Art History. He also earned an MA in American Indian Studies from the University of Arizona and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University.