Recruiting: The Ultimate Work-from-Home Role
Recruiting is an interesting function. One that operates with autonomy while remaining contingent on the parent organization. It is both independent and dependent at the same time: able to adapt to hiring trends and business needs.
It is rarely, if ever, static. Continually embracing new strategies and solutions to find the best and brightest candidates on the market. So, it comes as no surprise that recruiting is evolving to fit what’s become the “new normal” in pandemic times. For many, that means working from home, discovering new ways to collaborate with candidates and hiring managers, and using technology to bridge gaps and drive outcomes.
With this in mind, Checkster recently surveyed 400 recruiters and talent acquisition professionals to learn more about the function’s own future of work. And, what things will look like as companies continue to navigate COVID-19 conditions.
Here’s what we found out:
Location, Location, Location
By July 2020, the vast majority of recruiting teams had reached a decision about returning to the office. 72 percent will have the option to work from home permanently. To break that down, 36 percent will stay remote indefinitely, while the other 36 will have the choice to work from home.
Of those surveyed, only 16 percent are planning for everyone to return to the office. While the remaining 12 percent were still mulling things over. The results illustrate a dramatic shift in thinking from life before COVID-19 when only 8 percent of respondents were remote, and 70 percent worked exclusively in an office.
Of course, there are pros and cons to this new arrangement. As countless companies, including Twitter, Google, Zillow, and more, are bound to find out. Technology certainly makes the transition easier, supporting productivity and communication.
But there’s more to work than efficiency. Recruiters recognize this, too, with survey respondents still deciding how they feel about the change. Especially as it relates to their ideal work setup.
When asked if they thought it was beneficial to work together at the same location versus separately, recruiters are still making up their minds. When it comes to working with other recruiters, 44 percent prefer being apart, 25 percent see the merits of being in the same place and 32 percent are fine either way. Add hiring managers into the mix and the results become more balanced. With 35 percent in favor of staying separate, 33 percent eager to remain together, and 33 percent feeling OK with either option.
While seemingly flexible, given the circumstances, recruiters know they can’t do the work completely alone. There are internal and external stakeholders to consider. All of whom expect positive interactions and experiences throughout the hiring process.
So, while a physical location might not be seen as an impediment, it does factor into the ability to collaborate outside of shared office space. That’s where technology, tools, and techniques enter into the conversation. Going far beyond the omnipresent Zoom.
Strategies around these setups differ wildly based on the individual recruiter but mostly fit into a few classification categories. There are standard tools like phone and email, the aforementioned video conferencing platforms, scheduling widgets, and digital recruiting solutions.
Asked about their use of the latter, 72 percent of recruiters said they are using digital interviews more now. The same goes for the 52 percent relying heavily on digital reference checking and 58 percent conducting more digital assessments. This illustrates a move away from manual, in-office approaches as recruiters look for efficiencies while staying remote.
Survey participants also reported a focus on improving communication – with candidates as well as coworkers. That might mean introducing additional structure and rigor by having regularly scheduled team meetings throughout the week. Or merely talking more during the day over Microsoft Teams, Slack, or even Facetime. Fun events like remote happy hours have become nice to-dos, but clarity and frequency of messaging are the keys to more successful interactions overall.
No doubt that COVID-19 will have a long-term impact on recruiting teams, as the majority continue to work from home. There will be growing pains too, as recruiters trade office wear for yoga pants and master meeting candidates online instead of in-person.
But based on what we’ve seen so far, the function is up for the challenge. Ready to take its autonomy and independence in-house (literally) while still making hires happen.