- As the talent market shifts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, recruiters in a survey conducted by talent assessment software company Criteria said that several areas of hiring — including finding high-quality candidates and making the process more efficient — are less challenging this year compared to last year, according to the Oct. 13 results.
- Among the biggest such year-over-year declines, 45% of respondents said reducing employee turnover was a challenge in 2020 compared to 67% of respondents who said the same in 2019. Sixty-eight percent said this year that finding high-quality candidates was a challenge compared to 87% last year. More than one-third of respondents said COVID-19 would make it easier to find good talent.
- Many cited the addition of new hiring strategies in response to the pandemic. The use of video interviews, for example, increased by 159% year-over-year, with 58% saying they have used video interviews in 2020. Criteria surveyed more than 400 hiring managers across multiple countries including the U.S., Australia and Canada.
The current job market favors employers: Observers including job-search site Ladders have pointed out that employers currently enjoy more options than job seekers, and therefore tend to have more power in the job market.
The pandemic and ongoing economic recession have not necessarily dented optimism on the part of the candidates, however. A recent survey conducted by Barnes & Noble College Insights found that more than half of recent-graduate respondents had confidence they would find a job in their chosen career path, and slightly less than half said they believed they could find a job within two to six months of graduation. At the same time, 66% of the respondents said they were concerned about finding a position that met their salary needs.
The state of the market also does not mean that maintaining a focused, efficient hiring process is no longer important. Recent studies indicate that many employers are shifting their recruiting to reduce time-to-hire, particularly via virtual hiring solutions. A Robert Half survey published earlier this month found 75% of senior managers had conducted remote interviews and onboarding sessions during the pandemic. Employers have also increasingly adopted automation-based solutions that can adapt existing processes to a virtual hiring environment, sources told HR Dive in June.
Finding candidates, including high-quality candidates, may be easier during the pandemic, but employers say they are still concerned about skill gaps. Gartner found earlier this year that fewer than 16% of job candidates possessed the skills companies required for their current jobs as well as future jobs.
Criteria's findings may indicate employers are still wary of such concerns. The company found more than one-third of its respondents planned to increase investment in optimizing employee training programs, tied for the most commonly cited investment increase. The move to digital learning may soon spur adoption of different forms of learning modules, namely microcredential tracks that can improve learning access and outcomes for employees, learning and development professionals recently told HR Dive.