- Recruiting professionals are caught between pre-outbreak plans and new instability, according to Gartner research released April 30. To cope, the research and advisory firm suggested employers take a three-pronged approach: embrace virtual interviewing; manage candidate and new hire emotions; and embrace internal mobility.
- While the vast majority of HR leaders responding to a recent Gartner poll said they’ll reduce hiring during the next three months, most (86%) said they’ll use video interviews when they do hire. What’s more, "virtual interviewing may become the new standard for recruiting leaders and candidates long after social distancing guidelines are lifted," Lauren Smith, vice president in the Gartner HR practice, predicted in a press release.
- Gartner also suggested that recruiters and hiring managers manage candidate emotions to avoid reputational damage; this may include transparent communication if openings are frozen or start dates delayed. And to accommodate shifts in business needs, HR can source from a pool of employees and promote vacancies internally. "As organizations continue to embrace remote work policies during these circumstances, recruiting leaders should fill talent gaps through alternate employment models that present a lower risk to the organization’s growth," Smith said.
Recruiting professionals and hiring managers may need to take a number of creative steps to mitigate the pandemic’s impact on the workplace.
As Gartner noted, virtual hiring is in full swing at some essential businesses; CVS, for example, is using virtual interviews and job fairs to advance its goal of hiring 50,000 employees. The federal government has made allowances to accommodate these needs, too. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in March granted employers permission to review Form I-9 work documents remotely.
Reputational damage control, too, is already in motion, as Gartner noted. Hiring freezes remain employers’ most common cost-control measure during the pandemic, and prospective employees are paying attention. "There is more attention now than ever to how employers are treating their employees," Brian Kropp, chief of research for the firm’s HR practice, previously told HR Dive in a discussion about layoffs. "How employers manage their workforces across the next five weeks will have lasting implications for their employment brand for the next five years."
Gartner’s third recommendation — internal sourcing — was identified as a best practice even before the pandemic but may prove crucial to business operations as employers limit headcount. Such efforts, of course, will likely require some upskilling, but there’s good news for learning and development professionals on that front: employees say they’re ready and willing to learn new skills.