By Randy Mountz.

Over the past eight months, our lives have changed dramatically and the same holds true for recruiting. Over the summer, I spoke with candidates about the ways that finding a job has changed this year. This month I spoke to Matt True, People and Culture Business Partner at Mediaocean, and Evan Walker, Talent and Acquisition Manager at InMarket, to learn about the challenges they are facing as they continue to recruit and onboard new employees during the pandemic.

  1. All aspects of the recruitment process are now conducted online. Replacing face to face interviews with interviews conducted over video conference was an obvious and simple solution. However other aspects of the recruitment process, such as recruiting events, have not been so easily replicable in a virtual environment. 
  2. Large numbers of unqualified applicants. Each of our openings regularly receives 800+ applicants. Many applicants are not qualified for the roles they’re applying for, leaving the work to our recruiting teams to sift through to find the qualified candidates. 
  3. Onboarding has been a challenge while remote. Some of our key staff have returned to the office but the vast majority are still working from home. It’s been a huge challenge to onboard new hires into our culture in a distributed environment. 
  4. Maintaining company culture and employee morale. While many of our employees have embraced working from home, many still miss the opportunities for in-person interactions with their colleagues. Conducting virtual social events such as happy hours has helped to maintain collegial relationships.

While we’ve faced a lot of new challenges this year, we’re also slowly finding out what works for our company and our employees. 

  1. Over-communicating with employees. It keeps them feeling engaged and as if they are still a member of the team despite being at home. This is especially important for employees who live alone. 
  2. Allow for as much flexibility as possible. Many of our employees are home-schooling their children and expect to continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Allowing for flexible working hours has helped to take some of the pressure off of our employees and enable them to do their work while also taking care of their  families. 
  3. Offer stipends for home office upgrades. Many of our team members worked in the office full-time prior to the pandemic and didn’t have a proper office set up. Our employees used the stipends to modify their home environments to mimic their former office environment by adding additional computer monitors, upgrading their desks, and purchasing new printers for their home. 
  4. Outsourcing recruiting to an experienced professional search firm for key hires has helped to take some of the additional load off of our internal recruiting team and has enabled us to more quickly hire for key positions within our organization.