Coronavirus (COVID-19), Recruiting

Expect COVID-Friendly Hiring Practices to Continue Well into 2021

Even though the COVID-19 vaccine is being distributed across the nation, mass inoculation may not occur until mid-2021, which means the same hiring practices you’ve been using throughout the pandemic will still be in play in the new year.

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How has hiring changed to meet the challenging times, and what else can we expect as we head into the new year? New survey data released by CareerPlug touch on these questions and provide more insight based on findings from a recent survey of CareerPlug users.

How Hiring Has Changed

Many organizations have gone remote, which makes remote hiring one of the most common ways things have changed. In fact, CareerPlug reports that since March, in-person hiring has dropped from 44% to 28.3%, and remote hiring has increased from 3.1% to 18.9%.

And like we mentioned above, these practices are here to stay for at least 61% of CareerPlug users. Also, despite the growing unemployment rate, 38.9% of CareerPlug users report that their hiring plans did not change as a result of COVID-19, while 20.8% said they hired for more positions than planned.

Which Practices Will Be Carried Over into 2021?

Remote recruitment was new for many, but throughout the course of the pandemic, recruiters and hiring managers have grown accustomed to the new practices and processes. So, which strategies will be carried over into the new year? CareerPlug reports that the following methods will continue to be used:

  • More extensive phone screenings
  • Prequalification questions and assessments
  • Video interviews on platforms like Zoom
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) (such as masks) and social distancing for in-person interviews
  • Electronic/paperless onboarding
  • Virtual orientation practices (PowerPoint® presentations, training videos, etc.)

“Most of our respondents said that even if they do in-person interviews, they are spending more time beforehand on phone screenings, assessments, and video interviews before extending invitations for in-person interviews,” says the CareerPlug report, “Hiring Trends for 2021.” “Some have attributed this to being part of an overall COVID-safety strategy, while others have been pleased to see the increased efficiency of virtual interviews and plan to continue doing them after the pandemic to save time.”

What Else Has Changed?

2020 was a year of profound change, whether we liked it or not. Besides the hiring process being turned on its head, the pandemic brought even more change to the hiring landscape. CareerPlug reports that 14% of businesses have created new roles to meet the challenges brought on by the pandemic.

“[M]any of those new roles come with duties focused on mitigating the risk of COVID-19’s spread, such as COVID Guidelines Associate in the Home & Commercial Services industry and Virtual Administrative Assistant in the Insurance & Financial Services industry,” reports CareerPlug.

The restaurant industry has also gotten creative due to the pandemic. CareerPlug reports the following new roles that industry is hiring for:

  • Sign spinner. “This role can help on-the-ground marketing efforts to make people aware that a restaurant is open, particularly when take-out only restaurants might appear closed,” says Desiree Echevarria for CareerPlug.
  • Guest service attendant. “Duties include informing guests upon arriving how to dine safely according to health and local COVID-19 guidelines,” Echevarria says.
  • Delivery-related roles. “Restaurant scheduling software company 7shifts has tracked trends in new restaurant roles created since March 2020 as a result of COVID-19 and has found a 243% increase in delivery-related roles, such as ‘driver’ and ‘delivery driver,’” says Echevarria.

While these roles aren’t necessarily new, some of the tasks these workers will do are. For example, Dominos and Pizza Hut have been employing delivery drivers for decades, but your local mom and pop down the street may be new to the whole delivery game.

Every industry has had to adjust to the changes brought on by the pandemic, and new roles are being created specifically to help combat the pandemic—contact tracers, for instance. While we don’t know what 2021 will have in store, it’s safe to say the “new normal” will continue on into the new year.