4 Ways the Pandemic Changed How Job Seekers Seek Work

Over the past two years, everyone has had to make adjustments. A new report from IQTalent Partners reveals how job seekers are adapting to the new normal that is tilting in their favor, and how companies are adapting to meet their needs.

January 20, 2022 – COVID-19 has impacted nearly every facet of our lives over the past two years. Companies moved to remote work and in the process adjusted to new ways of working. Through it all, a labor shortage has made talent acquisition leaders and their recruiting partners scratch their heads and wonder what can be done to attract and secure the limited talent on the market.

According to a newly released report from IQTalent Partners – an on-demand talent acquisition solutions provider now part of search firm Caldwell – executive recruiters and hiring managers aren’t the only ones adapting their styles over the last two years. Job seekers have notably changed their habits and preferences during a time when their leverage and power as a candidate is considerably higher than ever before. To attract and retain these candidates, recruiters need to adjust their strategies and better fit the preferences of today’s employed professionals.

Below, IQTalent Partners offers four ways that the pandemic has changed the way job seekers are searching for work:

1. Candidates are Changing Where They Look for Jobs

Traditionally, job boards and company sites were great places for engaging and attracting candidates to your open positions, according to the IQTalent Partners report. “But, as time changes, so are the places where job seekers are flocking to,” it said. “Nowadays, many job seekers are using social media to interact with companies and find out information about openings.”

While job boards remain popular, with 60 percent of job seekers using them to inquire about open roles, the amount job boards will continue to become less popular as recruiting tools for companies.

2. Candidates are Changing How They Want to Communicate

When the pandemic first hit, organizations were forced to put in-person activities on hold as workplaces moved to a remote format. IQTalent Partners points to events that were typically held in the office, like meetings, onboarding/training and performance reviews, having had to adjust to the new normal of being conducted virtually. Now, after we’ve had a chance to acclimate to these changes, job seekers are pushing to continue this new communication style.

Related: Pandemic Pause: Job Change Reluctance & Realities in the Age of COVID-19 

“Today’s candidates overwhelmingly prefer texting to communicate about the hiring process and schedule interviews,” the report said. “Some people noted that they would even be comfortable conducting their interview over text! While in-person and video interviews continue to be the most popular method, recruiters would benefit from investing in an SMS texting tool or similar solution to stay on top of candidate communications.”

3. Cash Still Rules Everything (or, Mostly Everything)

While the kinds of perks and benefits employees want from an employer, have changed over the last year or so, don’t overlook the power of a strong, valuable job offer. IQTalent Partners notes that many employees have stated that they would reconsider working for an employer if they were to get another job offer with a higher salary.

Post-COVID-19 Workforce Trends Driving the Labor Market

Experts agree that we’re experiencing unprecedented times in the global labor market. While a few of the buzziest phrases of this phase include the Great Resignation, the Great Realization and the Great Reshuffle, there are many more “Greats” where those came from, according to a new report from Business Talent Group (BTG). Each of these workforce trends center around the same notion, that the pandemic has caused major changes in the labor force at all levels across nearly every industry.

Business Talent Group’s study provides a recap of today’s most superlative workforce trends and reveals why there’s never been a better time to tap high-end independent talent for help with your greatest business opportunities and challenges.

“It is essential to offer a wide range of perks and benefits for your employees so that you can fit their needs and create a competitive and attractive work environment,” the IQTalent Partners report said. “But don’t forget that when it comes to an offer, money talks. A competitive salary is still one of the most important things to a job seeker when comparing and choosing between offers.”

4. Culture is on the Forefront for Candidates

If it seems like company culture has been a buzzword and conversation topic for a while, it’s because it has been, according to the IQTalent Partners report. “And it’s because your company culture is more critical to your recruiting efforts than you might understand,” the study said. “Today’s job seekers research the companies they apply to before accepting an offer. They want insight into what daily life is like the kind of workload they’ll face, and whether the employees that work there currently enjoy being a part of the team.”

To stay competitive in the hiring space and attract the best talent, be sure that your company culture encourages people to apply and stay with your company for years to come. Just because your company is remote doesn’t mean that you can afford to neglect your company culture. 48 percent of job seekers say that company culture still takes priority even in remote roles.

“Recruiters would benefit from adjusting their strategies to attract and retain top talent,” IQTalent Partners said. “While the labor shortage makes it more challenging to hire strong candidates, it doesn’t make it impossible. By focusing on offering the right benefits, creating a positive and enjoyable work environment, and updating your approaches to candidate communications, you can stay competitive and win over talented employees.”

Nashville, TN-based IQTalent Partners is a talent acquisition and executive search firm offering consulting, candidate sourcing, candidate research and full cycle recruiting. It uses an on-demand business model in which the firm augments the client’s in-house talent acquisition team in a partnership without commissions or long-term contracts. Founded in 2009, IQTalent Partners’ mission is “to find a better, more cost-effective, and efficient way for organizations and candidates to find a match.” The firm has partnered with more than 300 corporations from Fortune 500s to start-ups.

Related: Setting the Pace for Virtual Outplacement

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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