October 30, 2020 – When it comes to hiring and career changes, the COVID-19 pandemic has complicated an already arduous decision-making process. There are now added complexities around interview logistics, safety and cleanliness within the workplace, and adapting to a growing remote workforce.
In a recent report, executive search firm 3P Partners, highlighted three key areas that are affecting candidates’ decision-making in job searches. Whether you are considering making a career change or you have started the application process, it is important to keep the following in mind:
1. Traveling for an in-person interview
A new element when considering a career change is the added layer of risk related to travelling to an interview, said 3P Partners. Nestle and Cargill were among the first conglomerates to halt business related travel in March as COVID-19 continued to spread across the globe, according to a report by Bloomberg. A Gartner study, meanwhile, showed that 86 percent of companies transitioned to virtual interviews in April, and 85 percent planned to use online platforms for onboarding.
Although recruiters were utilizing online platforms long before COVID-19, CNBC reported that 84 percent of recruiters are in the process of adapting their hiring processes to facilitate remote exchanges, said the 3P Partners report. There has been a greater investment in social media analytics as more than 58 percent of recruiters are using these platforms as well as artificial intelligence and text messaging to connect with and attract potential hires.
“Despite the rapid adoption of remote hiring processes, not all companies are able to rely solely on virtual tools,” said the report. “Companies operating in ‘essential’ industries, such as food manufacturing or agriculture, require face-to-face interviews and onsite onboarding and training.”
Here are a few factors candidates must keep in mind to ensure potential employers are providing a safe interview environment:
- Are temperature checks performed upon arrival?
- Are candidates/employees required to fill out an exposure form?
- Are masks required?
- Is social distancing being practiced where possible?
- What practices have been adopted to reduce the risk of COVID-19 cases within the office/facility?
2. Employer’s response to the pandemic
Salesforce recently announced that the company would be extending its remote work through the summer of next year, a decision following the likes of Google and Facebook. Meanwhile, companies such as Twitter have announced that their employees may work remote indefinitely. “This transition has increased the candidate talent pool and created greater flexibility around the hiring process,” said 3P Partners. “For many candidates in essential industries, however, work remote is not an option due to the nature of the work they are performing. An employer’s response to the COVID pandemic and dedication to ensuring a safe work environment then becomes a key factor in a candidate’s decision-making criteria.”
Rachel Quinn founded 3P Partners in 2013 when she relocated to the U.S. from Australia. She has a solid track record of placing C-level food and agribusiness industry executives. Her team is dedicated to providing top level service and building long-term relationships with both candidates and clients. Rachel holds a bachelor’s degree in human resource management from Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia.
Faegre Drinker, a global law firm offers a Q&A employer guide entitled “Return to Work in the Time of COVID-19.” According to the EEOC, “An employer may screen job applicants for symptoms of COVID-19 after making a conditional job offer, as long as it does so for all entering employees in the same type of job.” The agency shared that an employer may delay the start date of a new position if the candidate presents symptoms and is protected by the EEOC to withdraw the job offer.
Talent acquisition has undeniably changed as we all face the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many organizations have slowed or halted their addition of talent while others have reduced their size. “The industries we have primarily been serving in banking and insurance have been impacted significantly with only limited additional hiring for banks in risk management, security and mortgage processing,” said Steven Landberg, managing director of Claymore Partners, in a new report.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers comprehensive guides for both employers and employees to ensure a safe and healthy workplace. “Some components for candidates to consider include the risk level of the people in their household, access to childcare, and exposure to others,” said the 3P Partners report. “Upon returning to the workplace, the CDC suggests maintaining social distance from those around you, wearing a mask, and washing/sanitizing hands and surfaces regularly.” The CDC published a COVID-19 screening tool – a pdf form that employers can use to identify COVID symptoms in the workplace.
3. Relocating for a new position
PwC shared the impact of COVID-19 on global mobility with a survey conducted across 350 companies in 37 different countries. The study found that 40 percent of the companies said that the pandemic had a significant impact on the ability of mobile employees to do business as usual, and two-thirds of companies that had employees on secondment or transfer offered the option to return home. Many postponed future relocation, and 58 percent said they were allowing their employees to start new roles from their home country. The survey also showed that only 12 percent felt the pandemic would trigger a fundamental rethink on mobility, and only 20 percent believed the number of international moves would decrease.
In 3P Partners’ recent article, “Coronavirus Unintended Consequences: Added Value Through Remote Workforce,” the firm addressed the benefits of the growing remote force for the employer, including access to diverse talent, reduced overhead and untapped growth potential through satellite offices and new markets within various time zones. “Additional benefits to a remote workforce include flexible work schedules as well as new opportunities for women and candidates with disabilities, who would not otherwise have access to these job opportunities,” said the search firm. “We acknowledge that while remote work is not applicable to all industries and positions, it is becoming an increasingly popular trend among 2020 job seekers.”
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media