Impact of Covid-19 on Recruitment

The whole world is gripped in the spikes of the coronavirus. Economies are tumbling down due to economic activity coming to a screeching halt with prolonged lockdown and curfews. Organisations are narrowing down by laying off employees extensively, existing employees are working remotely from their homes and hiring has been either delayed indefinitely or has moved online. Surely, the pandemic has forced all organisation to reconsider and look for new ways of recruitment.

Firstly, there has been a hiring freeze in general as organisations don’t need more workforce due to disrupted economic activity. This is particularly true for services, retail, hospitality and tourism sector. For other sectors, organisations are now looking for freelancers and contract workers to cut down on their hiring costs and sustain themselves in the low-demand scenario. Moreover, job positions have been reduced considerably to include only core job titles. Rather than hiring new people, organisations are downsizing by outsourcing major jobs and expecting existing workforce to upskill themselves. 

But, the impact on hiring has not been synonymous across all sectors. While service sector is witnessing a decline, sectors such as e-commerce, health and wellness sector and online delivery portals are experiencing an exponential spike in requirement of workforce.

Secondly, the pandemic has forced organisations to take recruitment online. It has been estimated there has been a 60-65% delay in interviews in the service sector. Interviews that are happening currently are being done on online video platforms such as Skype and Zoom. Thus recruitment is being done utilising virtual and digital platforms.

Thirdly, the hiring avenues have also altered due to the pandemic. Executive hiring through campus placements have been delayed. Fresh graduates will have to prepare themselves without the office on boarding and induction processes. The added competition of experienced professionals vying for the same job will further exacerbate the woes of the fresh graduates. There will also be increased focus to hire people with the right attitude who can learn any new skills faster than others. Degrees and qualifications will not matter as much as they did earlier. 

Fourthly, it is becoming increasingly difficult to hire new workforce as there are fewer applications for open positions. In February 2020 there was a 47% reduction of applications on average across all industries compared with February 2019, according to WaveTrackR’s report. Businesses will now have to adjust to the new emerging trends and global forces. Thus, the ability to learn any new skills quickly will be an added advantage for any job seekers. Quick reskilling & up-skilling will be another new norm, that will in-turn enhance the rapid adoption of e-learning tools & platforms.

The pandemic has definitely forced organisations to go down the ladder. Nonetheless, the pandemic should be viewed as an opportunity to upskill existing employees, further widen the ambit of digitisation to the recruitment domain and grow along with the pandemic. Because, that is the new normal!

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