3 Strategies for Winning Talent Post Covid-19

Coronavirus has generated a colossal shock to businesses around the world. Thousands of organizations, large and small, are being affected by the spread of Coronavirus. Unlike other viruses that have circulated in the past, this one is particularly troublesome, forcing people to practice social distancing.

For businesses, this comes at a cost. While stakeholders take steps to protect their organizations during this abrupt downswing, millions of hard working people are losing their jobs. Last week the number of new jobless claims reached a whopping 3,280,0001.

In Contrast, we only saw 282,000 applications last week2. According to some estimates, up to 32% of the entire United States working population may be let go before the situation improves3.  So what can you do now?

Before you start hitting the panic button, or waving a white flag, I think it is important to consider that coronavirus struck at a time of economic prosperity, and not hardship. Economies were running full-steam before all of this happened. Eventually, when the curve begins to flatten, it may be back to business as usual. However, while that notion of getting back to normal may seem all fine and dandy, there may be challenges up ahead. If economic demand rises too quickly, many organizations will be missing a portion of their workforce required to meet it.

This suggests that organizations that fail to retain their talent during these short term headwinds will be forced to rapidly compete for talent when tailwinds pick up. Now more than ever, those currently working in the area of Talent Acquisition (TA) need to arm themselves with the tools and technologies that can help them win this imminent war for talent.

We are in the calm before the storm, and it is a great opportunity to learn more about what new tools and technologies are available, and how they can improve your existing TA strategy. 

To help, here are a few suggestions for tweaking your existing TA strategy using some new tools and technologies available: 

Programmatic Recruitment 

Manually posting a job to different job boards, carefully crafting relevant job-content information, and knowing exactly how to reach your target audience are quickly becoming antiquated strategies for sourcing applicants. These time consuming steps are now being replaced with Programmatic Recruitment (PR). 

PR is a new approach to applicant sourcing that uses Artificial Intelligence to efficiently scale recruitment campaigns and make continuous campaign refinements. Programmatic recruitment fully automates the recruitment process, while also making smart, budget-conscious decisions along the way. Using a near touchless approach for filling the applicant funnel is desirable, especially if the goal is saving time and money during the applicant sourcing stage. 

There are several excellent players in the PR space, and lots to love about them. For example, a large PR company out of New York city helps recruiters fully automate the recruiting process. They help do everything from targeting the right applicant channels, to optimizing the performance of job ad content in real time. 

There are also plenty of existing job boards that are incorporating PR features into their product offerings as a way to remain relevant in the industry. This move is justifiable, as many organizations have already adopted some form of PR into their existing TA workflow. A bonus with most PR applications is that applicant data can be seamlessly fed into most Applicant Tracking Systems – our next topic.

Applicant Tracking Systems 

An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is a convenient platform for aligning your recruiting solution with selection vendors and applicant lists. One benefit you receive when using an ATS is having direct access to many SaaS assessment and background check vendors.

This is done through the ATS’s vibrant virtual marketplaces. You can easily find vendors that fit your selection requirements, and include them in your hiring process. Vendors sell a range of selection tools from traditional cognitive testing and personality/culture assessments, to game-based assessments, video interviewing, and high fidelity workplace simulations (lots of fun!). 

I am confident that most ATS platforms have everything you need to select the right person for the job. Most ATS platforms also come equipped with features to collect and manage applicant flow data, which is useful if you are examining compliance with EEOC standards. However, among all the positives, one of the challenges I have found in my experience with ATS platforms, is the need to sift through vendors trying to find the right tool for the job. 

While there are many good tools out there, there are an equal number of ‘not so good’ ones as well. Therefore, it is a kind of a buyer beware situation, so it is always important to have a critical eye when thinking about incorporating a new assessment tool you happen to come across.

Automated Video-Interviewing 

A recent development in the assessment space is the rapid adoption of automated video-interviews. Automated video-interviews allow organizations to connect with applicants using a quick, reliable, and safe approach. Applicants are remotely screened, and in some cases, with more rigor than typical face-to-face interviews. 

Automated video-interviews are also automatically scored, significantly reducing the need for human raters. They are also asynchronous – the interview content and questions are pre-recorded. 

One of the biggest advantages of asynchronous video-interviews is the ability to interview multiple candidates simultaneously. Altogether, the advantages of asynchronous video-interviews can lead to tremendous savings for organizations that currently have multiple dedicated recruiters. Using automated video-interviews can get the right candidate for a position, at a fraction of the time and cost compared to more traditional approaches. 

Automated video-interviews are also scientifically superior in some ways. Structured interviews have a similar relationship with employee performance when compared to traditional cognitive ability tests4. However, the advantage of interviews is that they are perceived more positively by applicants than the aforementioned cognitive and personality assessments5

Automated video-interviews also help with combating issues related to discrimination. When compared to other online screening tools, video-based structured interviews predict performance as well as cognitive testing, but without the dreaded subgroup differences in applicant scores6

For example, Knockri employs a highly structured interview process that mitigates the influence of rater bias and discrimination. Their work with large companies like IBM show that video-based structured interviews can improve the diversity of shortlisted applicant pools by as much as 24%. From the candidate’s perspective, the use of video interviews instead of is more engaging and enjoyable, and considered more job relevant compared to traditional assessments. 

If your TA budget is limited to using one selection tool, a video-based structured interview might be the most advantageous. It will significantly reduce time-to-hire, improve the candidate experience, and your net promoter score. 

However, do not let some vendors fool you. Automated video-interviews that attempt to tap into personality traits (e.g., Big-5), are no better than traditional online personality assessments at predicting performance. 

Winning the War for Talent 

With the possibility for rapid escalation in human resource requirements, there is a future need and an opportunity for you to prepare for the next evolution in TA. This is your chance to make minor adjustments to your strategy that will allow you to remain competitive in the war for talent. 

During the Coronavirus crisis, companies like Knockri have seen a tremendous increase in inquiries about deploying automated video-interviews. If you are having trouble deciding whether your company would benefit from any of the tools or technologies discussed in this article, schedule some time with one of our human resource solutions consultants. They will be able to weigh the costs and benefits of incorporating new technology into your existing strategy. 

References

  1. Pickert, Reade. (March, 26, 2020) US jobless claims his 2.28 million, quadruple prior record. 
  2. Cox, Jeff. (March 26, 2020). Jobless claims soar past 3 million to record high. 
  3. Cox, Jeff. (March, 30, 2020).Coronavirus Job losses could reach 47 million, unemployment rate could hit 32%, fed estimates.
  4. Schmidt, F. L., & Hunter, J. E. (1998). The validity and utility of selection methods in personnel psychology: Practical and theoretical implications of 85 years of research findings. Psychological bulletin, 124(2), 262 -274.
  5. Truxillo, D. M., & Bauer, T. N. (2011). Applicant reactions to organizations and selection systems. In Zedeck, S. E. (Ed). APA handbook of industrial and organizational psychology, Vol 2: Selecting and developing members for the organization (pp. 379-397). American Psychological Association.
  6. Huffcutt, A. I., & Roth, P. L. (1998). Racial group differences in employment interview evaluations. Journal of applied Psychology, 83(2), 179-189. 

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