Rethinking Recruitment: Finding The ideal Candidate During Covid-19 Crisis

At the crossroads of businesses experiencing dynamic growth, and individuals reorienting themselves for the post-covid world, it is imperative that the recruitment processes responsible for identifying and acquiring talent also change accordingly.


The last two years have ushered in change at each and every stage of life. Be it students beginning their education journey, be it young professionals stepping into their careers, be it experienced executives exploring a new approach to work, everyone, in all phases of life, has had to adapt to a newer world. Businesses, too, have had to reassess and rethink their processes and policies to keep with the times.

At the crossroads of businesses experiencing dynamic growth, and individuals reorienting themselves for the post-covid world, it is imperative that the recruitment processes responsible for identifying and acquiring talent also change accordingly.

Two years ago, nobody would have imagined a world so accustomed to working from home, or remote working for such extended periods of time. Online learning and virtual education were still in their fledgling phase, and considered to be the less important, less impactful versions of their physical, in-person counterparts.

Now, though, working from home is a definitive, established manner of work, and online education has earned its value as a legitimate, essential mode of learning.

When the definition of the ideal work environment, the ideal academic qualifications, the ideal experience can change, then the definition of an ideal candidate, as far as recruitment is concerned, also deserves a thorough reassessment.

What is an ideal candidate? The word now has different connotations in different setups, and varies further still when factors such as organisation culture, organisation values, manager’s expectations and further growth opportunities are considered.

Diving into the recruitment process itself, and realigning it for the post-pandemic environment, the following must be kept in mind:

Visibility: In the era of ease of access and smart, intuitive UIs, information about the position and the organisation should be easily accessible to the candidate. Going above and beyond in the age of automation, hiring managers and recruiters should be approachable so as to immediately and efficiently clarify any doubts or queries.

Responsive: It’s true that there are only two possible results for the candidate, selection or rejection. However, the recruitment process is a journey, one that the candidate takes with the organisation from its beginning to its inevitable end, and being there for the candidate during it is the recruitment team’s responsibility. While conversational AI has brought automation to the task of replying and responding, there is nothing that can compare to the human touch of connecting with a person.

Expectations: To find a candidate as close to the right fit as possible, the first step is to set out clear, realistic expectations. And the expectations go both ways. Just how organizations and hiring managers have expectations from employees in terms of the value they add, the employees also have expectations from their potential employers in terms of the growth and culture they’ll find in the future. The correct match of these does wonders for employees as well as organizations.

Change: As organizations change dynamically, recruitment sources must also become diverse. Expanding from job portals and print adverts to professional networks, social platforms, and other innovative avenues for recruitment is no longer an option, but rather a requirement to keep with the times. Not only does this shift ensure a larger pool of talent to select from, it also makes the talent acquisition team, and the organization as a whole, more visible in the online-oriented world.

Technology: There is no shortage of innovation for the HR domain. HR teams should capitalize on this opportunity, and equip the talent acquisition team with software such application tracking systems, automatic resume parsers, among others. With the added advantage of technology, hiring teams can expect more face-time with promising candidates instead of being weighed down by manual tasks that can be efficiently automated.

Internal Systems: Beyond the organization culture and the work environment, the organization’s systems and processes also need to be updated accordingly with the changing world. Systems deemed outdated or redundant will be phased out sooner rather than later, and candidates consider such aspects when choosing organizations. People aim to deliver, and drawn-out systems drag efficiency down with them, so a fast-paced processes and systems should be in place to allow good candidates to prove their worth from the first day itself.

Hiring Process: A multi-faceted, multi-layered approach to hiring is effective and necessary for finding the right candidate. However, in the spirit of efficiency and ease-of-use, certain processes can be clubbed to make the hiring process much more dynamic, by incorporating assessments such as IQ and psychometric tests.

Benefits and Engagement: Finding good talent is no longer enough. With ample opportunities available to each and every well-qualified individual, it falls upon the organization to strategically provide benefits and come up with engagement programs to retain employees. Going beyond culture and community, recognition of work and productivity are to be expected.

As they say as important as hiring good talent, retaining good talent is also important.

(The views expressed in this article are solely written for BW People publication, by Sachin Saena, CHRO, Akash Institute)

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