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Post-Pandemic Candidate Behavior Trends

Eric Sydell

The world has changed a lot in the last few months. Millions of people suddenly found themselves out of work, and millions more had to shift to remote working, many of whom had never previously done it. Consumer behavior changed, as well. Online grocery shopping, video streaming, and social media usage, all reasonably popular before, were utilized at even higher rates. E-commerce sites and home delivery services saw rapid growth. But what does this mean for companies as the world and economy rebound from a widespread global pandemic?

In a McKinsey Global Survey from just a year ago, 87 percent of executives indicated that they were already experiencing skill gaps in the workforce or expected them within a few years. Less than half of respondents had a clear idea of how to address the situation. The pandemic and its effects make the situation even less clear. Below we cover several areas related to candidate behaviors that companies need to prepare for as they focus on hiring or re-hiring post-pandemic.

Prepare for candidate anxiety

Millions of people are looking for work, and many of them desperately need a source of income. Understandably, stress will be high. High candidate stress makes the candidate experience an even more important focal area for talent acquisition teams.

Automated steps and communications make it easy for talent acquisition teams to efficiently move candidates through the process and keep them involved and engaged. The Modern Hire hiring platform can calm candidate anxiety with transparent engagement that keeps candidates informed of where they are in the process.

Transparency is crucial

It’s not always easy to paint a clear and accurate picture of what a job entails in a written job description. Companies need to be honest about what exactly a job involves, what is expected of candidates, and how quickly you’re looking to fill the role to find the best-suited candidates for the position.

According to a 2017 CareerBuilder survey, factoring in the recruiting, interviewing and selection process, plus training and salary, the average cost of a bad hire is nearly $15,000. One poor hire is problem enough, but for large organizations making multiple hires, this can add up quickly.

With our Virtual Job Tryout, candidates can learn about your organization and the role they are applying for in greater detail. Allowing candidates a preview of the job can help ensure that it’s a job they’re genuinely interested in. There will be candidates who need a job so badly that they’re willing to accept something that is not a good fit. From the hiring company side, organizations need to shift and focus more on core competency measurement (e.g., customer service capability) over years of experience doing a particular job. Our assessment methodology supports the measurement of core competencies.

Communication is key

The chances are that you’ll have to reject more candidates than you’ll hire. According to another 2017 CareerBuilder survey, the number one frustration during a job search (cited by 52% of respondents) is the lack of response from employers. In the same study, 81% of candidates say employers continuously communicating status updates to them significantly improves their overall candidate experience.

For B2C brands whose job seekers may also be customers, it’s crucial to communicate with the rejected candidates and let them know they are no longer being considered for the position, and (when appropriate) tell them why. “Ghosting” candidates will leave them with a poor impression of your organization and can have devastating effects on your brand. Modern Hire’s solutions enable fast, concise, and clear communication with candidates. No one is ever “ghosted,” and candidates frequently have the opportunity to review interviewer feedback.

The next 6 to 12 months will be an exciting, if stressful, time for companies and candidates alike. With the right solution in place, however, you can make life easier for your candidates and talent acquisition team, ensuring a better candidate experience and improving your Quality of Hire.