RECRUITMENT TODAY IN A PANDEMIC
HOW COVID-19 IS CHANGING THE RECRUITMENT LANDSCAPE IN THE PHILIPPINES
August 14, 2020 | John Paul Vergara, Head of Talent Acquisition - Find HR
The global pandemic, Covid-19, hit the Philippines last February 2020. From two confirmed cases in early February, the cases have now ballooned to over 120,000 as of August 2020.
After placing the entire island of Luzon and some major cities in the Visayas and Mindanao regions under a community quarantine for more than four months to help curb the spread of the virus, the Government eased restrictions and has started to open our economy once again to somehow alleviate the impact of the long lockdown. In a news report by CNN, more than seven million Filipinos have been left jobless while more than 2,000 businesses have permanently closed down due to Covid-19.
The impact is mostly felt in the restaurant, retail, hotel, and airline industries, where employees and their customers are required to have face-to-face interactions or may not be able to strictly follow physical distancing due to structure limitations.
With the flexible work arrangements, companies from other industries are able to continue to deliver with some adjustments and challenges – one of which is embracing or going full digital/virtual on all of their processes and systems, be it in human resources, finance departments, sales, and even in recruiting. In a short span of time, employers implemented digital solutions to their systems and processes. Even recruiting has shifted drastically – as a response to the current trends and needs of both the employers and job seekers.
While recruiting wasn’t a priority for many businesses especially at the start of the pandemic – there were even freeze hiring and mass workforce layoffs - now that we are coming out of the lockdown, many companies are starting to fill important roles, old or new, in their organizations.
And of course, the talent acquisition landscape has changed significantly as we aim to go digital. Telecommuting or remote working and a call for greater flexibility are all factors affecting how businesses and candidates think about work opportunities.
Changing the recruitment landscape
In a recent study published by Jobvite, an overwhelming majority of 84% of talent acquisition teams are adapting their processes to work remotely – making the entire process of recruiting to hiring a digital experience. The research also showed that 58% of the respondents are using Social Media platforms like Facebook to connect with potential hires and to advertise their brands and job vacancies – a move that can be attributed to job seekers being active on these platforms while at home.
Given these, talent acquisition teams in the country are also scrambling to redefine their hiring models to introduce new policies and strategies, and start a culture of virtual hiring while also exploring what tools they can put in place as they source candidates through this time of pandemic.
Social Media Recruitment
With people being unable to move freely outside of their homes, this has certainly resulted in an increase of social media usage. Wanting to keep in touch with our loved ones or simply check for news and updates, we all go first to our social media sites. So, connecting with potential hires and offering jobs through these platforms are no brainers.
Many recruiters and companies have taken their recruiting activities on Facebook, boosting ads for their job vacancies to reach more of their target audience, organizing virtual social events to attract candidates, and providing free short workshops, etc. Some are also utilizing Facebook Messenger’s Chatbot facility to screen potential candidates.
One downside with Social Media recruiting especially using the chat bot is that questions and answers in the initial screening are limited so it may not be a true representation of the candidates’ potential, thereby losing an opportunity to hire the right talent.
Probably the most popular and still the trusted way to recruit nowadays is through video interviews. With different kinds of software readily downloadable online like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, Google Meet, etc., the shift from the traditional face-to-face interview to a digital one has been easy.
By meeting through video, both the recruiters and the candidates save time and resources. Video interviews are clear, reliable, and give you the sense of security that you’re actually presenting to a person rather than just a computer. Seeing and hearing a candidate
personally even through a video call will give the recruiters a better gauge whether a candidate is a good culture match with the organization.
But one challenge that most candidates could face (and even recruiters who are working at home) is the internet connection facility, especially in a developing country like the Philippines.
This is a new trend that has not been fully adapted by most companies though is useful for both the candidate and organization. For those who are using this tool, it’s mostly for virtual office tours or showcasing VR Training Programs, further enticing job seekers to consider them. Some companies utilize VR to create fun and interactive skills-based tests to further check a candidate’s fit with a particular role. This may be a challenge though for those who are not that digitally savvy yet.
AI-powered Job Tools And Analytics
With all of these challenges in the current recruitment digital platforms coupled with the need for recruiters to keep up with the demands of online or virtual hiring, better HR or recruitment tools and applications should be a priority for companies wanting to stay ahead of their competition. Investing in AI-powered tools will definitely help in screening applicants, compiling and tracking candidate data, and easily identifying qualified applicants for certain roles based on specific keywords and skills sets.
And Find HR definitely leads in this arena. Supporting Philippine recruitment since 2017, Find HR understands their clients’ needs as well as the unique challenges and best practices in hiring local talents in the country. Find HR offers various technology solutions to help their clients achieve their hiring or recruitment goals despite the limitations and challenges we are all facing. Find HR’s AI-powered tools are designed to still give that human interaction or flavor while at the same time enhance both the recruiters’ and candidates’ recruitment experience through technology.
Covid-19 has really turned the world upside down, bringing uncertainties, but it also offers a turning point that has accelerated a full shift to an exciting digital life. The world is now changing and there’s no going back to “normal” so let’s embrace our new normal and move forward along with it!