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Lingering Impact of COVID-19 on the Hiring Market

May 14, 2020

It’s no secret that COVID-19 has impacted individuals and businesses like nothing before…and many are wondering…how is the hiring market coping with COVID-19 setbacks?

A lot has changed! In a period of weeks we have gone from one of the hottest job markets on record to something very different. What does the future hold for the hiring market?

What is the current hiring environment like?

Many companies are still hiring. We have heard from many of our clients that they are moving forward with their next executive hire; however the timing might be delayed.

The search process is different and a bit longer; however, the need for c-suite executives is still a priority as companies navigate through what is needed to re-open their business.

Some companies have opted for an interim executive that has proven to be a great alternative.

How does this differ by industry?

Numbers are staggering, however the majority of those positions have been with industries that were affected the most such as travel companies, airlines, hotels, restaurants, transportation and other small businesses.

Outside of those sectors, the trend seems to be that most of the more entry level roles have been put on hold while most of the senior and executive roles are continuing the interview process, provided the company feels that it will come out of this crisis financially sound.

We believe that once the economy starts to rebound, hiring will open up as well. We have supported our clients through the crisis in many different ways and plan to continue to work with them as they start to move forward with their business operations.

How are companies coping?

Companies have found ways to cope amid the disruption; many have pivoted operations to produce things that are in high demand amid the pandemic—some of our clients have started mass producing hand sanitizer, sanitary masks and more.

Additional talent will be needed as they switch back to their normal operations and focus on the future. Some of our clients have asked us to meet later in the summer when they have a better understanding on what their needs will be.

In addition to this, here are some other ways companies are dealing with the setback:

  • Utilizing search firms for their hiring needs- You have enough to worry about during this crisis—let an executive search firm handle your hiring needs.
  • Hiring interim leaders- Some companies are putting permanent hiring on hold at this time and instead hiring interim executives. This can also can be done through an executive search firm.

Get ahead of the game!

Hiring will be different post Covid-19. Worries still exist as businesses contemplate what the new working environment will be. Trying to stay ahead of the competition will be critical.

Many companies have been proactive and continued with interviews. When things get back to “normal,” companies that are ahead of the game will be in a much better position to get back to work. Once offices reopen, it will be a bit chaotic getting back in the swing of things—the last thing leaders will want to worry about is interviews.

The move to video interviews

There are very new trends for companies that are continuing the hiring process. Almost all first and second round interviews are by video. Videos are not as good an indicator for a culture fit as in person meetings but for now they seem to be good enough. Although delivered through a different medium, interviews are just as important to conduct at this time. One of the tools that employers may want to consider utilizing is an assessment tool that can give insight to a candidate’s soft skills and style as it relates to the culture of the organization.

Is anyone meeting candidates in person?

As organizations get to the end of the process there is almost always a request to meet in person provided both parties feel comfortable (with both parties practicing social distancing and wearing facemasks). This is often as important to the candidate as it is to the employer. At the senior level most candidates are still gainfully employed and want to make absolutely sure they are making the right decision.

How are candidates faring during this time?

Many candidates are undertaking a higher level of due diligence during these times as well. It’s also important for candidates to remember that they may have to be a bit more patient than usual since the process has slowed down. We are reminding candidates that the process is a bit more elongated than normal. Things may stall or get pushed down the road, but it’s important to be patient.

Candidates are getting up to date on technology that will give them an advantage over other candidates. Familiarity with Zoom, Video Resumes, and other technologies will be looked at favorably by the hiring company.

As I said at the start, a lot has changed.

Questions? Contact KLR Executive Search Group, LLC.

Visit our Coronavirus Resource Center for more information.

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