It’s clear by now that COVID-19 didn’t just have a temporary impact on recruitment. Businesses have seen a permanent shift in strategy with the pandemic acting as a catalyst, highlighting weaknesses in traditional thinking and changing expectations of employers and employees. From procedural changes like remote interviews to more sweeping restructuring of staff, there are numerous ways in which recruiting models have rapidly evolved in the past 12 months.
In-house HR teams have been under huge pressure. Pre-pandemic cutbacks through increased digitalisation led to smaller recruitment departments, then the pandemic saw a massive surge in job demand due to a rise in furloughed, unemployed or out of contract candidates. In-house HR teams had fewer resources to sort through more candidates than ever before; as a result, many businesses shifted towards outsourced recruitment solutions or looked to internal movements and promotions to fill vacancies.
Traditional recruitment agencies have been increasingly relied upon since the pandemic as in-house HR teams look for temporary relief when hiring in specific roles. Remote screening and interviewing has become part and parcel for these agencies even as lockdowns shift to the rear vision mirror. While many agencies struggled with the initial imbalance of candidates and vacancies, those that are tapping into industries trending upwards have secured consistent business.
Recruitment process outsourcing (RPO)
The emergence of RPO as a viable recruitment solution for many businesses reflects how employer needs are changing. The benefits of an outsourced recruitment team that offers a specialised, strategic approach to talent acquisition in the long term – such as cost savings and scalability – have been amplified in the last year. Many organisations who shifted to RPO have done so on a permanent basis, not just as a temporary measure to stay afloat.
Managed service provider (MSP)
Businesses in need of a contingent workforce, or contractors and other short-term hires, often reach out to MSPs to meet these demands. Some of these employers, particularly larger organisations, saw the pandemic expose flaws in how they managed contingent workers and have reviewed how best to employ, engage and retain talent. MSP continues to be a viable strategy for many employers particularly for short-term survival, but newer challenges like remote onboarding, employer benefits and disruption management need to be overcome.
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