The COVID-19 without a doubt is one of the greatest disruptors that forced the entire world to stop everything and stay at home. But we can’t deny that amidst it all, there are indeed silver linings that helped and encouraged recruitment to evolve. Here are some of the top agendas of recruitment in 2021.
Face-to-face interviews were shelved when total lockdowns commenced all over the globe. This prompted hiring managers to shift to online interviews and remote onboarding. It was difficult for most, especially for organisations who weren’t prepared in terms of technology. However, from that struggle came innovation and a deeper appreciation for recruitment excellence among hiring managers. Even before the pandemic, there is already an on-going digital transformation for recruitment. We’ve seen dozens of recruiting or talent acquisition software hit the market to automate tedious and repetitive tasks without compromising quality and speed of hire.
There is also a resolute focus on AI-powered sourcing solutions to help hiring managers find and recruit top talents. Innovation in recruitment also allowed hiring managers to better connect and communicate with candidates. A quick video call with candidates to provide insights or directions goes a long way. In the near future, we are sure to see more innovation in recruitment that would focus on not only improving the function but making it more empathetic and at the same time, strategic.
Another element of recruitment in need of serious improvement is candidate experience. According to the Human Resources Ministry, nearly 100,000 Malaysians lost their jobs since the implementation of the MCO back in March 2020. Because of soaring numbers of cases in January this year, the MCO protocol was reactivated in five states – and eventually extended to almost the entire country - to minimise the contagion. These are truly trying times for job seekers. It is not just unemployment they worry about but financial security, company stability and fear of contracting the virus and spreading it to their loved ones. Us recruiters have the responsibility to help job seekers mitigate all of these through candidate experience.
For this agenda, technology will enable us, but the human connection will be the key. Job seekers can’t afford to waste time and effort applying for organisations that don’t bring them any value at all. There is no longer room for poor communication, lack of concern, bias selection and discrimination in recruitment. As hiring managers, we need to provide value to candidates no matter the result of their application.
The challenge of career mobility lies greatly on employment, but it starts at the recruitment stage. Other than unemployment and job insecurity, career mobility was also one of the biggest challenges for employees in 2020 and even today. Candidates are hoping to land jobs where they can excel in their chosen careers and be able to take on more promising and rewarding roles. Career mobility is not just about job promotions. It is about helping employees learn and reskill or upskill themselves for more challenging roles. In the recruitment stage, it is important that the possibility of career mobility is well discussed. Career mobility coaching is not the only way for growth, there are also networking opportunities and leadership programs.
Digital recruitment is becoming more relevant. Candidates are calling for better candidate experience and career mobility coaching. These are not just the reasons why recruitment teams must upskill. Just like 2020, 2021 is another year of uncertainties. There will always be complexities in recruitment, and it is important that hiring managers and specialists are able to adapt to sudden changes and circumstances.
How about you? What do you think are the biggest agendas or challenges for recruitment this year?
Written By Nicholas Chong
Nicholas Chong was appointed Director of Asia Recruit, tasked to manage Asia Recruit Melaka and Asia Recruit Johor. He started his journey with Asia Recruit in 2011 as a Senior Recruitment Consultant. His background as an Engineer early on in his career has tremendously contributed to strengthening Asia Recruit team in engineering and technical roles. Presently, Nicholas takes a pivotal role in Asia Recruit Management, to cover the growing markets of contract staffing services.