The way companies hire, and employees function literally changed overnight. In a matter of days, everyone’s lives were turned upside down. Thousands of employees are being laid off by their workplace. Startups are having trouble surviving;
they’re cutting spending, imposing hiring freezes, and changing their overall structure. On the other hand, telemedicine, food delivery, gaming, and other industries are booming. The pandemic calls into question how companies are going to
continue hiring, and if employees will even have a steady source of income.
THE CANDIDATE POOL
For those still hiring, they clearly have to change how they find candidates. Due to social distancing measures, companies no longer advertise globally, but look locally first. Social distancing benefits internal candidates, as many companies have placed freezes on external hires. Companies have also begun using freelance workers to bridge the gap, creating interim roles for during the crisis. A little more than half of workers worked remotely at least once a month in 2019 and there has been a 600% increase in jobseeker queries with specifications of “remote” or “telecommuting.” In today’s world, most job descriptions have employers specify if it will be in person, remote, or hybridized. This assurance increases the confidence employees have with the company, and further establishes trust. FREELANCERS CONTRIBUTE AN ESTIMATED $1.4 TRILLION ANNUALLY TO THE GDP Clearly, there has been both a rise and fall for freelance workers. In the past, at least 35% of the workforce made their living by being self-employed. In fact, freelancers contribute $1.4 trillion annually to the GDP, but they have no benefits like regular hires. It took a pandemic for us to realize that freelance workers are just as valid as full time workers. Some individuals are finding security in leaving their full time jobs in favor of freelance work, because of the uncertainty that a Post Covid economy creates. Freelancers understand that job security needs to be self provided, and that creates a desire to become self employed.
There is now an emphasis on resumes with remote work. Employers tend to look for how successful employees were in their remote positions. In the case of freelance work, they look for how many remote projects were completed. Hiring people with remote experience is only beneficial to the company because they’re able to adapt quicker and more smoothly. The biggest change is that interviews are now done through video platforms, rather than in-person. Some companies are still conducting in person interviews by appointing colleagues in these cities to meet in a local park. Employers begin to look at the home environment as a driver for success.They look at how fresh and motivated the interviewee looks, if they’re in a distraction free setting, and if they’re in a quiet environment. The company’s culture is a big determinant in how they begin to shift their interview process. The biggest issue for new employees right now is whether their new boss will be able to adapt and accommodate for their rising needs. If companies are able to raise this comfort level, then they’re able to exemplify their employee culture.
Of course, the onboarding process had to become virtual too. This is, perhaps, the most challenging part of virtual work. Onboarding is about bonding and finding ways to manage emotions. It’s difficult to find ways to include new members to the company and immerse them with the business culture, through virtual platforms. Some companies have begun to use VR technologies to give new hires a tour of the facilities, and are simply routinely video conferencing. Other companies are providing additional provisions, like complimentary meal services, to enforce that the new hire is important. Ultimately, inclusion does not need to be in person. A company simply needs clear directions and strong leadership skills to enforce their business culture. It all comes down to routine, and giving new hires the resources to succeed.
THE WORK LANDSCAPE
It is clear that independent work is becoming more desirable due to the amount of individuals becoming laid off. The Freelancer’s Union believes that the majority of the workforce will be freelance by 2027. As businesses are rapidly adopting these new remote work systems, we expect them to become more open minded to freelance work. Freelancers hope to now receive benefits for their work, as they are considered as valuable as normal employees. It’s hard to imagine what the freelance world will look like, but this pandemic may be working in their favor. In the past, 44% of companies were against remote working, but now all of them have to enforce it. This is a huge shift in working, and hiring and enforces a new level of trust and relationship management. This might be the crisis we all needed to see how productivity can still remain remotely. These new processes could become permanent. After this crisis, companies will either benefit or fall. New ways of working and technology will emerge, and the recruiting process could be changed forever. It’s the new status quo.