Recruitment was not the easiest business to work in during the first year of the pandemic. The first things that come to mind when thinking about how COVID-19 affected the economy are massive layoffs in various economic sectors, small businesses closing down, and a lot of uncertainty in general.
A few of my (recruiting) colleagues went out of business. One of them, a Berlin-based startup in the financial sector who had invested in a representative office space, could no longer afford to pay rent.
Whoever made it into 2021 must have noticed a “big bang”, some time in early spring, when all the hiring freezes suddenly started to melt. So here we are, back in the game, but with some changes in the way we hire.
The good news is…
Hiring has changed for the better
Read about Hypergrowth – Hiring on speed
1. In a remote workplace your employer brand is as good as your team
In 2021, being able to set up a Zoom meeting is more important than the swanky office where we used to meet our candidates. Leather sofas and the fancy coffee machine are no longer your partners in crime to impress your candidates. The first impression of your firm now completely depends on the people they see on their screen — the recruiters themselves.
2. Global is the new local
Companies in rural areas used to have difficulties attracting talent. While this may still be valid for factories in the middle of nowhere, any job that is performed by knowledge workers no longer requires local presence.
For companies, hiring remotely means that they can be located wherever they want… as long as the internet connection works. Remote work has proven to be economically and ecologically beneficial and so there is no real reason to return to old habits — except, perhaps, to ease the anxiety of a micromanager.
International teams used to be found mainly in large corporations. Now even smaller companies (especially in the IT sector) can be made up of as many different nationalities as they have team members.
3. Remote work leads to more diversity and inclusion
Diversity has a positive effect on productivity in many organizations. Setting clear guidelines for how to communicate within the organization can help diverse teams overcome the challenges of cultural differences.
With talent pools spanning oceans (it makes no difference if a software developer is based in Berlin, Brussels, or Bombay), hiring companies need to not only attract, but also genuinely include these talents by giving them equal career opportunities.
These opportunities are crucial for personal growth and long term engagement.
4. Learning & Development to retain talent
Companies are starting to understand that a good team gets the job done, but to lead the market, you need an A-Team. The budget spent on training their teams pays a double dividend: employees become more skilled and less likely to try their luck elsewhere.
According to a recent LinkedIn survey 64% of the participating companies stated to expect an increase in their L&D budget. In 2021, a flattening learning curve is one of the main reasons (if not the main reason) identified by candidates when asked why they wanted to change employers.
In a remote workplace setup, learning will most likely be remote as well. The e-learning market is anticipated to grow at an exponential CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of over 21% between 2021 and 2027.
How will these trends affect the market?
Each trend is only good news for those companies who adapt to it. To win the war for talent, companies need to fight with different weapons than in the past when it usually boiled down to “who has more cash, wins.”
The sharpest weapon today comes in 3D: Distribution (remote beats onsite), Diversity (different heads have different ideas), Development (if people have more room for growth they have fewer reasons to leave).
None of them requires excessive financial resources, but a high level of adaptability. With their smaller size and lower inertia when implementing change, startups may actually beat the big fish in this battle.
Other interesting reads on working remote
- The tools we use to work remotely
- Remote is not a substitute
- Working remote: a new user’s perspective
- Remote vs offshoring in software development
- Onboarding remote employees