Creating a Strong and Sustainable Workforce
No company, no industry, and no aspect of doing business have escaped the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and that includes recruiting and hiring in the tech sector. Since emerging earlier in the year, the virus has fundamentally altered the way technology companies approach attracting, screening, and onboarding new talent.
Appropriately for the information technology (IT) industry, many changes relate to an increased reliance on and leveraging of technology throughout the recruiting and hiring lifecycle. For job-seekers and candidates, adapting to these evolving processes is as critical to getting an offer as their technical skills, experience, and credentials.
As the latter half of 2020 looks to be as uncertain and unpredictable as the first half, COVID-19 will continue to shape recruiting and hiring in the tech sector. Here’s how.
Virtual Recruiting and Hiring in the Tech Sector Is the New Norm
As offices closed, employees stayed home, travel of even a few miles became a dubious and unattractive proposition.recruiting and hiring became more and more virtual. Many application, screening, and evaluation functions were already technology-heavy, but the pandemic forced the in-person, interactive, and insightful interview process into two dimensions instead of three.
Virtual interviewing is now the rule rather than the exception. A virtual interview requires candidates and interviewers alike to adapt to the limitations and realities of trying to make a positive impression within the confines of a computer screen. Reliable technology on both sides is imperative, as is treating the interview with the same level of seriousness, preparation, and professionalism as one would an in-person interview.
When it becomes once again safe and reasonable to have face-to-face interviews, many tech companies will no doubt do so. But the attractive qualities of virtual recruiting and interviewing – easier scheduling and logistics, faster-hiring timelines, and lower costs – mean that many tech recruiters and hiring managers may be more inclined to keep things virtual than they would have pre-COVID.
Changed Expectations About Working Virtually
Companies looking to attract top tech talent already knew that offering flexibility and accommodations for working virtually, at least some of the time, was an appealing and powerful recruitment tool. That is even more true now.
Many, if not most, currently employed tech job candidates have spent the better part of this year working from home. Once these folks settled into their jury-rigged workspaces, got the hang of Zoom, and found ways to minimize distractions (e.g., kids wandering into virtual meetings), it became easier for them to see working virtually as a way of life. Additionally, with the virus still a threat, returning to an office environment may seem like an unnecessary risk, at least for now.
A recent survey conducted by the Harris Poll about the pandemic and remote work found that 65% of employees would work from home full-time after COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, given the option. Sixty percent would be more likely to apply to an entirely remote position if they were looking for a new job.
For employers recruiting and hiring in the tech sector, the overall success of moving most of their enterprises online may make them less reluctant to facilitate virtual work. As with virtual recruiting, changed attitudes about remote work will likely outlast COVID-19.
Increased Opportunities For Recruiting and Hiring in the Tech Sector
When the tech industry initially reckoned with the scope and severity of the pandemic back in March 2020, many tech companies put the brakes on hiring and recruitment, as did businesses in other sectors. But the very changes discussed above – increased reliance on technology infrastructure in both recruiting and in conducting business – has blunted the economic impact felt in other parts of the economy.
While COVID-19 will have varying effects on different roles in the tech sector, there’s a healthy if not expanding demand for many skill sets. One recent report indicated a robust market for cybersecurity specialists, systems engineers, and .NET developers, in particular.