Pros and cons of recruiting during COVID-19

Remote hiring opens new possibilities for both employers and employees

Pros and cons of recruiting during COVID-19

Keeping employees safe and healthy during this pandemic has been a top concern at Nitro.

Jason Gay, Head of Talent at Nitro, told HRD that the document productivity company have discouraged any non-essential business travel and events indefinitely.

Nitro also made the decision early on to implement a mandatory work-from-home policy for all global offices, which we extended in May through to the end of 2020.

“We are continuing to do our part to protect our team, our families, our customers and partners, and the communities where we all work and live,” said Gay.

"There have been a few bumps in the road over the past few months as we all transitioned to WFH full time.

“We learned a lot with the first few hires we onboarded during this period; we've since been able to adapt and recreate much of the same exciting, enjoyable onboarding experience we had prior to the pandemic.”

Fortunately for Nitro, working from any location and across time zones is not a new concept and they already have had many employees working remotely on a permanent basis prior to COVID-19.

Gay said that the good news about recruiting during the pandemic is that it has resulted in a priority shift among candidates placing more emphasis on company values and culture.

As larger companies announce more permanent, full-time remote options, there has been less emphasis put on compensation and office perks, he added.

This is also true for accomplished professionals who unexpectedly find themselves unemployed. Also, being able to hire during a time like this adds a level of credibility to Nitro and our products because of our strong culture and company mission  

"There’s more emphasis on remote hiring in general, which offers benefits to both employers and employees,” said Gay.

“What organisations can gain from employees working remotely is time better spent.”

Without a daily commute, Gay said it’s important to imagine all the hours that can be saved per worker every day that could be used more efficiently and without the typical stress and frustration that comes with sitting in traffic?

By eliminating a physical commute, remote working also gives individuals the ability to adjust their work hours to what suits them and their team best. This is particularly helpful when collaborating with teams in different time zones.

Gay added that another benefit of this new age of recruiting is more flexibility (and ultimately, better work-life balance) because remote hiring can lead to better talent recruitment. Moreover, reduced operational costs of in-person interviewing should accrue – along with less time investment from hiring teams. 

So what are the disadvantages of recruiting during COVID-19?

Gay said that first and foremost there is a lack of in-person engagement –“there is something about face-to-face interaction that can't be recreated via video conference”.  

Further, this is a larger candidate pool with different interest levels – while there is a potentially larger pool of talent now available, it can also be inflated with people who are desperate rather than interested, which can be difficult for talent recruiters to gauge over a video call.   

Gay said that many businesses have experienced a general lack of preparedness. Both candidates and employees do not always have an ideal setup at home, for example.

He added that as more companies and individuals realise the tangible benefits of working from home, it is very unlikely that things will revert exactly to the way they were before COVID-19.

“Remote hiring opens new possibilities for both employers and employees, and ultimately offers the opportunity to get creative building the optimal work environment of the future,” said Gay.

"Nitro’s leadership team has embraced remote hiring and being a global company of our size gives us the ability to be agile when making changes. While some immediate advantages include a larger candidate pool and the potential for increased headcount, it also comes with new challenges such as navigating employment laws in different regions, but these are things we’re working through.”

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