Recruitment In A Post-Covid World

May 25, 2022

By now you’ve probably heard a lot about how Covid-19 has changed the face of modern living forever. Almost every aspect of life and work was touched in some way, and so many major changes have happened in the past 2 years that it’s a challenge just to keep up with them all.

But if there is one thing we can say for certain, it’s that the world of work will never quite be the same after this. Between a major shift in the way businesses have had to operate for nearly 2 years now, the leaps forward in technology and the general change in attitude towards working and fulfilment, the landscape of life looks very different. And in no area is it more obvious than in the world of work, which means recruitment is about to get very interesting indeed!

The Future Is Hybrid

The pandemic has taken us from in-person to remote workforce and back again, but for the majority of employees, the sweet spot was somewhere in the middle. 68% of workers and candidates have expressed a strong desire to work more flexibly, with a better balance between home and work in their lives. Hybrid working (which combines remote and in-person work) seems to be the most popular option among employees, which means if businesses want to keep attracting the best talent, they need to consider adopting a new working style. In general you have 3 options:

Hybrid Work: This is a combination of remote and in-person work, where employees would essentially work some of their week from the office, and some from home. This allows for much more flexibility in modern families (for example where childcare or long hours are difficult), but still gives both employers and employees that face-to-face interaction. 43% of candidates interviewed in a recent study stated that they would prefer a hybrid working arrangement that is flexible around both the business and individual needs. Companies that have adopted this approach already have seen significant improvements in employee happiness and productivity, so if it’s possible for you it’s definitely worth trying.

Part-Time Work: This is something we are starting to see happen already, and we expect it to pick up steam as time goes on. Around 32% of businesses are looking to replace a portion of their full-time employees with part-time or flexible employees. This is partly as a cost-saving measure, since part-time employees are more cost-effective for businesses, but also as a way to meet the demands of employees whose views on work-life balance have been altered by the pandemic. Businesses who understand this change and work proactively to embrace it can ensure they stand out from the crowd and stay a few steps ahead of their competitors.

Fully Remote Working: Just like part-time work, we predict that remote working is here to stay. Many employees have stated that they feel more productive working from home, and feel more fulfilled with their lives and their work. In fact, 47% of employees have said they would like to work remotely at least some of the time post-covid. Not having to worry about commutes is a huge bonus for many employees and being able to reclaim that time for themselves means they are able to focus on achieving happiness in their personal lives. For businesses, a remote workforce means significantly fewer overheads, not to mention a big drop in things like sick days, which ultimately cost the business money. 

Employer Challenges Moving Forward

So now the question is, what does the post-Covid workplace look like? It’s a difficult one to answer, because we don’t exactly know when that will be! But we do know there will be some challenges for employers in the near future, and it’s not something you can bury your head in the sand about.

Increased Competition: For starters, there is a lot of competition in the market at the moment. Around 90% of employers in the UK are looking to recruit in 2022, which is about 30% more than last year. So no matter what industry or role, you’re likely to be up against other businesses with every single candidate. This means there’s more pressure than ever to stand out from the crowd and make a real impact on candidates.

New Working Patterns: Due to the increased demand for a better work-life balance from candidates, you’ll probably have to make some changes to the roles you want to hire for as well. 76% of employers are already

Equal Opportunities: You also face a lot more work when it comes to managing your remote or hybrid employees. Not in the ‘making sure they’re doing work’ sense, but in making sure they are looked after and getting the same support and opportunities as employees who are on-site all the time. During Covid many studies were done into why employees were returning to the office when they didn’t feel comfortable doing so, and the research shows that:

  • 27% of employees felt that there was a rise in inequality during Covid-19.
  • 61% are worried that their employer won’t be aware of all the work they do while remote.
  • 38% are anxious that they won’t have the right support to progress their career.
  • 31% worried that their relationship with their managers would be affected by not seeing them in person regularly
  • 50% fear they won’t be seen or heard by senior managers if they work remotely.

Obviously, none of that was good, and today your business needs to make a real effort to ensure remote employees are not only included but engaged and valued just as highly as in-person staff from the word go.

Of course, it’s impossible to tell what the future holds, as the last year has very much shown us! But if we have learnt anything from the last 12 months it’s that businesses who work hard to care for their employees and adapt to the changing needs of the working world that have seen success. That means not only adjusting what the business needs, but listening to what existing employees and new candidates want too.

And if you’re not sure what that is, or how on earth you’re supposed to manage recruitment in this new era, you need to book a meeting with the Wildcat team!