By Jay Giles
The recruiting industry has seen many changes in the last decade. From online job boards to social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn offering more personalized job-search options, recruiters have had to adapt to new practices and reimagine the way they recruit talent.
Recruiters once again faced changes to the recruiting industry two years ago when the COVID-19 pandemic began. For instance, the number of remote workers in the U.S. jumped from 6% in 2019 to 35% in May 2020. With the hiring process moving online, the recruitment process has had to change, too.
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Remote Work Has Changed the Recruiting Industry for the Better
During the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the recruiting industry shifted to virtual recruitment practices, just as employers shifted to virtual hiring practices. Now that restrictions are easing, hybrid recruitment is emerging as the industry’s gold standard, employing both in-person and virtual recruitment methods.
Hybrid recruiting, which uses some artificial intelligence (AI) and automation techniques, can help organizations reduce their hiring costs and improve diversity in hiring. Recruiters use this technology to filter through data and screen candidates more quickly. Hybrid recruiting speeds up the hiring process while enhancing the candidate’s experience.
Remote work has definitely changed the recruiting industry for the better. One of the biggest benefits is more flexibility in finding candidates, as recruiters are no longer restricted by geographic location. They can now search for candidates from national and even global talent pools, significantly increasing an employer’s chance of finding the right person for the job.
In a recent email conversation I had with Jaime Stoneberger, a remote talent acquisition partner with Cambium Learning Group, we discussed how remote work has also altered the way career fairs are planned. She notes, “In-person career fairs are now a thing of the past while we are now more involved with virtual meet-and-greets and virtual career fairs.”
At a typical virtual career fair, candidates can attend from anywhere versus being tied to a specific location. These events also allow companies to utilize technology, such as one-on-one video and text-based chat sessions, in their recruitment efforts. That technology creates a more personalized experience for candidates.
For job seekers, demographic and geographic restrictions no longer limit employment options. This change is a plus for job seekers as well as recruiters, as companies can employ a more diverse population of workers.
In an email exchange I had with Alpha Omega Integration technical recruiter Victoria Suarez, I asked how new industry changes have affected job seekers. She notes that this flexibility permits job hunters with children, physical disabilities, or other limitations to search for open positions without feeling left behind or restricted to certain roles or locations.
The Future of Recruitment: What to Expect as a Job Seeker
Remote work has also changed the way job seekers find and think about employment. According to Victoria Suarez, the influx in remote work has caused a shift in job seekers’ priorities.
Prior to the pandemic, candidates prioritized pay over other benefits. Now, candidates are prioritizing their work-life balance, even resigning to seek another job if necessary. Job seekers expect employers to offer partially or fully remote work options and are willing to work for less money if they get to stay home.
As a job seeker, you should be aware of recruitment processes so you can better prepare yourself. If you’re seeking a remote or hybrid position, be prepared for a virtual or hybrid recruitment process. This process may entail:
- Phone or video interviews
- Text messaging or emailing
- LinkedIn messaging
- Virtual hiring events such as virtual career fairs
- In-person interviews toward the end of the hiring process
As you search for a position, be cautious and read job descriptions carefully. Some roles may not be truly remote; they may entail a mix of remote and in-office work. Other positions may only be remote for a specified amount of time. Companies may also require that employees live a certain distance from the job location for tax purposes.
Victoria Suarez advises job seekers to do some digging, as office policies continue to change and job descriptions may be mismarked. Be sure to thoroughly research companies and roles to determine whether remote work is an option for a potential employer. Also, look up company employees on LinkedIn to see whether the workforce is geographically spread out or localized.
Preparing to Speak to Recruiters
You should also keep an open mind as you prepare to speak to recruiters. Job seekers now expect remote or hybrid work options, but they shouldn’t pigeonhole themselves.
If you’re interested in a remote position, keep in mind that the competition for those roles may now be greater than for location-based roles. After all, you aren’t just competing with a local pool of candidates.
Try not to focus only on job location or the potential schedule. While these aspects of a position are important, you should consider the whole picture when you’re interviewing with a company, including pay, benefits, company culture and daily tasks.
As you speak with recruiters, be enthusiastic and ensure you are prepared to answer questions about how you schedule your workday and whether you have a designated office space. If you have prior experience working in a remote position, address your productivity in that role. You should also be prepared to speak to your work habits — both virtual and in-person.
While the recruiting industry has shifted in response to the pandemic and a global rise in remote work, some things remain the same. Victoria notes that personality, ability and trainability still influence one’s candidacy for a role in her experience.
Connect with Recruiters at Our Nationwide Virtual Career Fair
If you’re interested in engaging directly with recruiters seeking new talent for open positions across the country, attend our Nationwide Virtual Career Fair (VCF) on May 25 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET. Open to the public, this event will host a variety of employers spanning several industries.
For several years, the University’s Career Services Department has hosted these fairs to connect job seekers across the country with a wide range of career opportunities. You can chat with recruiters from multiple companies on May 25, including:
- Alpha Omega Integration
- Cambium Learning Group
- Alaska Airlines
- Cushman & Wakefield
If you aren’t sure whether you should attend the VCF, consider the benefits of speaking directly with a recruiter. You’ll learn more about the company or role(s) you’re interested in, form connections with industry leaders, and potentially be invited for an interview. It’s a chance to introduce yourself rather than simply submitting a resume, which won’t capture your personality.
As Victoria puts it, “Those interpersonal interactions are critical. We can offer you input and get you prepped to move to the next level. We know what a hiring manager is looking for — just ask us!”