One thing that marketers and recruiters have in common is the need to be agile, adaptable and dynamic, reacting to unexpected circumstances and changing course as needed. This has never been truer than in the last 18 months. The COVID-19 pandemic changed all our lives practically overnight and had a massive impact on both the marketing and recruitment sectors.
Having weathered the storm and adapted to the curveballs of the last 18 months, what have we learnt since then and how have these changes impacted marketing recruitment, potentially forever?
Video Interviews are here to stay
One of the biggest challenges of recruiting around lockdowns and social distancing legislation was how to interview candidates effectively without being able to meet in person.
Understandably, there was a lot of hesitancy on both sides as companies started adapting to virtual interviews – as well as some technical issues at times – but both hiring managers and candidates quickly adapted to the “new normal”. We placed dozens of candidates during the various lockdowns who went through the entire recruitment and onboarding processes remotely and only met with their colleagues in person or visited their offices after many months in their role!
One thing we here at Brand implemented very quickly as these new challenges became apparent, was using Hinterview as part of our vetting process for candidates. This gave us the opportunity to pre-interview candidates on a video call, which could then be forwarded to hiring managers. A lot of our clients have found this service invaluable as it allowed them the chance to see the candidates talking through their experience, in their own words.
Now that we are able to resume in-person interviews, we are seeing most of our clients retaining virtual interviews for at least part of the process, with most adopting a hybrid approach of video and in person interviews. Check out our blog post here on the pros and cons of both interview styles. (Have also written a blog post on this – I believe links to other content is good for SEO right?)
Location, location, location
Pre-March 2020, where candidates lived – and their willingness to travel – would often dictate the success of a recruitment campaign. If a company was based rurally then their pool of qualified candidates was considerably smaller than those based in central locations. But the flexible working approaches that the pandemic has seen us all adopt has opened up the pool of available candidates to hiring managers and offered candidates the opportunity to work for companies that they may have previously dismissed based on the long commute 5 times a week.
I’ve recently placed a few candidates at their dream company that just 2 years ago they would not have been able to consider because they weren’t in a position to relocate, and the clients weren’t offering flexible working.
With flexible working becoming the “new normal”, both hiring managers and candidates have greater choice, opening up opportunities that may not have been possible previously.
Swanky office? Great, but tell me about the company culture…
Where previously one of the biggest perks an employer could offer was having a fantastic office environment to offer its staff – kitted out with the latest mod-cons, gadgets, fully stocked snack cupboards and options for entertainment and socialising (hello pool tables and games consoles) – now that we are spending less time in the office, people want to know what their team will be like and what the company culture has to offer.
If you’ve got flat screen TVs and a ping pong table but work your staff into the ground so much so that they’re gathering inches of dust, well you’re going to struggle with attracting the best staff.
Company culture is one of the top requirements for candidates looking for roles at the moment – common words we’re hearing are flexible, collaborative, supportive, progressive, dynamic and adaptable. (ADD IN ANY OTHERS YOU THINK I’VE MISSED!)
Candidates are also increasingly looking for companies with strong values who look after their staff and want to know how you would help their development and progression – gone are the interview days of asking “what can you do for us” but not offering anything in return.
Shifting skills demand
Unsurprisingly, the last 18 months has really driven up the demand for digitally focused marketers; those with experience in SEO, paid search, social media and ecommerce have been in particularly high demand. With consumers shopping online more than ever before – and with that trend continuing even after shops reopened – companies have needed to adapt and find ways to drive consumers to their websites.
Virtual events, email marketing, video marketing and paid social have been some of the largest digital marketing growth areas of the last 18 months.
The pandemic necessitated a massive digital overhaul and transformation for many businesses and one thing the last 18 months has demonstrated is that those companies that do not value marketing and, more specifically, newer marketing channels, are being left behind.
Senior Recruitment Resourcer