In the midst of the pandemic, the in-house talent acquisition struggle is real, with employers navigating completely uncharted territory and having to work harder to secure high demand and niche candidates. In recent research run by Talent Works North America that surveyed hiring managers across the US, it was revealed that 70% were finding it more difficult to hire good quality candidates during the pandemic.

The good news is that despite talent being difficult to source, tech employers still have a growth mindset. The challenges have fueled dedication to finding talent and are forcing hiring managers to think more creatively about what they can offer candidates.

Far from it for hiring managers to let a pandemic stand in the way of securing great talent: when asked how they were dealing with attracting new hires in this uncertain landscape, 77% indicated they’d adjusted their employee value proposition, or EVP, during the pandemic to reflect a change in candidates’ priorities, and a further 16% planned to make similar changes in the future.

Companies may be navigating completely uncharted territory and having to work harder to secure high demand candidates, but this commitment to adjusting and updating their employer brand is extremely positive. Having a strong EVP is shown to boost new hire commitment and decrease annual employee turnover, while also establishing expectations among the workforce.

We were also pleased to see that 40% of recruitment budgets had increased during the pandemic. The freedom of extra recruitment budgets may be just what companies need, to both survive the pandemic and to thrive as a result of it.

According to the survey, hiring managers plan to use these budgets in a variety of ways, including using internal HR/recruiters (50%) and executive search firms (37%). The survey also found that hiring managers under 35 years of age were more likely to use recruitment process outsourcing teams (13%) than hiring managers over 35 (2%).

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National Talent Within Reach?

It was great to see that hiring managers are thinking outside the box, but there was further insight that highlighted some of the new opportunities businesses now have to grow.

Of those surveyed, 76% said that hiring was no longer city-dependent due to Covid-19. These hiring managers indicated that they were more likely to hire out of city, or even out of state.

This now means  that companies no longer have to passively wait for the right talent or compete for a limited number of qualified individuals in their area. This geo shift in work may mean companies can tap into bigger and better talent pools. It’s a recruitment re-think that just may reap talent results that were previously inaccessible and open up new potential for businesses that previously had been unimaginable.

What may be one of the most interesting findings that came back was this: 90% of senior executives are now expecting to work from home. And why not? The past year has proven that flexibility and adaptability can make or break a company. If working from home, even only part of the week, helps to set a better life-work balance for senior management, then it could be a great differentiator that companies can offer as part of their EVP.

Overall, a sense of open mindedness has emerged from the most disruptive human, economic and social crises of all time. While some companies have been faced with challenges too great to overcome, it is positive to see that those who have been able to navigate the disruption have done so in ways designed to foster new business growth and resilience.

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