The War for Talent: Covid’s Touch

Masks, gloves, face shields, self-isolation, 70% ethanol solutions and a hurting economy. How has Covid-19 impacted the war for talent?

The war for talent is multivariable, a lot of events can cause its intensification and de-escalation, and considering the amount of chaos brought about by Covid, no economic or business management theory with a ceteris paribus slapped on to it can accurately attribute the effects of Covid on the war for talent. And, in a lot of ways, as countries seek to establish order out of the newborn chaos, such as the USA with the new president-elect Joe Biden’s slogan of “Build Back Better”, it can be anticipated that the same might occur with the global economy. In our previous article, we took a look at post-Covid employment, and expressed why we think that the trends of remote work and talent acquisition software might be here to stay. 

The War for Talent: De-escalating or Intensifying?

There is a belief that, because of the ongoing Covid recession, many employees have been made redundant due to reduced economic activity, and many businesses have shut down, and hence the war for talent has de-escalated since the shortage of talent will be reduced. In simpler economic terms, this belief translates to a decrease in labor demand, and an increase in labor supply, which supposedly cuts the shortage of talent. Additionally, due to global levels of trade and immigration being attributed as indicators for measuring globalization, the sharp decrease in both has led many to believe that globalization is taking a hit. 

So what does this mean? Is the war for talent de-escalating? Is globalization decreasing? Well, it’s more complicated than that…

The “common sense” belief of labor supply rising and labor demands decreasing may be true, but it may be misleading. Whilst this is universally and unequivocally true, one must consider the following factors. Firstly, in businesses which haven’t permanently shut down, downsizing has occurred in a manner with which workers who are not vital for future growth projects are made redundant. This means that much of the workforce which has gone out of work are not the organizational fits which businesses who wage war for talent are looking for. Much of this talent has stayed employed. Furthermore, even if you doubt this sentiment, since it is based on an assumption, and believe that this isn’t the case, this doesn’t mean the war for talent has de-escalated and here’s why.

Short-Term vs Long-Term and Other Nuances

Since these shifts in the labor market occurred are due to demand and supply-side shocks, due to the consequences of Covid, these changes do not represent trends in the labor market or set a precedent for the future of labor markets, as economies worldwide are set to recover from these economic shocks, and return to normalcy is perceived as inevitable in most societies. In fact, it can be argued that as a consequence of Covid, trends of digitization of the workspace, the increasing implementation of AI to automate and enhance processes and industry 4.0 are now going to accelerate. 

Now, we touched on the “Build Back Better” agenda of the Biden-Harris administration, and the entire point is, that these illusory or genuine decreases in talent shortages will be soon eliminated through long-term economic forces. So depending on how you view the situation, you either have no reason to believe that the talent on war has de-escalated, and that in fact it will intensify due to acceleration of mentioned trends, or you can view this turmoil in the labour market as a short window of opportunity to scramble for the talent made redundant.

Now, what about globalization? With globalization, the answer isn’t as clear-cut. Even before the Covid crisis, since The Great Recession, the deceleration of global trade was noticeable. However, it is to be noted that globalization is multi-dimensional, and cannot only be correlated with volumes of international trades of goods and immigration between countries, which have been hit hard during Covid. However, along with these negative indicators for globalization, there are positive indicators such as the aforementioned increasing digitization of the workspace. In a way, the digitization of the workspace has lowered the barriers to entry to foreign labor markets. Hence, SMEs are now more than ever poised to benefit from foreign labor markets and escape the war for talent brewing in their markets, and compete for global talent.

The Verdict

In conclusion, the war for talent isn’t de-escalating in the long-term, with short-term possible reduction of talent shortages to be corrected by long-term economic forces. Additionally, as Covid has incentivized companies to rethink their strategy, a lot of focus is to be put on automation and digital transformation, narrowing the pool of talent to hire from. But, for SMEs, the digitization of the workspace means sourcing candidates from across the globe, expanding the talent pool to hire from and de-escalating the war for talent. With barriers to entry to foreign labor markets being lowered, more SMEs are expected to be competing for talent with the big dogs. 

However exuberant this may sound for some, it is important for such operations to be conducted with the correct logistics, and, luckily, there are a plethora of software tools which companies can leverage to adopt remote working and maintain a sustainable global workforce. Most correlated with the topic of discussion of this article, talent acquisition software solutions are perfect for making global hires with efficiency. Much of the hiring processes are automated, and recruiting teams are empowered with an interface specialized for their hiring needs. For an experience catered towards post-Covid hiring needs, HireBee is the perfect solution, with the company placing an emphasis on Covid and developing their product accordingly, as the startup seeks to empower SMEs to compete for talent with big enterprises globally.

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Human Resources and People Networking Concept

Why You Should Use Recruitment Software in 2021

Recruitment software (or talent acquisition software) has increasingly become more popular as more and more people have realized its benefits. By the end of 2019, it was enumerated by Jobscan that 98.2% of the Fortune 500 companies use an applicant tracking system. Still, the practice isn’t as popular amongst smaller businesses, and a lot of this may be attributed to the fact that such businesses think that they have no need for such a system, perhaps due to the traditional association with such systems being exclusively catered towards big enterprises; sporadic and low-volume hiring; or simple unfamiliarity with or uninterest in the software. Today, we are here to make an argument for recruitment software by substantiating why you don’t need to think this way.

Why You Should No Longer Exclusively Associate Recruitment Software with Big Enterprises

Whilst it may not have been wrong to be under this assumption some time ago, when ATSs were a true novelty, and when cloud computing was underdeveloped, now, with cloud computing vastly improving, many new ATS vendors have appeared and offer scalable services for SMBs (small-to-medium businesses). In fact, many of the relatively modern recruitment software solutions explicitly target SMBs as their target market. Such ATS vendors include HireBee, Workable, Breezy HR, and many more. These vendors allow you to explore their free trial, which allows very limited job posting, so that you can empirically assess the features of the ATS, and understand whether this is an appropriate solution for your recruitment needs.

Why Sporadic and Low-Volume Hiring Shouldn’t Discourage You from Using Recruitment Software

The importance of HR shouldn’t be undermined, even in small businesses where the relationship within employees and between employers and employees may be more personalized and informal. Having an advanced and comprehensive recruitment strategy with the appropriate specialized tools will help ensure that you are capable of making the most optimal hiring decisions in a manner efficient for time and cost. Getting the right talent onboard can truly be invaluable for small businesses which use intrapreneurship to stimulate innovation, and delegate their staff to act more independently. 

Additionally, the amount of time saved by ATS due to their user interface being specialized for recruitment (unlike spreadsheets or other alternatives used to keep a database of resumes and candidates) and its many thoroughly designed features, which will only continue to become more optimal as the ATS market grows and becomes more competitive, can be leveraged by making urgent and hasty hires to realize temporary business opportunities, and simultaneously making the hire with sufficient data.

Why You Should Care

Well, now you may be thinking; okay, the ATS market has expanded and now its services are compatible with the needs of SMBs, but why should I care? Well, here’s why.

With recruitment software solutions, you can:

  • Have a centralized location for all things recruitment. With plentiful integrations and features, almost the entire recruitment process can be managed through the platform. Even if a specific ATS misses some functionality (which other ATSs may or may not have), you can request for this feature to be implemented.
  • In turn, have recruitment specialized data storage and data entry. With data storage specialized for recruitment, your talent pool can be kept in check and organized better, with information of candidates being easier to access with intuitive navigation through the database. Data entry specialization makes sourcing and manual insertions of candidates and other information about candidates easier.
  • Have searching, sorting and filtering capabilities, along with creating shortlists of candidates. The data inputted, or data parsed from the resume with resume parsers which the system may or may not have, can then be used to match the candidates’ data with your searches, filters and sorting fields. Additionally, you can screen candidates with knock-out questions, or have recommendations for the most qualified candidates according to the strength of matching of the required skills for the job and the candidates’ skills to weed out the irrelevant applications.
  • Maintain visibility of the entire recruitment process with data analytics & reports. Identify your best sources for candidates and assess your recruitment strategy with other interesting metrics. View your pipeline, with the number of applicants in each stage of the hiring process enumerated, to make sure no candidate is falling through the cracks.
  • Create workflows, complemented by email templates and triggers, to easily change status of applicants and keep them informed throughout the process with automated communication. Some ATS also offer integrated SMS communication.
  • Easily manage your job postings, with integrated job boards and social media postings. ATSs make job posting easy and faster with multi-posting.
  • Collaborate with your team with interview scorecards and feedback forms.

In conclusion, all of these benefits combine themselves to present you with a single key benefit for your organization: saving time and money on your investments into talent acquisition. Therefore, if it is in your agenda to invest into acquiring the best talent, it may be worth investing into recruitment software.

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