Remote Work's Rise is Disrupting Hiring. Recruiters are Adapting. - The West Orange Chamber of Commerce
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Wed October 13, 2021

Remote Work’s Rise is Disrupting Hiring. Recruiters are Adapting.

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By Ty West  –  Editor-in-Chief, The Playbook,Oct 7, 2021, 10:58pm EDT

The way you were hired in 2019 probably won’t work in 2021. 

It’s a message recruiters have been trying to hammer home as businesses grapple with a severe labor shortage that has left few industries unscathed.

A new survey by talent acquisition technology provider Jobvite of more than 800 U.S. recruiters illustrates just how much the game has changed over the past 18 months, and it proves many recruiters are practicing what they are preaching by changing their tactics in the evolving climate.

The survey found 78% of recruiters’ priorities have shifted over the past year, with increasing quality of hires, improving time to hire and increasing retention rates among the top priorities for the next 12 months. 

Organizations are also upping their recruiting budgets, spending more on technology and prioritizing tools like social media in their efforts, according to the survey. 

While a number of factors are fueling those changes — the turnover tsunami, the labor shortage and lingering Covid-19 challenges, among many others — work-from-home flexibility has emerged as a great differentiator for recruiters and hiring managers. 

Recruiters say flexibility has rapidly shifted from a perk to an expectation for job candidates and existing employees. The issue is increasingly dictating winners and losers and failing to acknowledge the shift is one of the most costly mistakes employers are making in this hiring environment.

Many companies are settling on a hybrid workplace model and some, such as PwC, are offering permanent remote work.

The Jobvite survey illustrates the danger of failing to embrace the trend, as 54% of recruiters said they’ve had a candidate turn down an interview or job offer due to a lack of remote-work flexibility. 

Kerry Gilliam, vice president of marketing at Jobvite, said it was clear from the survey recruiters view a hesitance to offering remote work as an obstacle that needs to be overcome.

The survey found 60% of recruiters believe organizations will lose employees if they do not transition to a hybrid, fully remote or remote-first culture. 

Companies that have made the switch — such as onboarding company, which went permanently remote prior to the pandemic — say offering remote work has expanded the growing company’s talent pool. CEO Kristoffer Cassel said offering permanent remote work has allowed it to attract talent from around the globe. It has employees in sites stretching from Florida to Bulgaria.

It has also allowed Stockholm-based to attract more diverse candidates.

“We’re trying to build a global company, and we think that’s the only way,” Cassel said.

The Jobvite survey suggests companies are getting the message on the importance of remote work, with 70% of organizations planning to offer it. Only 14% of companies said they plan to require in-office work 100% of the time. 

“I’m hearing more and more CEOs who were dead set against it who are now coming around because they’ve seen it work successfully the past year,” Gilliam said. “It’s kind of hard to argue against when you’ve managed to meet your business objectives and deliver on your business outcomes the past year doing it remotely.”

The rise of remote work is also changing how recruiters operate, with 34% of recruiters saying they are using their budgets to address virtual hiring and recruiting needs. 

“You have to have the technology in place with your systems to give that modern, remote-work experience and the interview experience,” Gilliam said.

As recruiters look for new tech tools to aid in their efforts, many will have additional dollars at their disposal. 

The survey found 40% of recruiters said their budgets increased as a result of Covid-19 and 64% of recruiters anticipate their budgets will grow over the next year. 

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