Talent acquisition leaders identify the challenges of hiring in a post-pandemic world

By | 3 minute read | April 12, 2021

With reduced recruiting levels and the need to deliver a more resilient workforce, the job of talent acquisition professionals looks a lot different than it did in 2019. The pandemic challenged organizations to continue to deliver meaningful employee and candidate touchpoints despite shrinking HR teams, limited opportunity for human contact and ever-changing hiring needs.

Nelson Hall recently published a white paper to help talent acquisition leaders evaluate how to drive efficiencies and experiences with optimized hiring and recruiting strategies.

What challenges lie ahead for successful talent acquisition planning?

Based on interviews with talent acquisition leaders and conversations with clients, the white paper highlights the following challenges leaders face in a post-pandemic hiring world:

Hiring volatility

Approximately 85% of surveyed talent acquisition leaders expect difficulty in forecasting future talent acquisition needs. That’s not surprising, since organizations are continuously adapting to everchanging conditions. The pace of change isn’t expected to slow down either. The study reports that 95% of respondents expect their organizations’ talent acquisition requirements to be highly volatile over the next 24 months.

Process changes

Today’s unpredictable environment has an impact on internal capacity. The finding show that 95% of surveyed talent acquisition leaders have a reduced internal recruiting capability. With a smaller recruiting force, organizations have to redesign their talent acquisition processes— simply redeploying existing resources isn’t enough.

In fact, 45% of respondents perceive it’s highly important to reimagine and completely adjust talent acquisition processes in the light of COVID-19 and its aftereffects. Identifying opportunities to digitize processes, and applying these changes, remains a challenge for talent management but by implementing intelligent workflows leaders can bridge this gap.

Technology and analytics

To optimize IT environments for future resiliency, 60% of respondents have a strong emphasis on increasing automation over the next 12 months. By weaving together human touchpoints and the benefits of innovative technologies, organizations can improve candidate and employee experiences. While this process isn’t always straightforward, it’s imperative to reimagining how work gets done.

Similarly, automating single tasks in silos doesn’t create the same efficiency as creating and implementing intelligent workflows. The ability to analyze automated workflows and resources requires constant access to current data and analytics. It’s time for enterprise leaders to redesign processes, but 85% of respondents say they lack the use of digital workforce tools and AI to free recruiters from transactional and administrative tasks.

Candidate experience

In such a turbulent market, attracting and retaining talent remains pivotal for the success of your organization—and the well-being of your employees. Over 50% of surveyed talent acquisition leaders stated they lack a balance in digital and high-touch candidate experiences. Today, more than ever, it’s imperative to understand where your candidate experience is lacking as more steps in the process become virtual, especially in areas like virtual event management, interview logistics management and onboarding. More robust onboarding and training experiences are needed to help ensure low attrition and memorable experiences.

Hiring agility

The findings also reveal that 70% of those surveyed identified gaps in their ability to scale talent acquisition staff to manage variations in hiring volume. These changes don’t just affect the talent acquisition teams. During candidate sourcing and procurement, talent acquisition organizations are using contingent labor more often to support recruitment surges and making greater use of third-party services. Of respondents, 50% say they will take a significantly more flexible approach to talent acquisition, placing a much higher emphasis on the use of home workers, flexible workers and bots or .

Selection criteria when choosing a service provider

Of surveyed talent acquisition leaders, 30% express a high intent to use services vendors for end-to-end talent acquisition on behalf of departments or business units. But how do you choose the right services provider with custom support to meet your needs? In the short term, the right vendor can improve response times and effectiveness of service for the end-to-end application management process. They can also deliver process and technological expertise for best practices that create a foundation for success, regardless of hiring volumes. But selecting the right teammate based on an organization’s unique needs remains a challenge for talent acquisition leaders.

How to overcome these challenges

To increase efficiencies and experiences within the recruiting process, enterprises must use innovative technologies that provide constant access to data and help put candidate and employee needs first. The Nelson Hall white paper identified four imperatives to successful talent acquisition optimization in a roadmap: build resilience and scalability, ensure a strong talent experience, optimize the use of technology and digital workers, and use third parties for scaling and reimagining.