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Building Recruiting Resiliency for 2020 and Beyond


At the height of the coronavirus pandemic, recruitment was in a unique position compared to other facets of business operations in that its productivity varied from one company to another.

Some organisations saw huge upsurge in demand, triggering mass recruiting and onboarding sprees, whilst others downscaled hiring and focused efforts on upskilling the current workforce. Both ends of the scale saw strengths and weaknesses exposed and now, as the job market continues to be inconsistent, recruiters are faced with new challenges.

But every crisis brings new beginnings and for recruiters. Now is the opportunity to face these new challenges with confidence and not be restrained by previous traditional thinking. Instead we must embrace each change with a fresh mindset.

Be agile

Not only did the pandemic accelerate certain recruiting approaches, it also accelerated the decision-making around these approaches. Take video, for example. Recruiters who continued hiring through lockdown had no other option but to introduce video recruiting; it simply had to be done, and fast.

Recruiters should now realise that not every decision can wait for several levels of approval to implement change. As long as there is a valid business case, and talent acquisition teams are prepared to do the legwork, then quick change can occur. One way to keep up is to redeploy talent acquisition teams on short-term projects, that way you can respond to fast change more efficiently and then scale up or down the project depending on what works.

Candidate experience

The pandemic revealed the true colours of many organisations, and that will have lasting effects on the company’s reputation in years to come, whether they are positive or negative. We’re all humans, and seeing the human side of an organisation is what candidates most desire when looking for new roles, especially in the wake of the pandemic. For recruiters, that means the candidate experience begins before the application process with communication being the key driver.

Surfacing authentic stories from employees themselves and communicating them is important for candidates to see the reality of organisations.

Focus on skills

The majority (83%) of leaders have prioritised skills development in the past year, compared to just 63% within the last five years, prompting a renewed focus on hiring for skills. This skills-based hiring means that recruiters need to connect the learning strategy with the recruiting strategy and not rely on experience alone when hiring.

For example, if a candidate only has 60% of skills required for the role then they shouldn’t be immediately discarded. Instead, offer them the chance to be hired and if they succeed in getting the role, the other 40% of skills can be developed along the way. Or maybe offer the candidate some training as part of the application process, giving something of value before you even hire someone and even if they don’t join you, their perception of your organisation will be positive and lasting.

Adopting a continuous learning mindset

With HR being so focused on developing employees, often they forget to set aside learning for themselves, including recruiters and talent acquisition teams. The pandemic has changed many things and getting everyone up to speed on what has changed and the skills they need to navigate this ‘new normal’ is vital:

  • How is a virtual interview different to face-to-face?
  • How can recruiters address unconscious bias?
  • Would this role be better suited to someone internally rather than externally?

These are the questions that some of your team members might be asking, and they can easily be answered with the right training. Cornerstone is launching its Hiring Heroes portal with free learning resources dedicated to the recruiting community to help boost recruiters skills.

Whether you’re upscaling, downscaling or planning for the future, it’s important to not only adopt a resilient mindset for the future, but also resist going back to the old ways that hindered opportunities. We must be creative and curious about new ways of thinking and in order to face the challenges ahead.

Catch Cornerstone OnDemand’s session at Spark Live 2020 on November 12th at 5:45 pm GMT!

About the Author

Peter Gold is the Recruiting Solutions Manager EMEA for Cornerstone OnDemand and is involved in further developing Cornerstone’s Recruiting solution, delivering world-class hiring capabilities across Cornerstone’s EMEA clients. Having been in the recruiting space for more than 20 years, and being involved in building one of the first true SaaS Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), Peter has real passion for supporting the Talent Acquisition community and believes that companies can’t build a business without hiring great people.

Profile Photo of Peter Gold