Novel Coronavirus Forcing An Overdue Evolution (or two) in Talent

As of this writing, Johns Hopkins reports that there are over 121,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases globally. (You can see the live reporting dashboard here.) With a reported 4,373 deaths and over 66,000 recoveries, today the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the novel Coronavirus a pandemic.  In short, it’s a global problem that’s being recognized as a serious threat and disruption.

One step that companies are taking to help slow down the spread of the virus and keep their employees healthy is directing teams to work from home when possible and putting restrictions on non-essential business travel. In a recent CXR webinar with ~30 member companies we briefly discussed how this sudden wave of employees working from home is expected to impact productivity – both positively and negatively.

[COVID-19 Checklists for Talent Acquisition]

Leveraging Remote Working Opportunities

In the world of Talent, some companies are addressing not just the changes related to how they now remotely interact with each other but also the shift in how they must now interact with candidates. With hiring demands not yet slowing down, the need for connecting, screening, and interviewing candidates is rapidly becoming a serious concern. For some companies video interviewing has long been a standard practice, others now have the opportunity to pilot technology that, for a myriad of reasons (budget, culture, leadership, etc.), has been out of reach for years.

Within the confines of CXR Membership, we’ve been watching ~15 video interviewing service and technology providers discussed and rated among colleagues for the last year. We expect this number to increase as well as the volume of feedback provided around ease of adoption and return on investment. The work from home mandates that currently show no signs of slowing down provide an opportune time for talent acquisition teams to get caught up and embrace a live or asynchronous digital screening and interviewing process that works for them.

Talent professionals also have an opportunity to truly evaluate the effectiveness of recruiters working remotely. Many organizations already have recruiters stationed around the world who work from homes, coffee shops, and shared workspaces. Some firms, however, continue to insist that recruiters work in specific offices, close to hiring managers and business groups. It might be time to reconsider that work requirement for multiple reasons.

At CXR we’ve noticed a trending conversation, and some outside observations, with regards to recruiters in expensive hubs like Silicon Valley. Leaders have expressed interest in moving away from having all but a few of their recruiters in the Northern California area and instead filling the majority of those recruiting roles with remote recruiters in markets like Texas, Ohio, Kansas and Arizona – effectively & significantly reducing the cost of an FTE (full-time equivalent) for performing the same work. These chats align with multiple conversations we’ve had with executive placement and headhunting professionals who are already beginning to see an exodus of talent from the over-populated (and over-paid?) California market in favor of less costly areas throughout the country.

It didn’t go unmentioned on our recent CXR chat that this is the ideal opportunity for leaders to be taking a hard look at productivity numbers such as time-to-fill and manager satisfaction. Similar to the freedom now afforded to explore digital interviewing, leaders can now begin to start a baseline and data-driven look at how remote recruiters might impact productivity.

Additional COVID-19 Resources

For change agents and talent leaders struggling to be progressive, there is certainly a silver lining to this distressing world health challenge. We at CXR hope that while focusing on some incredible opportunities to catch up (or jump ahead), the main focus during this time continues to be on the health and safety of individual team members and families. 

To help with that, we’ve been adding resources and updates in an eXchange that we’ve opened to the public. We encourage everyone to check it out as well as contribute. Within this eXchange, readers will find CDC updates, live outbreak reporting dashboards, companies sharing their guidelines and checklists, crowd sourced lists of how companies and schools are responding and so much more.

[Check out our open Talent Management eXchange & Coronavirus discussions]

Additionally, we’d like to point you to this resource chatbot populated with hundreds of questions and answers related to both work and health concerns about the Coronavirus. We were proud to work collectively with, Hireclix and AmplifyTalent to develop that resource. We hope you’ll also take advantage of it and pass it along.


Chris Hoyt

Chris Hoyt

A veteran of recruiting and HR, Hoyt is a sought-after speaker with presentations including national conferences with SHRM, LinkedIn, HR Technology, ERE and others in the USA as well as UNLEASH, iRecruit, Australasian Talent Conference and more abroad. Chris has been promoting and leading full scale and enterprise-wide integrations of social media and mobile marketing within workforce strategies for his entire career. His expertise and passion for interactive/social recruiting, candidate experience, and both national and international recruiting strategies are all areas that Hoyt now leverages as co-owner and President at CareerXroads, a Recruiting/Staffing consulting and think tank organization that works with corporate leaders from around the world to break out of traditional recruitment practices and push the envelope in an effort to win the ongoing war for top talent.

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