Surviving or Thriving in Talent Acquisition: 5 Questions to Assess the Current and Future Impacts of COVID-19

Group of business professionals wearing medical masks.

The talent marketplace has experienced considerable changes the past several weeks, and recovery from this pandemic will look different for each company. The list of questions and concerns leaders face changes daily, and organizational uncertainty remains at an all-time high.

Below are several questions for leaders to consider when preparing a hiring recovery plan:

1. What does ‘recovery’ look like and what is the timeline? 1

Recovery to relative normalcy will be a stop-and-start experience as we continue to respond to flare-ups of the virus. Experts confirmed that we need to be prepared for an 18-month timeline, at least. During that time, many businesses will subsequently start and stop again until some major resolve occurs. Recovery will need to mirror this stop-and-start cadence, and talent acquisition leaders should prepare for hiring in this pattern. 

2. What does the role of hiring look like as a part of the recovery process? How can I assess my organization’s recovery readiness? 2

Hiring is an important element for an organization’s ability to react, adapt, sustain, and gain some stability. Every organization should be looking at ways to reasonably scale workforce up and down which will put pressure on talent acquisition to be more flexible and agile.

For many companies, recruitment marketing and job advertising are the first pieces to fall away. Even if your organization isn’t planning to hire right now, consider evaluating your current talent, and hire to upgrade your talent. 

3. What changes do we need to make to our existing process in order to attract and hire top talent throughout the recovery process? 3

There is more top talent available in the marketplace than ever before and not for long. Now is the time to attract and hire that top talent quickly.  Additionally, it is critical to honestly communicate with current and prospective applicants the impact COVID-19 is having on the organization’s hiring outlook. Thoroughly define a virtual hiring process and communicate it to all key stakeholders. Once completed, be sure to hold those stakeholders accountable to the process. 

4. What are the expectations of our internal stakeholders (Executives, Hiring Managers, Talent Acquisition, HR, etc.)? 4

Executives expect productivity to scale up and down and usually do not consider staffing levels as a key element in that function. Hiring managers work diligently with talent acquisition to make that happen but have constraints like remote working and time. It is talent acquisition’s responsibility to submit qualified applicants to hiring managers and to ensure timely dispositioning, offers, and electronic onboarding in coordination with HR. Executives and candidates are aligned; they both want near-immediate results, and it is talent acquisition’s job to facilitate that in conjunction with hiring managers and HR. Additionally, talent acquisition should agree on a short list of KPIs with executives to consistently report activity in a transparent way. 

5. What are the expectations of candidates in the marketplace and how have they changed as a result of this crisis?

Candidates expect a fair, consistent, simple, and speedy application and hiring process. Millennials and Gen Z talent expect modern technology like chat bots, text communication, mobile applications, click-to-apply, video interviewing, and electronic onboarding. Most candidates will look for an application and hiring process which continues to employ social distancing practices long after federal restrictions have been lifted.

Recovery for talent acquisition might be riddled with trial and error during this 18-month recovery period. Many organizations who have reduced their resources have likely made cuts within talent acquisition and will have even fewer tools with which to build a best-in-class hiring function. When faced with the option of whether to buy or build, talent acquisition has many options to choose from and not enough partners who operate with accountability to executives, hiring managers, talent acquisition, HR and candidates.

During this challenging time, Advanced RPO is offering a complimentary Recruitment Recovery Readiness Coaching Session. We will provide you with the current state of your talent acquisition program, help you define your recovery goals, identify how you can hire better talent, and determine a go-forward strategy. You’ll walk away with:

  • Key learnings and opportunities for improvement.
  • Best practice recommendations for a high-impact talent acquisition function.
  • Alternative recruiting tactics and strategies.
  • Business plan to make talent acquisition thrive at your organization.


Click here to learn more and schedule your complimentary Recruitment Recovery Readiness Coaching Session.

Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) solutions from Advanced RPO can help you evaluate and improve your hiring processes to get the talent you need to succeed. Contact us today to learn more about our high-touch solutions.