Is hiring in a hurry the new ‘black’ in recruitment?

With no other choice, some organisations are going fully remote for fast mass hiring. Will this become the norm?

COVID-19 may have changed how we work in the short-term, but will the impact have a lasting effect on hiring in the future? Korn Ferry explores…

There are currently 405,000 temporary or full-time positions available at just eight companies, among them Amazon, Walmart, CVS, and Domino’s. Filling them over the next two weeks would mean that these eight companies have to hire a combined 28,928 new workers a day.

Increased demand

That is, if they can wait that long. Make no mistake, time is of the essence as these and other companies are scrambling to hire workers to meet a surge in demand prompted by the coronavirus outbreak. Walmart alone is looking at hiring 150,000 workers, for instance, while Amazon wants to bring on 100,000 workers to meet increased demand. But it isn’t just delivery companies, drugstores, and supermarkets that are hiring. Video conferencing and digital payment companies, for example, are also looking to hire workers to help with a boom in usage.

With health and safety concerns altering the traditional recruiting process, however, Byrne Mulrooney, CEO of Korn Ferry’s RPO, Professional Search and Products, says the pandemic could ultimately be the tipping point that breaks organistions’ predisposition toward in-person hiring, whether for individual positions or at scale.

“This kind of event could cause organisations to recognise that digital tools can be as effective as a face-to-face interview, as the final arbiter of whether a candidate gets a job or not,” says Mulrooney.

Artificial intelligence

To be sure, organisations have been using artificial intelligence to increase recruiting capacity and augment their recruitment teams for years. Recruiting platforms such as Korn Ferry’s Nimble, for instance, use AI to identify candidates, usher them through the recruiting process, conduct automated interviews and background checks, and assemble a shortlist of candidates for hiring managers to review.

The difference now, says Jeanne MacDonald, president of RPO solutions with Korn Ferry, is that the compressed time frame means organisations have to be ready to make an offer, get paperwork signed, and onboard candidates in real-time.

“Organisations can’t get hung up on the offer side,” says McDonald. “They need to be prepared to make an offer over a platform or mobile device without human intervention if necessary.”

Displaced workers

Outside of AI-influenced hiring—and in keeping with the purpose movement—organisations can also work through industry associations to “make a market in labour” for displaced workers from other sectors, says Nathan Blain, a Korn Ferry senior client partner and global leader for organisational strategy and digital transformation. For example, hotels and restaurants forced to lay off workers are coordinating with their peers in grocery and mass-market merchandising to find homes for some of their talent. They can also pivot marketing messages to tap into neighboring businesses to help redeploy furloughed workers from the community.

“There’s a vast supply of local talent now available that wasn’t there three weeks ago. These people have the skills that organisations seeing increased demand from the outbreak need,” says Blain.

Korn Ferry

Korn Ferry is a global organisational consulting firm, synchronising strategy and talent to drive superior performance for its clients.

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