Navigating the Great Rehire

There’s quite a bit of noise about “the great rehire,” an anticipated economic bounce back leading to a spike in job vacancies. Whilst nobody really knows exactly when this will happen, many agree that most economies including the UK’s will see a significant bounce. It all sounds very promising, especially considering that some forecasts show unemployment may reach as high as 7.5% or maybe even 10% in the coming months.

With many more looking for jobs post-furlough and the anticipation of new vacancies opening up, does this mean the war for talent is over? Will vacancies get filled quicker? In some cases, this will undoubtedly happen, but for recruitment teams, it will create a whole set of new challenges!

What we’re already seeing across many of our clients is a spike in applications compared to historical numbers. In many cases, the majority of these candidates are deemed not suitable for the role. Given the particular sectors that have been impacted by the pandemic, it is essential that employers start to think more open-mindedly about transferable skills from industries they wouldn’t normally consider hiring from.

But, for harder-to-fill roles requiring specific skills and experience, recruiters will be under pressure to protect the candidate experience as app numbers rise. Finding the right fit will be potentially just as hard as it was pre-pandemic. The difference now is that there will be more candidates to sift and manage. Thus, it’s important to invest in your candidate journey and your talent technology to support “the great rehire”. This will help you get the candidate experience right and not fall into the trap of rushing things.

The other key consideration here is your company’s DE&I agenda. There’s plenty of evidence to support that certain minority groups typically take longer to move through a recruitment process, especially if you have automation or online assessments. The temptation for hiring managers and recruiters is to make the required skills more specific or increase pass marks. None of these actions will support your company’s desire to increase diversity.

Questions you should be thinking about now include:

  • Has the size of your recruitment team decreased?
  • What workforce planning is being done?
  • What plans have you made for increased candidate activity, and how will you protect the candidate experience and measure adverse impact?
  • What technology are you using to help your teams and enhance the candidate experience?

The pandemic has changed the game for talent acquisition, and TA leaders should think about how to best build resilience and agility into their workforce strategy. Ensuring you’ve got the ability to scale up (and down) your hiring capacity—whether in-house or through RPO—will help you navigate “the great rehire” and ensure you can access top talent.

Post by James Chorley