The economic impacts of Covid-19 have been felt by just about every industry you can think of, and the charity sector has by no means been spared. It’s come as no surprise that CharityJob saw a significant drop in jobs posted during April as companies were not only gripped with the initial shock of the pandemic but they also needed to make key decisions on how to handle changes in consumer demand, whether to furlough staff and how to adapt to new ways of working.
And though things are not the same as they were before the lockdown, we’re being forced to accept ‘the new normal’ head-on. Shops are re-opening, businesses are adapting and charities are continuing to innovate. In other words, the economy is embracing a resurgence of need, and the job volumes are steadily growing to reflect that whilst candidate site visits and registrations are back to pre-Covid levels. With more candidates on the job hunt than ever before, you’ll have to adapt your recruitment strategy to hire smarter for the changing times.
Eager to understand how the events of recent months have impacted recruitment? Here are just a few ways recruitment is evolving.
1. Remote working roles will continue to gain momentum
Since March, millions of people have had to trade their office desk space for dining room tables. The lucky few with home offices quickly settled in, while the majority of us made it work in whatever room our housemates (or families) weren’t currently occupying. Whilst there have undoubtedly been teething problems, the adjustment towards remote working has been easier than most thought, leading to some organisations adopting a ‘remote-first’ model.
At CharityJob we’ve seen jobs ads containing terms such as ‘remote working’, ‘home-based’ and ‘flexible’ raise from 5% to almost 20% of all jobs since the onset of Covid-19, signifying that employers are already starting to embrace remote as a permanent thing. The trend varies depending on job type—fundraising, for example, is now being advertised as a remote or flexible position in 28% of all instances, while IT and Campaigning roles are over 50%.
For the charity sector, this could be a blessing in disguise. Not only do remote workers save on the cost of having to pay for large office space, but it means less money spent on utilities.
Of course, there will always be certain charity sector roles that cannot be done from the comforts of home, but the overall proportion of remote working is set to rise.
2. Hiring process can become fully digitised
It’s easy to forget that the hiring process is largely conducted remotely, from online applications to pre-screening tests and phone interviews. In fact, only a handful of successful candidates ever make it to the face-to-face interview stage.
But because of limitations in recent months, many charities have had to adopt video interviewing as a replacement for the face-to-face interview. And what they learned is that it really isn’t that much different.
As remote working gains wider acceptance, there will be a knock-on impact on the hiring process, shifting further towards more digital means. Further investment into recruitment technologies focused around the likes of artificial intelligence will provide added benefits of finding the right talent as quickly as possible. And the time you save not having to do all the manual heavy lifting can be spent elsewhere in the organisation.
3. Geographical mobility of candidates is less important
Although we live in a globalised world, candidates by and large tend to look for roles within an acceptable commuting radius from the office of their prospective employer. Anything beyond this creates a tricky decision for the candidate which involves a long commute or relocation.
But now, this may be a thing of the past—with an increase in remote working roles, employers will be able to afford more flexibility between remote working and travelling to the office.
So, how does this help recruiters? Well for one, you can cast your net wider to find the right talent. This will be increasingly important for technical roles especially where the right skill set is in short supply geographically.
4. Greater importance on digital skills of candidates
The charity sector, which has traditionally lagged behind in terms of digital innovation, has needed to consider ways to generate much-needed funds in a socially distanced world.
Some charities have embraced this and carved out opportunities to grow awareness and funds, whilst equipping their employees and volunteers with the right digital tools to their job. At CharityJob the volume of digital roles has doubled since 2015, but expect digital transformation to be an even bigger priority in many charities over the next few years. To support this there will be a bigger focus towards upskilling staff or hiring specialist talent from outside the industry.
5. Virtual onboarding is becoming less of a sticking point
Whilst the need for new hires remains important, charities may cautiously experiment with the idea of onboarding their employees online—from inductions through to on the job training.
Some charities have already shown how remote onboarding can work and technology will continue to bridge the gap to better support online training, collaboration tools and workplace socials.
6. Candidates are more conscious about company values and culture
In the short term, most people will be grateful enough to have a job. However, as job postings catch up to the candidate demand, we will see a shift in the balance of power towards employees.
Therefore, candidates will seek out more empathetic leadership with strong cultural values, which prioritises things like wellbeing, diversity and philanthropical efforts as much as it does shareholder value.
Employers that were perceived as handling the health crisis with a lack of transparency and made sweeping redundancies may need to put more effort into building their reputations back up.
Adapting in a changing market
There’s an argument to suggest that some of these trends were already on the horizon, but what we can expect is a much faster pace of adoption.
The need to attract and hire good quality candidates will always remain the key priority for recruiters, but this article gives you a snapshot of how things are evolving and what you need to do to keep up the trends of tomorrow.
If you have any other questions about the recruitment process, feel free to get in touch with one of our Account Managers today.