- The rapid shift to remote work is changing HR and recruitment, with many new hires working remotely from day one.
- In some cases, location-independence means employers have been able to increase the number of top applicants by as much as 85%.
- Faced with increased competition, applicants should focus on their communication skills and in particular, spend time crafting a “thoughtful, well written” cover letter.
The rapid shift to remote work is not only changing how employees work day to day, it is also changing how new employees are recruited and hired.
With more companies committing to permanent remote work policies, human resource professionals have shifted their focus to incumbent workers that have had to move from a traditional office to remote work. However, HR departments have also had to adjust how they recruit for new employees, as many will be hired and work remotely from day one.
Implementing hiring practices that are remote friendly does have its benefits.
According to a press release from Vettery, the data-driven hiring marketplace that matches highly-qualified and individually-vetted candidates with top companies, “By electing to hire for roles that are open to location-agnostic candidates, employers have been able to increase the number of top applicants by a minimum of 85%, depending on the role.”
The preferences of job seekers is also changing. In their remote work hiring trends report, Vettery found that candidates are increasingly looking for remote work opportunities, going from 35% of their new candidates open to remote work in March of 2020 to 51% by October.
Human resource professionals have had to quickly adapt to remote interviewing and onboarding practices. As discussed in a recent article from HRExecutive, “three-quarters (75%) of 2,800 senior managers surveyed by staffing firm Robert Half say their companies conducted remote interviews and onboarding sessions during the pandemic. More than 60% implemented these practices only since the pandemic began, and 12% did so before COVID-19 started.”
The shift to remote has also changed what recruiters are focusing on as they seek out and review job candidates.
Survey results released by TopResume, a resume writing service, highlight changes in key factors considered by hiring professionals during the pandemic. Specifically, cover letters and thank you notes have become more important, while employment gaps have less of an impact than they did before the COVID-19 crisis.
Thoughtful and well written cover letters that are well tailored to the job description are much more likely to be read and considered by hiring professionals than previously, so these should be a top focus for candidates when applying for a remote position.
Similarly, high quality communication skills can be further demonstrated by making sure to send a thank you letter after an interview is complete. Effective communication and documentation has been cited critical to the success of remote teams, so demonstrating good writing skills throughout the hiring process is a must for job seekers looking to land remote roles.
“Undeniably, COVID-19 has thrown a wrench into the hiring process for both job seekers and recruiters, alike, which our data confirms by uncovering what’s newly important in one’s candidacy,” said Amanda Augustine, TopResume’s career expert, a certified professional career coach (CPCC) and certified professional resume writer (CPRW).
“Our findings reveal that job seekers may be taking themselves out of the running even before — or right after — the virtual interview because they’re ignoring the key factors to which recruiters are suddenly paying attention.”
These changes in how employees are recruited and hired are unlikely to change even after the pandemic. An increase in preference for remote positions by job seekers, the adoption of a completely virtual interview process, as well as a greater focus on good communication from job seekers before, during, and after, the interview process are very likely here to stay.