This was a rollercoaster of a year in the staffing industry. And while we’re entering a period of uncertainty due to rising COVID-19 rates and the possibility of future shutdowns, there’s less ambiguity this time around. For one thing, organizations are more prepared for a lockdown thanks to adjustments they’ve made to support remote work.
With just a handful of weeks to navigate until 2021, let’s take a look at three trends we’re seeing in the staffing market.
High-speed hiring timelines
Before the pandemic, the consultant hiring timeline was already much quicker than the process for a traditional full-time employee. And now that timeline has been expedited even further.
“Before COVID, I might submit a candidate on a Friday, hear back from the client on Monday and schedule an interview for later that week or the next,” says Nick Bata, Sales Director at Horizontal Talent. “But now, the manager will often get back to me on Monday and schedule an interview for Tuesday. Clients aren’t wasting any time.”
The war for talent is back on — and businesses that fail to move quickly are losing out on top candidates. From video interviews and remote onboarding to contingent labor and data-driven decision-making, the hiring process has shifted dramatically.
In many cases, companies need to get creative to convey their company culture and help new hires get up to speed. To support the new normal, some companies — including Facebook — are even hiring a Director of Remote Work.
“The culture of hiring is changing, says Kris Hancock, Market Director at Horizontal Talent.. “We’re evangelizing to our clients that if they don’t adapt, they’ll lose out on talent.”
Companies that double down on remote talent are winning
While the hiring outlook has improved dramatically, things are still murky when it comes to returning to the office. Three out of five companies say their offices are closed indefinitely, with just 16% setting a clear date for when they’ll return.
“A lot of companies are allowing their employees to work remote for now — but they still want to find someone local who can work onsite once COVID is over,” says Kris. “Business think they’re being flexible, but this policy doesn’t open up the candidate pool.”
In 2021, Forrester predicts that remote work will rise to 300% of pre-COVID-19 levels. And employers who commit to hiring location-agnostic candidates have already seen an increase of top applicants by 85% or more. Instead of viewing today’s work-from-home world as a temporary phase, it can pay off to embrace it as the way of the future.
“We’ve seen three years of digital transformation in five months,” says Nick. “Companies are being forced to change their model quicker than they would have otherwise.”
Talent shortages for IT & digital roles
Within our areas of expertise, Horizontal Talent has seen an influx of demand for full stack developers, UX designers, project managers, data scientists and business intelligence analysts — just to name a few.
With more and more companies growing their technology teams and investing in digital transformation, it can be a challenge to find qualified candidates in this shallow talent pool.
“It’s always tough to find and place front-end and full stack developers,” says Kris. “The demand is high, and the supply is pretty limited.”
As technologies emerge and evolve, the need for specialized skillsets often eclipses what’s available in the market — creating a talent shortage. In addition to developers, other talent shortages include marketing automation and quality assurance.
“In these fields, the technology developed faster than the talent pool,” says Nick.
With the business landscape continuing to develop at an accelerated clip, preparing for the future can feel overwhelming. But many companies first need to focus on catching up — obsessing over the future is putting the cart before the horse.
Want to learn how Horizontal can help you win the war for talent? Let’s talk.