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COVID-19 Hiring Practices Austin Employers Are Keeping

Austin employers

Many workplaces are returning to a sense of normalcy. But the way we shifted during the pandemic—particularly when it comes to hiring—isn’t dissolving with last year’s hand sanitizer. McKinsey & Company found that 40% of leading companies fundamentally redesigned their hiring processes and that those changes are here to stay.   

So, where did these hiring transformations take place? Let’s look at what we’ve found with Austin employers as they move forward:

They’re Endorsing Their Cultures Of Caring

You may have heard it’s the year of the Great Resignation. The latest numbers claim that 95% of workers are considering quitting their jobs. “Candidates who hung on through the pandemic are restless, and they know that they’re currently in the driver’s seat,” says The HT Group Founder and CEO Mark Turpin. “You need to be the one to offer that better job by showcasing a great work culture.” The pandemic taught employers to provide flexibility, mental health support, and an environment that avoids burnout. Some are getting creative with caring perks, like Austin’s own The Zebra, which premiered $300 pet adoption coverage over the past year. For ideas on how Austin employers are meeting great expectations, check out our write-up on Austin’s Best Places to Work.

They’re Reassessing Who And How They Hire

McKinsey & Company found that, during the pandemic, nearly two-thirds of organizations reassessed the number of people in each role and each function in the company. The most innovative leaders are taking it a step further by designing permanent changes for talent allocation, particularly when reassessing staffing for a more permanently remote—or at least hybrid—workforce. Austin employers not ready for permanent changes are sticking with contingent, contract, and contract-to-hire solutions that became popular during the volatility of 2020.

They’re Keeping (Certain) Things Virtual

Austin-headquartered Harte Hanks went to 100% virtual hiring and training for its call center jobs during the pandemic and plans to stay that way, for the most part, HR Recruiting Manager KaSondra M. Stephens, PHR, tells us. Employers were already incorporating virtual elements into their hiring processes for years. The pandemic merely thrust those experiments—from video chat interviews to phone interviews—into primetime. Two major factors will keep some aspects of remote hiring around: It’s efficient and removes barriers to hiring geographically diverse workers (remote work is here to stay for many—1 in 4 Americans will continue working remotely through 2021). The HT Group has found this to be true as well. We’re keeping elements of virtual screening in place while bringing back face-to-face interviews at stages and for roles where they matter most.

They’re Promoting From Within

Hiring ground to a halt in many industries at the beginning of the pandemic, forcing employers to promote from within. As a result, internal mobility shot up 20%, according to LinkedIn data. Now, with the competition for Austin talent at unprecedented levels, that strategy can continue to serve employers (but for different reasons). “When you have an open position to fill, consider if an internal hire would be best. Put your top internal candidates side-by-side with outside candidates and compare them,” Turpin recommends. “Promoting a great employee can lead to better retention overall. You can then backfile that employee’s position with a new hire.”

They’re Getting Creative With Referrals

Austin-based AppSumo recently offered $100,000 to anyone who refers the person ultimately hired as chief executive. The offer garnered 450 referrals. Austin’s Eterneva Inc. started its search for a CFO with an email requesting referrals and listing desired traits for the ideal candidate. Austin companies benefit by being a place that attracted great talent in droves throughout the pandemic, but now employers are getting creative in winning over the attention of that talent by incentivizing referral sources.

They’re Not Burning Bridges

Employers have learned not to relax even when a candidate says yes. A surprising 56% of recruiters have been ghosted by a candidate who accepted an offer, which means the candidate says “yes” but is never heard from again. In fact, 77% of recruiters in a recent survey have been forced to return to the drawing board and hire a candidate who was their second or third pick because they were ghosted or the job was rejected by the top candidate. “Winning over candidates has never been trickier,” says Turpin. “It’s important to understand that the interview process goes both ways and to work with recruiters who understand that, too.”

They Remain Serious About De&I

Diversity, equity, and inclusion aren’t a passing 2020 fad. About 33% of recruiters report that job seekers are inquiring about DE&I initiatives more than they did in previous years. What we found to be true last year remains true moving forward: More than half of hiring managers are now held accountable for interviewing a diverse slate of candidates. Outside recruiters hold the key to making it work, says LinkedIn. Recruiters can help deliver a diverse pipeline of candidates and advocate for and support those candidates moving through the funnel. 

Hiring will never be the same again. Some tricks you picked up during the pandemic will serve you well moving forward as the race to win talent heats up. And, if you feel behind the curve, it’s crucial to consult recruiting experts who understand how hiring has evolved. At The HT Group, we’ve not only refined these processes for our clients but for our own purposes as well (we’ve ramped up hiring for recruiters and other support staff, too). Any time you need some advice from the trenches, email our CEO Mark Turpin or give him a call. We’re here to help.

The HT Group fills roles in Temporary Staffing, Executive Search, Technical Recruiting, and Retained Search.

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