As the coronavirus wears on, and unemployment continues to spike to record levels, employers are beginning to face a new challenge: managing a massive talent pool. As of the first week of May, unemployment hit 14.7% with 35.6 million Americans looking for work.
For companies hiring during and post-pandemic, this may seem like a good problem. A swelling talent pool means companies can enjoy their pick of qualified candidates. However, an inundation of resumes for each job posting means that for HR, pinpointing the right candidate will be that much more difficult.
So how are companies preparing for this surge in talent?
Artificial intelligence: Work Smarter, Not Harder
While AI software for the hiring process has slowly been seeping into the hiring industry, it has done so within a tight job market. As unemployment forces perfectly qualified professionals back into the job market, HR departments will need to make some integral decisions about where to best invest their time–and repeatable, easily automated tasks might be the best place to start. AI assistants can parse resumes to find top-tier candidates, pre-screen and schedule interviewees, and even answer frequently asked questions about the company or position. With 4-5 times more talent for any given position, incorporating AI into Human Resources may be the next logical step in optimizing HR infrastructure to handle an expanded talent pool.
Hiring Top-Tier HR Specialists Will Be Key
On the other hand, as much as AI has the potential to improve efficiency and relieve the workload, HR professionals are still a key component to a successful hiring strategy. While AI has evolved dramatically in recent years, a discerning human eye can still be the difference between hiring a good candidate an algorithm has pointed out and hiring an excellent candidate that a professional has weighed against the granular elements and personalities of a company and its culture. According to Lina Graves, Chief People Officer of Hirschfeld Properties, having a stellar team of dedicated hiring specialists is just as important as using AI to sift through the increase in submissions and pluck out the candidates with vital, applicable skillsets. For companies anticipating hiring in the near future, she recommends building out the HR department now.
With uncertainty still looming, companies very well may be hiring candidates for a remote workforce. Even as restrictions ease, it is still unclear when it will be safe to reopen large office spaces and still more unclear what reopening means for at-risk employees. Till then, many businesses are adapting to 100% digital hiring processes. Combine that with an uptick in social media use–up to 27% more on Facebook–and companies may find it prudent to screen their incoming remote employee’s social media. In a world where online business chat platforms are replacing the office breakroom (and well, the office), it makes sense that an employer would want to know how a prospective employee will handle online communication.
Over 70% of employers already understand the importance of screening online behavior. Reputation management and workplace safety are just two of the three top reasons companies seek out social media screening. Social Intel provides a brief, informative whitepaper and sample Hiring Report to help businesses understand how they can mitigate brand risk by taking proactive steps to screen their employees’ and prospective employees’ publicly available online information.