Written by Maciej Szczerba News | Recruiting

The eight biggest changes in IT recruitment post Covid- the good, the bad and the ugly

This post is a personal and subjective one. I also hope that it will generate a number of comments, that you, my dear readers, will share your insights and opinions.

I am also curious to see if the same trends apply to different geographical markets. So:

What has Covid changed for the better for recruiters?

  • Video meetings have become standard, which speeds up the process enormously. I estimate that setting up onsite meetings is an extra week of time. Does the candidate's reluctance to meet physically instead of via video indicate a lack of motivation? On the one hand yes, on the other hand, let's agree that in the early stages of recruitment the candidate wants to get to know the future boss a bit better, the culture of the company, assuming that the recruiter (whether external or internal) is there to encourage him and is subjective. I assume that post-Covid video meetings will stay with us for good and I strongly convince clients to at least have the first meeting on video. Video meetings have led me to persuade both candidates and clients to have a very short, literally 15 minute, 'culture' meeting at the start of recruitment to see if there is simply human chemistry between the parties.

  • IT employers have opened up to remote working as never before. For recruiters, this means a huge expansion of the candidate market when looking for rare competencies. It's no longer just about working remotely within the same country. My clients are simply looking for candidates in a given time zone (e.g. CET +/- 1 hour). However, I assume some retreat from remote working the further the pandemic threat gets away (in about 6 months in my opinion). From my conversations with clients, there are two downsides to this solution. Firstly, it naturally creates a division in the team - those on-site and those working remotely, groups are formed which spoils the atmosphere and makes integration difficult. Secondly, remote working means that the remote part of the team is excluded from informal communication (e.g. over lunch), which is very important. However, the structural shortage of IT professionals will result in a combination of remote and onsite teams staying with us in most organisations.

  • The changes associated with remote working and remote communication have generally caused employers to think more 'out of the box'. The old truth that an above-average programmer is worth above the market has taken on new meaning. Real competencies, both technical and soft, have become much more important than ? years of seniority". A very capable and passionate twenty-something today can be paid the same as someone with 20 years of experience. Before Covid, I do not remember such situations. We have reached the era of meritocracy in the technology industry. At the same time, employers are much more willing to consider candidates who may not know all the elements of the technology stack, but are experienced developers in an area such as backend and can quickly learn new tools or technologies, or even prequalify for a different technology language or stack.

What has changed for the worse?

  • Candidates have become even less responsive. Covid has gigantically accelerated digitalisation, so the demand for IT specialists has increased even more. I estimate that in my country, which is one of the main IT job markets in the European Union, IT salaries have increased twice as much year-on-year as in the previous few years. Secondly, people are still waiting for the 'end of the pandemic' to be announced and are less likely to decide to change. Candidates are much more sensitive to an employer's financial stability and their own job stability.

  • The digital world has completely clogged up. This is forcing recruiters to be much more creative in their channels of contact with candidates and increasingly creative in their communications with them. Before the pandemic, most of us interacted with candidates mainly on LinkedIn. Before the pandemic, by the way, LinkedIn was mainly a platform where mainly recruiters were active. During the pandemic, the entire training industry, coaches, agents of all kind and a whole lot more other people came on LinkedIn.  As a result of the increased traffic, LinkedIn in March 2021 reduced seven times (weekly: from 750 to about 100) the possibility of inviting people to contact them. This forces recruiters to be much more familiar with different contacting and messaging tools. Yes, there is competition for LinkedIn.

  • During the pandemic, the number of meetings in companies increased significantly. Previously, it was limited by the availability of meeting rooms. Today it is not limited by anything. Many meetings and calls are not really necessary and negatively affect productivity. This doesn't change the fact that clients and hiring managers are harder to reach and contact.

And the ugly...

  • Ghosting in times of plague. In times of pandemic, both candidates and clients have started to think that ghosting is okay. Because we are all busy, because we have more meetings (see above), because...we just feel working from home we are more anonymous? No, all this is not normal. It's just plain rude.

  • LinkedIn has become childish and has largely turned from a portal for professional communication and connecting people for business purposes. Mature people started to share everything they are emotional about including their worldview opinions, politics, religious views and show off photos. On the other hand, corporate PR flooded LinkedIn with the same ?corporate propaganda? communique- ?we have won??, ?we have cookies in the office?, ?we have new company jerseys?. Guys - you just repeat everybody else. Try to figure out something unique.

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