The number one driver of the staffing industry is change. Circumstances during the shutdown reemphasized the critical role that staffing plays in responding to change in the rapidly changing world.
The early 2020 shutdown that resulted from coronavirus drastically shifted consumers’ buying habits. To slow the spread of the virus, businesses that had to close temporarily were forced to adjust to a new reality rapidly. Although industries such as hospitality and retail were shut down due to social distancing requirements and government orders, industries deemed too critical to be halted (essential services) were hiring at sharply increased rates. With circumstances changing daily, staffing agencies and other employers had to change their approach to recruiting.
Here are some industries that continued to hire during COVID-19 and how the future of staffing may be affected.
Industries That Continued to Hire
The need for essential workers kept certain industries hiring temporary or permanent employees. Companies that built ventilators, CT scan machines, ultrasound devices, mobile x-ray systems, and patient monitors were hiring. Since many people ordered items online, shipping and delivery companies hired fulfillment and delivery workers. Due to the need for groceries, grocery chains hired in-store shelf stockers, personal shoppers, delivery staff, and employees for call centers and distribution and fulfillment centers. Because of the need for prescriptions and other necessities, pharmacies hired store associates, distribution center employees, and customer service professionals. With dine-in restaurants temporarily closed, pizza chains hired staff to make pizzas, provide carryout and delivery services, handle customer service, and fill supply chain center roles. Because millions of people transitioned from working in the office to working from home, remote meeting and communication companies brought aboard team members. With children being homeschooled, online learning companies hired teachers.
Impacts on Staffing During COVID-19
Staffing agencies and other companies that continued to hire during the pandemic went about it in new ways. Social distancing had a significant impact on attracting, interviewing, and onboarding talent. Many employers reigned in national or global advertising, limiting their search to local candidates. Some hiring managers repurposed internal staff rather than hire externally. Many roles were filled on an interim basis. Interviews moved from in-person to video platforms. Onboarding was done virtually. Some candidates used virtual reality technology to tour the office and facilities. Video conferencing was used to communicate.
Impacts of COVID-19 on the Future of Staffing
Due to the changes in how people worked during the shutdown, the new processes may become permanent. More companies that previously would not consider remote work options have employees working from home. This could continue after all businesses are reopened. Altering how people interview, hire, and work will require a greater level of trust, understanding credentials, and managing relationships. Employers continuing to let staff work remotely should experience increased productivity with reduced need for office space and overhead. Staffing agencies that quickly adapt to the shifting recruitment environment are likely to be successful.
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