Scoping Recruitment in a Hybrid World: A Round Up of The Godel POD

I recently wrapped up my latest 3-part series of The Godel POD called “Recruitment in a Hybrid World”. I was keen to talk with tech leaders about the impact remote and hybrid working is having on recruitment and how it has affected their business, both positive and negative.

Thank you to all my guests for their insightful discussions. There were lots of key topics to take from my conversations, so here are my top thoughts from the latest series.

The talent pool has widened

Pre-pandemic, when recruiters looked to hire, it would generally lay within the geographical boundaries of the county or city. But thanks to the wonders of remote working – proving that communication, motivation and team results can be achieved over the screen, recruiters have realised the talent pool has gone from regional to UK-wide – even global. This has enabled people to be hired for a developer job in London, whilst continuing to live in rural Leeds.

This in itself is a double-edge sword, whilst it’s great for businesses who are open to hiring for remote positions, it’s going to have a negative impact on companies that want to maintain an in-office culture, or at least a few days a week – meaning you would still want to take a position that’s within a commutable distance.

When David Harrison, VP of Sales at Godel spoke about it creating a competitive local talent pool, he describes. “For those organisations competing against an organisation that’s decided to quickly adopt and go fully remote, they’re having a high degree of potential churn on their business.”

Are zoom interviews really that different?

I asked all my guests how they felt the interview process had changed over the past 18 months and I was engaged to listen to a wide range of responses. John Oliver, Product Director at Purple described their interview process as similar but with a few adjustments in how they go about conducting them.

Gemma Spence, Head of Project Delivery at Mark Allen Group shared her views on the matter stating there are advantages to interviewing at home. Interviews by the very nature can be nerve racking as she points out, “one obvious way of making someone feel at ease is to interview in an environment that they feel comfortable and where’s more comfortable than your living room?”

A common answer from all guests engaged the importance of a less formal second stage interview, giving potential employers the time to get to the know the candidate and dig deeper into the culture fit, and not just about the suitability for a role.

Onboarding is paramount

I think we all took for granted the privilege of welcoming a new starter in the office where colleagues could naturally introduce themselves in the kitchen and they were only a few desks away if they needed help. Employers now have the challenge of ensuring a new starter feels welcome remotely; where their first day might not be in the office, or if it is, not everyone will be in that day. It also must be considered the importance of diffusing any anxieties and informing new starters about any COVID procedures.

So, where the welcome emails will continue, more has to be done to make people feel welcome in the hybrid world, so when I asked my guests about their new onboarding process, they had some great initiatives to share. Gemma described Mark Allen Group’s enhanced onboarding process and wrist band system to determine a person’s comfort level with social contact.

John mentioned how Purple is an international business already, so has already had to deal with remote onboarding, but he continues saying “the pandemic has probably made us look at remote onboarding a little bit closer and making sure that we really have that nailed.”

Make the time to reach out

As I discussed in my last podcast series “Keeping Connectivity in the Hybrid World” it was unanimously agreed the importance of reaching out to colleagues and keeping stock of employee’s wellbeing and picking up those warning signs. It’s great to see this is continuing since people returned to the office and for the new starters who are being placed in the hybrid world, maybe for the first time.

David relays the conversations he’s had with tech leads where they’ve noticed a challenge around attrition with new starters because people aren’t reaching out for the little questions. It’s things that could have been picked up during the watercooler chats and ad hoc conversations, but there are tendencies for this to be missed. I think it really brings to light that regardless of what environment a person is working, these check ups to ensure retention of staff and team morale need to continue in the hybrid world.

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