Digital recruitment on the upswing in PH due to Covid-19

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Technology is playing a key role in the search for talent for companies in the time of Covid-19, according to two executives responsible for recruiting of talent.

Wilfred Julius “Jun” Abo, vice president, talent acquisition of Transcom told Newsbytes.PH in an email interview that there was a tremendous shift for the company from traditional in-person recruitment initiatives to efforts that mainly utilize social media and other digital platforms.

“We’ve done a lot of online job caravans, video interviewing, electronic signing of contracts, and virtual onboarding,” Abo said.

Based on the company’s statistics, Abo said there was a significant increase in percentages of hires processed via digital platforms in the new normal as compared to those processed before the lockdowns.

In a way, Abo said the employees themselves became the unofficial recruiters of Transcom during the pandemic. In their own social media accounts, Abo said the employees highlighted the “malasakit” culture of the company.

Abo said Transcom advanced their pay, provided financial assistance, free lodging, free meals, door-to-door shuttle service, hazard pay, opportunities for work at home, online medical consult and pharmacy, access to mental health services, innovative ways of implementing health and safety protocols, and personalized delivery of equipment and devices by the company’s own senior leaders.

“Our employees themselves openly shared these on social media and enticed a lot of applicants in the process,” he said.

In terms of adjustments, Abo said it depends more on the ability of the recruiters to be creative, flexible, and resilient. When considering applicants for work at home, he said they will check on the candidates’ Internet speed and computer specifications at home.

Abo said Transcom also required its applicants to undergo antigen testing for Covid-19 but the availability of clinics and hospitals proved to be a challenge due to the dearth of such service.

He said Transcom also tried accepting video resumés in the past but decided to scrap it because it became more successful in the use of its chatbot called CES that runs on Facebook Messenger. The CES chatbot is also used by various local banks, he noted.

In another email interview, Q2 HR Solutions founder Trixie Whyte said the pandemic has given rise to technology tools and portals to help job seekers look for employment opportunities.

 “Virtual platforms are now the norm in recruitment. This means candidates would need to differentiate themselves to stand out from the crowd,” she said.

Whyte added people right now are “upskilling” to broaden their job opportunities through online courses, and there has been a surge of freelance workers in various disciplines.

She pointed out digitizing CVs is a trend that will continue to rise, and predicted that video CV will be the new norm and will be a differentiator.

Whyte said companies that are still on a hiring spree have to recalibrate their methods to accommodate the things under the “new normal”.

Whyte observed that there are now additional recruitment and employment criteria such as Internet access and good Wi-Fi coverage at home, conducive home work environment, noise-cancelling gadgets and apps, and strong self-management and self-motivation, requiring that the candidate is able to work with minimal supervision.

“I have also seen a movement towards localized recruitment drives i.e. hiring candidates who live near the company location for businesses that require their workforce to come into the workplace, especially for the manufacturing sector,” she said.

With these changes in the hiring landscape, Whyte said companies will need to spend more to help identify the right candidates caused by the big increase in unemployment leading to more applications.

Meanwhile, Q2 HR Solutions recently held a successful Virtual Job Fair for the first time in September. Whyte said this will give the company an advantage in terms of their ability to fine-tune their recruitment and turnaround time for clients that need it the most.

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