Recruiting Talent in a Global Pandemic with Recruiting Expert, Grant Peacock

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Since the fateful month of March 2020, the world has been flipped turned upside down (far more than when the Fresh Prince moved to Bel-Air). Last year, the job market changed dramatically to the point where it was unrecognizable. Furloughs and firings and lay-offs were running rampant. Many workers were confused as to where things would go as the world experienced huge shutdowns and massive overhauls. This also meant that the world of Talent Acquisition and HR Recruiting would have to step away, reassess, and adapt.

Thankfully, 2021 has been in a consistent upswing in terms of restoring what was lost. However, the tables have turned. With business and offices ramping up to their old numbers, positions need to be filled. Problem is, there are several workers who either don’t want to return to work, will only work remote, or have changed career paths altogether. That means organizations need to dangle more carrots in front of potential candidates as the ball rolls over to their court.

At Kinetix, we’ve mastered the art of HR recruiting and talent acquisition. If HR and Talent Acquisition had Jedi Masters, that would be us. With all the humongous changes going on with recruiters, I sat down with our Recruiting Coach, Grant Peacock, to grab his perspective of the field over the past 18+ months.

From a recruiter’s perspective, how would you say the pandemic affected the job market?

GP: The pandemic shifted the job market into a more competitive recruiting game. My team of recruiters and I have to be tighter than they’ve ever been in being extra communicative with their hiring managers and candidates. Things can change at a moment’s notice due to it being a candidate’s market.

Have you had to change or shift your recruiting priorities?

GP: I would not say a lot has changed on how we go about finding candidates and how we engage with our hiring leaders. The windows of time for a hiring manager to hire the best talent have shrunk significantly due to the market. I would say we do have to perhaps shift priorities around with specific jobs due to various opportunities (salary gaps, candidate’s ghosting, hiring manager availability, shift in job qualifications, etc.).

What is the most noticeable change you have noticed in the overall recruiting process and why?

GP: It’s a candidate’s market and the war on talent is a little more complicated because candidates will not last through a long recruiting/interview process. Recruiters have to ensure every step of the interview process on the front-end before a search begins so we can set the expectations with the candidate on how the interview process will go. If the hiring manager has more than a 2-step interview process that can last over a 2-week period or changes the interview process after the candidate has been presented, their chance of losing the presented candidate increases dramatically. So, if your Recruiting/Hiring process is not built to move fast, our search process already has hurdles at the start before the race begins.

How does recruiting look to you in the next 1-2 years as we fully recover from everything?

GP: Recruiters are very adaptable individuals, and very much used to the chaos of things changing at a moment’s notice. Recruiters, Recruiting Managers, and Directors of Recruitment are going to need to be continuously open-minded to avoid leaving any rock (resume) unturned and curious about the new ways to connecting with talent. Also, I think Recruiters need to be more empathetic than they’ve ever been.

What has been the biggest recruiting difficulty?

GP: During this time, the candidates have had lots of options and need quality selling points to give them reasons as to why your job opportunities are going to be best fit to meet their needs as well as client needs. Also, professional persistence is a very natural trait of recruiters. The hardest part of the last 18 months was turning away high potential talent for a client due to not being able to accommodate a remote work model…

What other things have you noticed about the pandemic and its effect on the talent acquisition field?

GP: To quote our CHRO, Kris Dunn, on one of the latest podcasts from the HR Famous crew, "We are in the Great Transition." I believe in that "Great Transition," a remote work model has to be an option for candidates, if it can be accommodated within the scope of work. Recruiters and Talent Acquisition teams across the nation have proven (and can prove) that they can operate efficiently by working from home. For leaders in the talent acquisition and recruiting fields considering a remote model, I would advise that they curate their own research on what could work best for their teams. All leaders need to do their front-end research before going fully remote and ensure they understand how having worked at home at the time could affect their employees.

- HR Famous, episode 83: Zillow Remote Comp and Jlee’s New Job

I don’t want to say that Grant is a Recruiting Wizard, but this certainly ain’t his first rodeo. You know, if rodeos involved hunting down and employing the best possible candidates. Feel free to connect with Grant yourself through LinkedIn.

You name it, Adam will write it. Blog posts, feature articles, news stories, or a harsh movie review. He is the content team newbie at Kinetix, but he has been putting finger tips to keyboard and writing for quite some time. If he isn't slipping movie quotes or 80s rock lyrics into his every day vernacular, he is probably having a bad day. When he's not writing, he's either watching a movie or acting on stage. But if you need someone to quote Star Wars or Back to the Future verbatim, he's your guy.

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