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How Crisis Has Shifted Hiring in 4 Big Industries

After years of growth and low unemployment rates, there’s no question that the COVID-19 pandemic changed the hiring landscape almost overnight. By mid-April, the number of unemployed reached 22 million, wiping out a decade of gains in just four weeks.

At the same time, the crisis created a boom in certain pockets of the economy, including essential businesses and businesses that had (or were able to quickly pivot to) an online model.

Since the crisis began, our data shows a spike in the number of companies using video interviewing software. This tells us two things: that hiring is still happening, and that video is key in supporting the shift to a digital model, one that may stick around long after the outbreak ends.

Leading the shift to digital hiring are these four industries:

  1. HR and staffing
  2. Manufacturing
  3. Health and medial
  4. Retail

Graph of video interview adoption by industryOther early adopters include baking and financial services, education, sports, and IT. Here’s a look at what’s happening in the top 4 industries: 

HR and staffing

It seems only logical that HR and staffing would be among the first to adopt video interviewing, as they represent a cross-section of industries. Outside of specialized staffing where demand has fallen, companies continue to rely on these services during the pandemic.

While the staffing industry has shown it’s ability adapt to a digital model, there’s concern about hiring managers, who are in uncharted territory. As Human Resource Executive magazine points out, “Managers typically receive training in the basics, but now, we’re in a whole new world. How do we help them through the nuances of video interviewing, virtually onboarding new hires, building a virtual team?” 

Getting the right tools in place makes this transition easier, especially as hiring slows in some industries and picks up in others. And should remote work become more popular on the other side, the organizations that took the time to prepare will be well-positioned when the hiring resurgence happens. 

Manufacturing

In manufacturing, supply chain disruptions have some companies ramping up production to meet increased demand. Similar to HR and staffing, manufacturing touches multiple sectors, including many on the frontlines.

Reports USA Today, GE Healthcare is hiring additional manufacturing employees to help meet the need for personal protective equipment like face masks as well as ventilators, CT machines, ultrasound devices, mobile X-ray systems and patient monitors. The same is true of cleaning supply manufacturers and others creating newly necessary items.

The only problem is, as MarketWatch shares, “In the manufacturing industry, many employers are actually struggling to fill openings because the positions have become more technically sophisticated than they were in past decades.” 

Here’s where the right recruiting technology solutions can help these organizations source, screen, and assess potential candidates, working to make sure reqs are filled with the right people, even when in-person interviews aren’t an option.

Health and medical

Since the U.S. declared a public health emergency at the end of January, health and medical organizations have been working around the clock to find workers to take care of patients.

The Office of Personnel Management even implemented new guidelines as part of its COVID-19 Excepted Service Hiring Authority initiative to expedite the hiring process. States like California have changed the rules to “free up more doctors and nurses,” contacting those already retired and relying on the support of advanced students.

The health and medical arena are also in the midst of digital disruption, as telehealth becomes increasingly useful. 

Between the need for qualified talent and a call to move patient interactions online, video is apt to serve a larger number of organizations in the coming days, weeks, and months. No surprise that a quick Indeed.com search for “healthcare” in the U.S. yielded close to 65,000 openings, ranging from medical assistants to patient care specialists. 

Retail

Though retail as a whole isn’t doing too well, with temporary and permanent closures across the country, there are pockets of hiring going on. Most of this activity is taking place in grocery and hardware stores, both of which are considered essential in most states, including the hardest-hit like New York and New Jersey. 

Convenience store chain 7-Eleven is hiring 20,000 for positions across the U.S. The parent company of Safeway and Acme is looking to hire 30,000 new associates. In March, Kroger was planning to hire 10,000 new workers but ended up hiring more than double that. Tractor Supply Co. and Ace Hardware are following suit, while online retailers like Amazon continue adding to their workforce, hiring 100,000 in March and another 75,000 in April.

Even for temporary roles, high-volume scenarios necessitate a structured approach to hiring, one that makes it possible to interview multiple candidates in a short time frame. 

When the pandemic ends…

It will have changed recruiting and talent selection as we know it. If you’re considering making digital hiring part of your strategy, you’re in good company. No matter what industry you’re in, digital hiring will provide a way for you to continue operating in crisis, or support you on the road to recovery.

Learn more about the benefits of digital hiring, or use our digital hiring solutions free for 60 days.