Recruitment challenges faced by recruiters and candidates post Covid.

Category: Recruitment Challenges

Recruitment is just like matchmaking, with a lot of dependency on external factors and so, it could all go wrong with just once factor not being in favour. In order to make things work, it is imperative that recruiters (be it internal or external) work in collaboration with the hiring managers. Things are slightly trickier for external recruiters/placment agencies/recruitment consultants. And it is not the case with only small or medium size consulting firms, even the biger ones face similar kind of challenges.

The Indian economy took a heavy beating in 2020 due to covid and post covid world is extremely different, especially when hiring is concerned. The roles in consideration have changed, the required skill-sets have taken a 180 degrees turn and moreover, process has gone virtual. With the option of working remotely on a permanent basis, though the availablity of talent pool has increased multifold, at the same time, there is a sudden increase in the demand for skilled professionals also. As a result of which, identifying the perfect candidate is like finding a needle in the haystack. Another of the biggest challenges for recruiters is candidate’s lack of commitment. A recruiter as a result is always trying to strike a balance and maintain positive relationships with both hiring managers and candidates.

Lets try to understand here the thought process of a job seeker and a recruiter:

1. Job Seekers’ Point of View:

a. Pandemic Insecurity – Fewer people are applying for jobs that require a physical presence, such as those in hospitality, health care, media and entertainment, and manufacturing and production. Candidates are favouring jobs with less risk of crowd exposure and prefer more WFH jobs, resulting in a significant gap between demand and supply. Several job seekers are looking for a permanent work from home position. Furthermore, a study found that job security threats led to depression and a decrease in cognitive function, whereas those with higher levels of perceived job stability had reduced depression and good cognitive function.

b. Increased emphasis on efficiency and performance-driven hiring – Job seekers with poor performance are having difficulty finding suitable positions. Companies are interested in hiring top performers while letting go of poor performers. A few organizations have set an overall goal and then broken down the work into tasks and activities. Job applicants must demonstrate their skill sets more than ever before in order to thrive and be chosen for the right job opportunity. So each company looks for high-performing employees, which is a challenging task in the current environment.

c. To be able to find a job with work-life balance – A few organizations have embraced a permanent work-from-home policy, while others have adopted a hybrid model in which non-essential employees complete the majority of their tasks virtually. According to a study conducted, the more hours a person works from home, the less productive they are becoming. Those who work from home full-time (8 hours per day) are 70% less efficient than those that don’t work from home. Employees who work from home put in more hours than those who work in an office, according to our observations. Employees have suffered as a result of the shift from working at a set time to trying to work “Anytime”.

d. Understanding and finding the organization that provides perks and benefits – In the present scenario, the majority of the companies are trying to woo the candidates using various perks and benefits such as; insurances, perks like – laptops, mobile, internet connections, food vouchers & shopping coupons, work from home option, extended maternity / paternity leaves, employee stock options, certification & training programs, joining bonuses and other incentives. The challenge here is to find the right organization to provide all these benefits.

e. Since remote hiring is the new norm, there exists the problem of multiple rounds of interviews and assignments that the candidate has to clear in order to make the cut. The daunting task here is to clear these rounds, but in certain cases, it so happens that the company is not satisfied with the task and asks the candidates to redo the assignments, which leads to a lack of interest in the candidates. Meanwhile, the candidates also take the tasks lightly.

f. Contract positions would have more chances than permanent positions – People who are looking for permanent jobs might very well find it much more difficult to find full-time opportunities because contractors are in high demand. It is both a good and bad thing because a job seeker can work on multiple projects as a contract worker while also not having a regular or consistent income.

2. Recruiter’s point of view:

a. Getting the purple squirrel is the most daunting task – The term purple squirrel is used by recruiters when they find the right fit for a role, for example, a candidate who has the right education, qualification, and maybe the right skill sets required by the company for that particular role.

b. Offer rejection by candidates/ non-commital candidates is at an all-time high in the present scenario – Now the reason why this is happening is that the demand for niche talent or skill set is high as compared to the availability of such talent. At times, the candidates have their own personal reasons as well.

c. Long interview process/rounds – Now companies that have a lengthy interview process have higher candidate dropouts simply because in-person interviews happen faster as compared to the virtual ones since the number of candidates per day reduces and the interview time increases.

d. Candidates with multiple offers still look out for offers which result in lesser chances of an organization closing the position on time since there is always the possibility of the candidate taking whatever offer has better incentives, perks and benefits.

Now, apart from all these challenges, the most recent challenge for any recruiter/recruiting agency/company is the volatile situation in the market due to weakness in the global market. According to specific data, the inflation rate globally is expected to reach 7.9% this year alone which is 3 times higher than that of the previous years, which means start-ups will take a major hit if the funding gets impacted. Now, this in turn will result in, rather has already started resulting in candidates looking for more stable jobs and companies that have a strong footing, which in turn could affect hiring for growing or not so established companies.


Author: Aishwarya B.

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