Companies all over the world have adopted social distancing measures due to COVID-19, and many people are working from home full-time for the first time in their career. For job seekers, the pandemic may make a difficult situation even harder as many companies invoke hiring freezes. No matter which camp you fall into, technology is playing a major role in changing hiring and working norms as all industries respond to the pandemic.
Based on data out of China and Italy, the U.S. is sure to see a steep decline in hiring soon as some businesses respond to the crisis with hiring freezes or by laying off workers. But for industries that can continue working, there may still be opportunities for job seekers. Google, Twitter, Amazon, Target and more are now conducting video job interviews. Tools like Google Hangouts, Zoom, or GoToMeeting still make it possible for some applicants to interview for positions remotely.
One unintended consequence of this situation is an opportunity for companies to see whether remote working could be a long-term option for employees, even after the threat of the virus subsides. Most American workers already see remote working as the “new normal” and data supports its growth in the U.S. market. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, close to a quarter of Americans already work from home at least part of the time.
It’s important for companies to know how offering remote working as an option after COVID-19 passes can have a direct impact on attracting and retaining talent. According to a survey conducted by the International Workplace Group, 80 percent of American workers would turn down a job offer that didn’t offer flexible working. Having options is so important to new hires that 64 percent of employees said they would opt for a lower paying job if they could work away from the office, as reported by Deloitte, and the average worker is willing to give up 8 percent of their wages for the option to work from home, as found in a Stanford Economics study.
One Hire Thought
Not only is it beneficial for companies to consider adopting the option of flexible working to keep current employees happy, but it’s critical in attracting new talent. Use this opportunity in an uncertain time to master the tech that allows for remote interviewing and working and think about ways a company might be able to incorporate flexible work options and video interviews into a future policy.