With the global pandemic causing a massive hit to the retail and hospitality sectors, many organisations stopped recruiting and have made significant redundancies to keep their businesses afloat. On January 19th vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said that staff in these sectors may soon be offered the COVID-19 vaccination and as we emerge from lockdown it is fully expected that these sectors will experience a rapid bounce back.

    Rewind to January 2020. Most opportunities were posted on a selection of relevant job boards alongside the company website in the hope that enough applicants would put their names in the hat. With a simple CV screen perhaps followed by a telephone interview and a one-to-one interview or on-the-job trial, the right applicant would be hired. It was a process that was open to subjectivity and bias, but which worked relatively well when managing small numbers of applications.  

    We are now in a very different world. The ONS has reported that as of December 2020 there were 251,000 (31.5%) fewer vacancies than a year ago and for “Accommodation and food services”, estimated vacancies are 64.0% lower than a year ago. As unemployment rises, higher numbers of people are applying for each opportunity, which in themselves are few and far between. The result – organisations are experiencing unprecedented volumes of applications.

    With such a sharp increase in volumes, assessing each one fairly and providing a first-class candidate experience can prove difficult.  This is just one example but coupled with the fact that over 6. 1 million people are employed across these sectors in the UK, this can make for exceptionally large volumes to manage successfully. So, what should these organisations be thinking about doing to prepare for the comeback?

    We recommend 4 simple steps:

    Automate intelligently

    It is important to highlight here that the use of technology needs to be balanced and human interaction is still critical to the success of a robust recruitment process.

    Introducing technology and automation in the right way can help drive huge efficiencies and create a more positive candidate experience. Organisations who have successfully implemented the right technologies have reported happier candidates, fewer reneges and significant savings from a resource and budget perspective.  

    Use of the right tools can help sift out up to 80% of applications, leaving recruiters, hiring managers and business leaders time to focus on assessing the more appropriate candidates for the role. 

    Implement innovative assessments

    Ditch the CV!  Yes, we know it sounds radical, but CV screening has had its day. CV reviews are time-consuming, subjective and inconsistent the use of immersive, blended, and unbiased assessment tools will add huge value to the hiring process.

    More than ever before, recruiters need to be able to make confident decisions. This requires multiple data points and increased objectivity. Using a blended, sector specific, psychometric (like Amberjack’s SE-i) can enable you to assess an applicant’s approach and judgement whilst the automation provides differentiation in a fair, consistent, objective and job-relevant manner.

    You should look for tools that simulate a real working environment, that are scientific in their approach, with diversity at their core.

    Be human

    Allowing the candidate to feel valued, to understand what they are being assessed against and how the information is being used will not only lead to a more positive candidate experience but also enable the best hiring decisions to be made.  Providing candidates with feedback is hugely important however can be a challenge, especially when you are managing a large number of applications. 

    It’s important to be clear from the start and manage expectations so candidates feel they are being treated with respect. Whilst it is not always possible to give feedback to every applicant (especially if they are rejected at initial stages) using an assessment product with functionality to deliver automated personalised and development feedback, against the criteria of the role, will help those who do not progress to understand why and give them advice for future opportunities.  

    Efficiently allocated resource

    High volume recruiting is always a challenge. You either need to hire a lot of great people in a short space of time, or you have a large number of applicants or both. According to Digital HR tech, the average job advert receives 59 applicants, whereas a high-volume recruiting position receives over 250 applicants. Are you prepared for these situations if they arise?

    Be ready to scale quickly. Look at your recruitment process end-to-end and ensure that you have the optimal resource allocated to delivery and this isn’t just about automation.

    Outsource providers are great at the consistent completion of commoditised tasks which require the application of holistic thinking. For example, Amberjack’s assessment delivery team typically provide more efficient, effective and consistent video interview reviews than an in-house team for whom video interview reviews makes up only a small portion of their role. Invest in-house human effort in the highest value-add tasks which require the specialist skills and knowledge which comes from being part of the recruiting organisations.