Our guest blogger is Roman Duty of Recruiting Services International / RSI in Rushville, Indiana. RSI is a boutique executive search firm that celebrated 50 consecutive years of business in 2020. The firm provides highly individualized recruiting services to clients on a local, regional, and international basis. The firm’s recruiting activities are focused on high-level technical search and managerial placement in many manufacturing arenas.
In 2020, the recruiting industry has witnessed a record number of counteroffers, fall-offs, no-shows, and ghosting from all parties involved. Sadly, as we move past Q1 2021, COVID doesn’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon. Are the masses losing common courtesy to commit to their word, or the gumption to just be forthright when they change their mind or are displeased? Perhaps the relationships that are built are just too superficial, due to the speed and ease of technology, so everyone treats each other as transactional. Fingers point both directions.
COVID has magnified these increasing trends. For critical job openings, we witnessed an interviewing process approximately 2x faster than previous years. Standard time frame for a first-round phone interview to completion of an onsite panel interview is normally 3-4+ weeks. In 2020, first round phone interviews were readily replaced with video interviews. (Shouldn’t we have been doing this all along?) Second round video interviews were often scheduled same-week or in week two. Speed and agility were on our side as hiring managers were available due to lightened traveling/vacation schedules, and prospects didn’t have to ask for time off work to carve out 1-hour of their day. This is the stuff recruiters dream about!
Despite this rapid interviewing activity, there has been less success. In many cases, job seekers were enthused about the job opening/company, enjoyed the video interview(s), accepted competitive offers, and even relocated cross-country, only to find they were unhappy. This wasn’t because they accepted a job out of desperation or need. Key elements were missing in their decision-making process.
Critical tangibles and intangibles in their decision making process were missing. Seeing, feeling, touching, engaging; these senses satisfy the emotional aspect of the interviewing process. Job seekers need that mental reaffirmation. That gut feeling that “this is the one.” As basic as this seems, feedback trickles in about a “dimly lit office that feels gloomy”, “lack of chatter in a group of cubicles”, “my spouse will never be happy in this community” (because they never got a location tour or stepped foot in the building). What is important to some people, may be completely irrelevant to others. Winning over the “five senses” ensures someone is 100% emotionally sold on the entire package.
We’ve adapted to hiring in our COVID 2021 market. Video interviews are the 2.0 of phone interviews. This is here to stay, for everyone’s benefit. But for remote roles that may require an employee to be present partially or eventually onsite at a facility, in-person tours/meetings cannot be sacrificed. This level of engagement is what will keep someone from accepting a counteroffer, not showing up for Day 1, or quitting after a few short months.