The pandemic has changed daily life so much, so quickly, that it can be hard to see any positive outcomes emerging from this intense disruption to what we used to consider normal.
Yes, there are a lot of COVID-19 challenges that we continue to work through and overcome. But there have been some unexpected positives that have emerged during the pandemic like the greater acceptance of near 100% remote workplaces and the proliferation of telemedicine, for example.
Remote work and increased telemedicine implementation have eliminated long commutes to workplaces and health care facilities, reduced expenses for families, provided better work-life balance and tangibly improved the environment in many areas.
That is looking on the bright side, for sure, but it’s important to also look at the bright side during times like these. There are fundamental changes afoot that were sparked by the pandemic that will have real, lasting benefits for workers, businesses, communities and the environment if they stick.
Job seekers and those looking to recruit talent have also faced COVID-19 challenges, mainly driven by the need to transition the job seeking and talent recruiting process to a 100% virtual environment. Yes, there were early hiccups during this transition, as both job candidates and companies looking to hire had to figure out on the fly how to operate in a new mode. However, after some trial and error and reorientation, job candidates and hiring companies have started to find their way and are discovering some unexpected benefits being generated by a virtual hiring environment.
Across the last six months, so much of the recruiting and hiring practices have transitioned into a digital form. Virtual recruiting events are now common; the entirety of the interview process, and in some cases new hire onboarding and orientation, are executed virtually.
Though many elements of the hiring and onboarding processes are less intimate when done virtually, and there is definitely something lost without in-person engagement, there are some other very real benefits for both active and passive job candidates in the COVID-19 job market.
The move to 100% virtual recruiting and hiring, while it takes a little time getting used to, can provide new insights and benefits to active job seekers.
Virtual Hiring Provides Deeper Access to Information About a Company, Its Leaders, and Employees. The move to virtual recruiting, hiring and onboarding has caused many companies to allow job candidates a longer look behind the curtain, so to speak. Hiring companies have shown a tendency to open up more during virtual recruiting events, bringing in more leadership and staff and sharing detailed slide decks about their work environment and culture that a job candidate might learn across multiple interviews, or, in some cases, not until they were a few months on the job.
Transparency has become the new normal in the age of virtual hiring. Active job seekers are privy to more information earlier on in the process than ever before. The virtual format via ZOOM or another synchronous technology have paved the way for increased information sharing all in one centralized location that can be accessed live or via recording.
Remote Hiring Provides More Opportunity for Q&A with Key Stakeholders. Again, greater access is a hallmark of most virtual recruiting processes. Most virtual recruiting events enable live Q&A at the close of an event in addition to fostering engagement via chat functions. Q&A and the chat function empower active candidates to ask important questions to a number of company leaders and staff.
Deeper Access Empowers Candidates to Make Faster Go, No-Go Decisions. For active job seekers, time is of the essence and focusing on the right opportunities is critical. Applying to every job available in your field is not a solid strategy for finding the right job quickly. Virtual recruiting and hiring, and a hiring company’s general openness to sharing more information, empowers active job candidates to make faster go, no-go decisions, focusing their efforts only on jobs that they identify as the right fit.
More information and greater access behind the scenes at a potential employer fosters more informed and better decision-making for candidates seeking greater job hunt efficiency.
Virtual Hiring Speeds Up Time To Hire By Eliminating Bottlenecks. Virtual hiring eliminates the need for scheduling travel (if not within driving distance) and commutes to an interview site and allows easier rescheduling of interviews if they need to be rescheduled. Remote talent events, virtual interviews, and even remote onboarding processes all can be done safely from the comfort of the job seeker or new hire’s home. It truly simplifies and streamlines the entire process, saving time, money, and ultimately speeding up the time to hire, which is hugely important to candidates out of work.
Remote Recruiting, Interviews, and Onboarding Keep Everyone Safe. While this might be obvious, it is still tremendously important to both the job candidate and the employer. Moving to the virtual hiring process gets everyone what they need while maintaining social distancing protocols and preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Passive Job Candidates get more anonymity. For those that are not actively pursuing another position, the opportunity to explore and learn about other job opportunities without having to take a day off from work or call in sick to travel to a job fair or a recruiting event at a specific company can be very beneficial. The ability to remain anonymous and the freedom to learn about job opportunities independent of geographic limitations can be a gamechanger for individuals that are simply curious about what other career opportunities might be out there in the market. Passive job seekers, if they choose to, now have unparalleled access to more information and more potential opportunities.
If you’re looking for your first life science job, looking to change jobs or are just curious about what’s out there, BioBuzz is a great resource to keep you apprised of virtual hiring events in the BioHealth Capital Region. Sign up for the BioBuzz newsletter to receive announcements about upcoming virtual hiring events and latest news from some of the most exciting life science companies in the region.
Most university career centers and alumni recruiting platforms, such as Handshake, will also send out regular communications about upcoming virtual career fairs or events. Virtual events are still relatively new so many large employers promote their events themselves through their talent communities, so be sure to register or sign up to get updates directly from the top companies on your list.
During these unprecedented times, the landscape is ever-evolving for the job seeker and for companies who are constantly evolving and innovating their hiring and recruiting strategies to attract the top talent. Virtual recruiting has taken center stage as a result of the pandemic, but given the great benefits that many companies are now seeing, it’s very likely here to stay.
We will continue to provide updates on the top hiring practices in biotech and life science and the tips you need to know to land your next job, so be sure to check back soon.
Life Science Recruiter with 8 years talent acquisition, and recruitment experience within the Life Sciences and Information Technology fields.