COVID-19 has had a profound impact on corporate North America—most notably, in our shift towards remote work, which most business experts agree is likely going to be a large part of our new normal going forward. But, as with any drastic change, this new reality has brought with it its own set of unique challenges, as well as some unexpected benefits. While there has been much discussion about the pros and cons of the remote workplace for employers and employees, there is only now a discussion starting about how the pandemic has changed the way we hire and attract talent.


Before, there were many more barriers when it came to sourcing talent, and one of the biggest came down to a matter of logistics. Companies used to have to narrow their talent pool based on location, and only candidates who lived near the office or those who were willing to commute or relocate were considered for the job. According to a LinkedIn article by New York Times best-selling author, Dan Schawbel (Back to Human: How Great Leaders Create Connection in the Age of Isolation), location has now become mostly irrelevant in the age of remote work. 


For those in charge of hiring, this has led to the creation of a truly global talent pool that allows companies to select candidates based on their skills, rather than where they live.  


And this is not the only benefit for those looking to hire.


According to a recent article published by Forbes, a talent pool unrestricted by location also levels the playing field for corporations of all sizes when it comes to attracting top industry talent. This means that any company, from a start-up to a multi-national organization, will have the same access to candidates, provided they have the necessary tools and infrastructure needed to support a remote talent pipeline.


The caveat above, however, is illustrative of the fact that the remote hiring processes that are being developed in response to the pandemic are far from perfect.


While remote hiring has increased the availability of candidates for those looking to hire, we have not seen this translate into a more diverse and inclusive talent pool. Many of the same inequities still exist and new ones are being created by our increasing reliance on technology, particularly on the use of video conferencing tools like Zoom during the interview process. This has left some candidates—primarily those who are older or who live in rural communities with less reliable access to the internet—at a disadvantage.


For employers, this means there is a potential that they will miss out on the most qualified candidate for the job because that individual is unable to even apply, let alone, be given an opportunity to meet with the hiring team.


That is why, as we continue to adapt to this new reality, we must keep asking ourselves how we can improve the quality and effectiveness of our hiring strategies, so that we can build more sustainable and inclusive talent pipelines for the future.

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As many companies know, having a successful recruitment strategy is integral to the growth of your business, but building and sustaining a talent pipeline oftentimes requires more time and resources than what is available in-house.


When this situation arises, companies often seek out recruiters or external agencies to help address the talent gaps in their organization. What many companies do not realize, however, is that all recruiters are not created equal.


In a recent article published by the First Round Review, guest contributor Peter Kazanjy speaks to the importance of finding the right recruiter for your company. While this article is more geared towards  the tech start-up community, it raises a couple of points that would be helpful for any company looking to grow.


First off, you need to have a good understanding of your needs when it comes to hiring and growth.

  • How soon do you need to hire?
  • Do you currently have vacancies that are negatively impacting your business?
  • Do you need to make strategic hires in order to scale your company?
  • How difficult is it to find the people you are looking for?
  • Where do you see your company in five years?

These are all important questions you need to ask before engaging an external firm.


Once you understand your needs, you are better equipped to find a recruitment firm who will be the right match for your organization. Finding a recruiter whose interests are aligned with your company—rather than with their candidates or their bottom line— is the key to a successful partnership. 


For you, this means that you will reap all the benefits of their extensive talent pipeline without the worry of losing top candidates to the highest bidder. This also means that the value added does not end once a position has been filled. By partnering with the right firm, you will be able to build an effective recruitment strategy and generate a talent pipeline that your internal team will be able to continue mining long after your partnership expires.


This is why finding the right match is so important. Any recruiter can put “a bum in a seat,” but only those who understand your business will be able to take your company to the next level. 

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At Anton GM, we have always been ahead of the curve when it comes to incorporating new technologies into our recruitment practices. From electronic CRM to LinkedIn, these new digital tools have become an essential part of the successful recruiter’s toolbox. 


The question remains, however—just how effective are these new tools? According to an article by the Harvard Business Review, technologies like AI can be highly effective, provided they do not become a replacement for the entire recruitment process.


Before implementing any new technology, a recruiter first needs to understand what it does well. For research purposes, LinkedIn can be an invaluable resource and often, serves as the first point of contact with interested candidates. AI and similar technologies are good at gathering basic candidate data and can isolate which candidates have the right skillsets to do a certain job. Where recruiters tend to run into issues is when they push these technologies beyond the function they were designed to perform.


Picture a toolbox. There are many different tools to choose from and each has their own specific function. Just as you wouldn’t use a screwdriver to hammer in a nail, you wouldn’t use an algorithm-based software to determine a candidate’s willingness to move.  


While new technologies have allowed recruitment professionals to streamline the process of identifying candidates, there are still some instances were more traditional recruitment strategies are more effective.


Consulting requires a human touch. Recruitment professionals need to be able to speak with candidates and understand their motivations and expectations. Candidates—and particularly, passive ones— need to be provided with the chance to explore new career opportunities in an objective way, where they can assess whether the opportunity will be leveraging for their career. For these things to happen, a relationship needs to be built between the recruiter and the candidate, and no tool on the market can do this for you.


While moving towards fully-automated recruitment is not the answer, neither is avoiding technology entirely. Recruiters must approach technology like their candidates approach new opportunities—with an open mind. Exploring new technologies and knowing what they can and cannot do is paramount to successfully implanting tools into your recruitment process in a way that will add the most value. 


It just comes down to understanding what’s in your toolbox.

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COVID-19 has had a profound impact on all of our lives, and we have had to find innovative ways to adapt to this global pandemic. For most of corporate North America, this has meant a rapid transition to remote work, which has come with its own unique set of challenges.


One of these challenges has been attracting top industry talent at a time when traditional hiring processes are no longer possible.


In an article written by LinkedIn contributor, Bruce Andrews, he explains how recruitment professionals and prospective employers have had to adapt to this ‘new normal’ by making the switch to online. In it, he argues that this transition is incompatible with what he calls the “very high-touch human process” of hiring and has led to fewer hires, as employers have shown a reluctancy to hire individuals who they have never met face to face.


While it is true that the new remote workplace has posed some logistical hurdles for recruiters and prospective employers—particularly when it comes to the interview process—it has not changed how recruiters find ideal candidates or their client’s willingness to attract key hires. This new remote workplace has not changed prospective job seekers willingness to explore new opportunities either, provided the move will prove leveraging for their career.


As corporate North America and the global economy cautiously move towards reopening, the staffing needs of companies will only continue to grow. So too, will the availability of new and exciting opportunities. 


In Canada, we have already seen evidence of this with the recent announcements of billions of dollars of infrastructure spending in Alberta that will see many companies scrambling to find key hires with not only the skills needed to do the job, but who also align with their company and its values.


Being able to fill staffing needs comes down to implementing a well-thought out recruitment strategy that takes into account candidate motivation and the needs of the client and promotes an objective approach to exploring new opportunities.


While COVID-19 has changed how hiring is done, the fundamental approach to recruitment has stayed very much the same.

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We at Anton GM have seen the devastating impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on our local community and around the world.


From the beginning, our top priority at Anton GM has always been ensuring the health and safety of our staff, while continuing to provide the exemplary and essential service our valued clients rely on to meet their staffing needs.


While we have remained open for business throughout the course of the pandemic, it has been far from ‘business as usual.’


During the early days, we at Anton GM, like many businesses, felt that it was in the best interest of our employees to close our central location and have staff work from home.


With the recent announcement of the Phase Two reopening, we have taken all the necessary steps and precautions set out by the Province of Ontario to protect our staff as we resume in-person operations.


Our staff have all been provided with PPE, including non-medical face masks and hand sanitizer. We have also ramped up the cleaning and disinfecting of our workspace to maintain a safe working environment for our employees. For the time being, we have also limited access to our office to employees only and have advised our staff to stay home if they feel unwell. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and make any necessary changes to our operations going forward.


Take care and stay safe!

The Anton GM Team

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