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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