Post-Pandemic: Hiring Trends & What Employers Are Looking For In A Potential Employee
Rene Cheng
Jun 22, 2021
Hiring Trends 2021
As many companies are talking about, work-from-home is here to stay. As a result, many candidates will need to adapt to a whole new environment. Patricia Montville, the Executive Recruiter at Montville Insurance Recruiting, says her clients asked questions about a candidate’s abilities regarding handling software for digital environments, independence, written communication skills, emotional intelligence, and more. One surprising fact she finds that has never been asked pre-pandemic was, “Can candidates adapt to change? For example, if there is another pandemic, will the candidate still be able to connect with customers successfully through technology?” Therefore, the question job seekers face is, how will post-pandemic affect hiring trends? 
Now, what do employers look for in candidates regardless of their experiences and qualifications post-pandemic? And what should job seekers expect in the upcoming months in terms of hiring trends
 Post Pandemic work trends
Employers have been very curious about the remote work capabilities of their candidates, Reuben Yonatan, the Founder of GetVolP, said. As a result, candidates should be expected to receive questions about the projects they have led or undertaken with a virtual team or with a client in a completely different location. 

Communication skills are critical in terms of working from home. Ewelina Melon, the Head of People at Tidio, adds that many recruiters have been asking candidates related to the work-from-home strategy that determines one’s self-discipline, flexibility, agility, and overall suitability for remote work. Some example questions include: 

How do you organize your day when working from home?
What are the challenges of remote work, and how can you overcome them?
What are the best ways to collaborate with a team in a remote setting?

These questions could potentially be asked during an interview to determine how self-efficient the candidate is. Not only does staying organized and productive are critical in the office, but working remotely also determines how the potential employee can drive more results. 
Post-Pandemic Lessons Learned & Time Management 
Lessons Learned During Pandemic
Melon adds, many recruiters wonder how well a potential employee can adapt to daunting external circumstances. For example, how has the potential employee used the time alone in a beneficial way? Or what they have learned about themselves because of the pandemic. Crisis management-related questions were not asked often before the COVID-19, yet candidates sometimes have difficulty answering these questions due to irrelevance to their reality. 

Melon suggested crisis-management questions could be a great way to learn more about a candidate while seeing how they manage their time: 

For example, how have you handled the stress of the pandemic?
What lessons, if any, have you learned during the pandemic?
Have you learned any new skills during the lockdown?
Recruiters must ask questions about the candidate's personal lives, says Lucy Smith, the CEO & Founder of DigitalGrads. At times, if a candidate does not have a strong community around them, working from home can be incredibly isolating and stressful. Therefore, asking questions regarding living arrangements and how living through a pandemic has affected them could be beneficial to find the right candidate. 

Solid Pitch But Pitch Differently
New Interview Style
Usually, when you go in for an interview, you would have prepared a pitch to tell your interviewer about your experiences, qualifications, and professional history. However, since COVID-19, instead of learning about the experiences, recruiters are more eager to learn about how much the candidate has learned during the pandemic. And how the candidate is going to relate to the learned lessons and apply them to the job said, Abby Drow, the Co-Founder & Marketing Director at Cloom Tech. So, while the solid pitch is still required during an interview, twerking it into smaller bites of what you have learned during the pandemic and how they relate to the job will help strive for a better impression that lasts. 

As job seekers, you may need to pitch differently to your interviewer, but sometimes interview questions may interchange due to current times. As we commonly are asked, “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” COVID-19 has made us realize that sometimes impossible and simply not feasible to build ambitious plans for a far future. So instead, recruiters may change up their questions to bring back the relevancy of the pandemic. Here are some of the sample questions that you may be asked in your following interview: 
Where do you see the future of your career in those times?
If the pandemic happened again, how would you change how you work, grow, and behave? 
How would you say your vision for the future has changed due to the pandemic?

Soft Skills May Speak Louder Than Hard Skills 
Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills
While hard skills may be critical in finding the right candidate for a particular position, communication and soft skills are hugely determined in one’s ability. The Founder of Suburban Jungle, Alison Bernstein, says that she looks for remote employees who are self-starters. Someone who can take the initiative instead of someone who just sits and waits for direction. Nowadays, it is not just about being results-driven; it is more about simply being driven at home. 

Candidates may prepare themselves to be better suited to a remote position and become self-starters by having an organized schedule with space and time to take calls or execute daily tasks. One must set their goals and timelines and make sure those goals and deadlines are met to stay on top. 

Work ethic, professionalism, leadership skills, attitude, and more are soft skills employers look for in a remote setting. Therefore, sometimes if one has achieved or succeeded in these skills, there might be a higher chance of success in the overall work performance. 
Questions For Job Seekers In An Interview
While candidates should be ready to be asked these questions, there are also some questions job seekers should consider asking during their interview with a recruiter. For example, here are some questions you may consider asking provided by Victoria Tu, a Sales Recruiter at Hiretual
What is the company doing to increase engagement & productivity cross-functionally within teams while everyone is working remotely?
What is the company doing to ensure burnout doesn’t happen amongst employees/teams?
How would employees communicate with team members during a remote setting?

To find out more questions to ask during an interview, check out this article
Final Words
Hiring trends and what employers look for in a candidate may interchange based on industry and positions. While the pandemic taught us a lot about our lives, careers, and even people around us, candidates and recruiters should be mindful of what each other is going through and ask the help one another out to succeed in their career and lives. Job seekers should also consider hiring trends in today’s market in order to help find themselves a job they want. Learn about upcoming hiring trends, markets, and what companies are looking for in a potential employee despite the times. We are in this together in finding the right employers and employees to help one another grow in their careers. Good luck with your following interview, and start practicing answering these questions today! 
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