How the Remote Work Era is Changing the Job Search

To many, the widespread shift to remote work feels like it happened overnight. A number of teams that have in the past been predominantly office based have now switched to a remote working model. Moreover, this trend is likely to stick around: remote teams have time and time again proven that they can be just as productive and in some cases foster happier employee work conditions.


As much as some people enjoy working from home, the remote work era and all of the specifics that accompany it are still relatively new. In addition to the changes remote work has meant for those who are already employed, what does the remote work era mean for active job seekers? Not only has the types of jobs they are looking for changed, but the processes by which they look for jobs has changed as well.


Keep reading for insight into how the remote work era has shifted the way candidates look for jobs – and how staffing and recruiting technology can empower you to keep up.


A Sudden Shift from Candidate to Client-Driven Market


The pandemic’s effect on the labour market was defined by mass layoffs and month-long shutdowns, followed by extensive hiring freezes in many industries. For these reasons, for the first time in years, we have seen a shift from a candidate-driven market to one that is largely controlled by employers.


When there are more candidates looking for work than there are jobs available, candidates are forced to get more competitive in order to secure employment. In addition to diligently applying for open positions through job boards and company websites, other ways that home-based candidates have been attempting to stand out in a competitive market include:


  • Reaching out virtually to their professional networks and hiring managers to add personalized touches to their applications
  • Focusing on online upskilling and professional development to boost their resumes or to prepare them for potential pivots into new fields
  • Staying abreast of market trends and industry news in order to remain atop of the shifting landscape


In the United States, there are currently 1.6 unemployed people for every open job. Even though this number has improved since the height of the pandemic (4.6 unemployed people for every open job), job seekers still need to pull out all the stops in order to make a statement with potential employers.


Job Seekers Are More Conscientiously Looking for Remote or Flexible Options


The last year has taught us that many jobs can be productively conducted from afar. This is great news for people that live at a distance from their physical workplace, those who care for children or elderly parents, or individuals working multiple jobs. Employees with flexible work options are logarithmically more likely to have better mental health and a positive work-life balance, and 55% of current remote workers would start looking for another job if their current one stopped offering remote option.


In the first few weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, the search interest for the term “work from home” increased by 50%. Since then, the benefits of remote work have been emanating from active employees, and for this reason, recruiters should be expecting a much higher influx of candidates looking for jobs with remote or flexible options.


The remote-work variable also means that candidates are no longer limited to seeking out positions that are within a given region. With this in mind, employers should be expecting a higher volume of candidates per job – if applications are no longer necessitated by a proximity to a workplace, many remote jobs can technically include applicants from anywhere (especially with job seekers desperate to find work). According to a recent survey, 55% of companies have expanded their talent pools to larger geographic areas.


It has become clear that jobs which can offer remote options are a more attractive choice to many job seekers. Even though remote work has exploded in popularity, employers need to be realistic and honest about what they can offer. Whether you can offer remote or flex hours or not, these parameters need to be clear-cut right from the start. The more detailed and accurate the job description, the better – if you can’t offer remote time or flexible hours, it needs to be clearly stated in the job description or preliminary interview. This will help you to gather a narrower and description-fitting group of potential hires, making everyone’s lives much easier.


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Virtual Job Searches Are Here to Stay – But Can Cause Some Job Seeker Stress


Borne out of necessity but undeniably convenient, practically every aspect of the hiring process has been conducted virtually for nearly a year. Using email, phone calls, Zoom calls, text messages and more, in the current landscape, it is not uncommon for a candidate to go through the entire job search and hiring process without ever meeting their employer face-to-face. By eliminating factors like commutes and coordination times, companies are 2.7 times more likely to reduce their cost-per-hire as well as reduce their time-to-hire from weeks to days in many cases.


While the benefits of virtual interviewing cannot be denied, the process can pose some stress for job seekers, and candidates are not always able to express their true nature and full potential from behind a screen. The added anxiety that this method can pose at times makes it difficult for candidates and job seekers alike to “connect”. In order to combat this, many resources have popped up online to help prep nervous job seekers for the inevitable.


While the fine details of the virtual hiring process are still being perfected, having the best recruiting technology on your side allows you to better internally sort and understand your best potential candidates. Features like our robust and intuitive search tools help you to better identify qualified candidates in the system, and our rules-based workflow allows you to more confidently and accurately move candidates through the pipeline. Having more detailed information at your disposal to work with internally will allow you to make better hiring decisions, even when you can’t meet your candidates face-to-face.


Online Job Search Routes and Frequency are Growing, and Recruiters Need to Keep Up


The work-from-home age also increased screen time for most people. Usage on essentially every major website or social media platform has ballooned to record highs. Even though job seekers have used online platforms to search for jobs for years now, the overall increase in web usage has also meant that job seekers are using online routes more than ever to learn about companies and secure employment. In response, 58% of recruiters have begun using social media more actively to connect with potential hires amid the pandemic.


Because candidates could be looking for jobs in multiple different locations, recruiters need to maintain a strong and clear presence wherever their candidates may be. From a consistent and captivating social media presence, to informative and engaging blog content, to a SEO-optimized job board that extends to the far reaches of the Internet, there are many viable routes to venture down to connect with job seekers. Mindscope’s sister company, TopTalent Communications, has expert teams dedicated to helping staffing and recruiting agencies adapt to the changing landscape.


Mindscope is always eager to participate in the ongoing discussion surrounding remote work, the job search and recruiting technology. To learn more about our state-of-the-art applicant tracking system, book a demo or start your 7-day free trial.