How the candidate experience has been changed by the pandemic

The last two years have been characterised by change with the pandemic literally transforming how people work and view their careers. According to LinkedIn, ‘the global talent market has never changed this much, this quickly.’

Candidate’s priorities have changed, and they are now thinking differently about their career development. If you had asked a job seeker what attracted them to a new role pre-Covid, it’s likely they would have cited the remuneration package as their key motivator. While these benefits continue to contribute as deciding factors, they are no longer at the top of the list.

Fast forward to a post pandemic world, candidates are now seeking a comprehensive benefits package that covers much more than a competitive salary.

Top priorities for candidates when looking for a new role post Covid:

  • Flexible working arrangements
  • Opportunity for progression
  • Inclusive workplace
  • Meaningful and fulfilling work
  • Purpose/an opportunity to make a difference
  • Work life balance
  • Stability
  • Additional benefits such as wellness and mental health initiatives, extra holiday, paid for training and social events
  • Team support and collaboration
  • Effective and compassionate management

How the pandemic has altered the job search

According to Centre for Cities, ‘between March 2020 and Jan 2021, 1.3 million people lost their jobs as a result of Coronavirus.’ Navigating the job market during and after a global pandemic is not easy and jobseekers have had to alter their approach to adapt to a new employment landscape.

Notable changes to the job hunting process:

  • Less emphasis on job gaps in CVs

Many workers suffered job losses or career stalls because of the pandemic, some were forced to step away from their careers due to illness or caregiving.  The upside to the situation is that recruiters and hiring managers are now more understanding towards noticeable gaps in employment.

  • An influx of remote and hybrid roles

Many jobs transitioned to work-from-home either full or part time during the pandemic, offering candidates greater flexibility over where and when they complete their work. Many employees have continued to work remotely or via a flexible arrangement that allows them to split their time between working in the office and working from home.

As a result, candidates are expected to demonstrate that they can work autonomously and productively from home, utilising the necessary technologies to facilitate their performance.

  • Virtual interviews

There are several steps candidates must take to ensure success in a virtual interview, including testing their technology, internet connectivity, camera and microphone. They also need to minimise distractions, find a quiet room with adequate lighting and ensure that their background setting looks professional.

Candidates take the reins as the job market swings in their favour

A dynamic of the pandemic is a significant shift of power from company to candidate. With the demand for talent superseding the number of active job seekers available, candidates are now in the driving seat. This means that they now have more opportunities from which to choose and are in a stronger position to demand more from employers.

Many candidates are receiving multiple job offers, and current employers are attempting to retain top employees with counter offers. And if prospective employers fail to offer people what they want, they’ll move on to another company who will.

Candidates are no longer willing to wait and expect fast, proactive communication from prospective employers. They want an easy and straight forward application process and are less willing to complete lengthy application forms. Thus, if companies move slowly in the hiring process they risk losing talent to competitors. According to StandOut CV, ‘60% of job seekers have abandoned a job application due to its length and complexity.’ Many will also continue to look for other jobs even after they have accepted an offer.

It is the time of the candidate

Candidates now hold the power in the recruitment market, with many being inundated with emails from recruitment agencies and hiring managers. They are expressing greater interest not only in the work they’ll be doing but in everything else, from the commute into the office, the team culture and the hours. They are leveraging this advantage to design a career path that works best for them.

If you’re interested in talking to our team about how we could help you grow your career, in chemicals, pharmaceuticals, biotech or clinical, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us here.

Related Articles

Science, clinical and technical vacancies

Find Your Perfect Job
Get in touch with us today and talk to one of our expert consultants