For the last couple of months, many of us been through a massive realignment in terms of how and where we work. Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic so far, most companies have been able to cope with this in their Talent Acquisition work by simply switching off or slowing down processes they already had in place.

According to the Office for National Statistics, in the quarter up to February 2020, the UK employment rate reached a record 76.6%.

Past that point, the figures that WaveTrackR report from 27th April to 3rd May show a record low number of jobs posted for 2020, down to -82% from the average in 2020 before March. Interestingly though applications over the same period only dipped by -18%.

Alongside this implied shift to a much less candidate driven market, the obvious impact from this is that those companies who are hiring (or who about to start again as lockdown gradually eases) are going to see many more applications for their roles. This will create pressure on the processes they use for recruitment, which will be even greater where those processes were really designed with face to face interview being the main point of candidate interaction.

Any company is only as good as the people it can hire. And, for those organisations now lifting their eyes from crisis management of a pandemic situation and starting to think about the key positions they need to fill as lockdown gradually eases, the ability to spot strong candidates amongst the flow of applications will be crucial.

This means digitising processes and assessments and doing it fast. But this is not just shifting from one form of crisis management to another. Digitising recruitment processes gives organisations access to more talent and improves the way they can communicate around their employer brand, as well as allowing them to source better quality candidates thanks to data they can build up on the way.

What is crucial in this is that any process design work focuses on experience and customisation in a way that enables businesses to deliver a signature experience. And this experience is multifaceted, with attention needing to be paid to the HR/Resourcing people that run it, the candidates that move through it and the hiring managers that interact with it.

Organisations that get this right stand to achieve significant competitive advantage. According to a recent feature from CNBC the US economy may have reached a tipping point in favour of working from home. And they aren’t alone. Global research organisation Gartner bluntly sets forward the statement that “We’re being forced into the world’s largest work-from-home experiment and, so far, it hasn’t been easy for a lot of organizations to implement”.

As the world moves forward from the current period of lockdown into a future where remote working is more of the norm, the way that organisations adapt to that will be crucial to their survival.