Usually, when I write about tips to optimize your Talent Acquisition process, I write about getting in those hard to find candidates and about hyper-targeting and optimizing the candidate experience. Because only when you have enough applicants you would need to look at optimizing your selection, something most organizations can actually make the biggest gains. But as COVID-19 hit the world and unemployment rose everywhere, the biggest rises in unemployment rate were in the volume end of the market. Retail staff, flight attendants, hospitality staff and cleaners have taken the biggest hit and will be applying in the thousands. But also, many with much coveted skills have been laid off by organizations like AirBnB, Booking to name just a few.

Volume hiring

The number of applicants for volume jobs are rising really fast, although they have always been high in countries like the UAE, the current unemployment will make them go sky high. In England, a restaurant looking for a part time receptionist recently had 1,000 applicants in 24 hours. Usually they have a hand full in a week. Captiva reported 12,000 applicants for one customer service role and in other countries the numbers are staggering into the tens to even hundreds of thousands.

Tip: Start using pre-selection tooling for volume jobs.

There is some awesome technology out there that will help you select the best candidates for your job, whether it’s in retail or hospitality or aviation. With the right skill or psychometric testing, you make your hiring easier and less time consuming while increasing your quality of hire. There are so many cases; like this Dutch supermarket chain that reduced the time that store managers spend on hiring to 30% and reduced time to hire from 15 days to one week by implementing a game with a situational judgment test in their application process. Or this Australian elderly care provider that were able to fully digitally recruit during the pandemic and double their employee headcount to replace their workers that needed to stay home because of COVID-19. And I even saw a presentation at TA-Live in 2017, by a Belgium transport company that lowered the accident rate of their drivers by a digital assessment.

Knowledge worker hiring

For knowledge workers, the world looks different now too. As most are working from home, it’s easier to hire as you can hire remote employees from anywhere in the world. So, you might want to question why you want people to relocate to the Middle East at all and look for the talent all over the world.

Tip: Source not for relocation, but for remote work

As many have been laid off, sourcing has never been easier, even for those once hard to find candidates in data science and IT development. Of course, many have found new jobs already, but there is still plenty of talent out there. Maybe they are not willing to relocate to the Middle East right now, but as people are not in the office anyway, it doesn’t matter where they live, right?

Tip: Hyper target your ads

Again, with a number of people being laid off, mainly at specific organizations, it’s easier to really target your ads for (former) employees of these organizations, for example on Facebook. If your company didn’t have any layoffs in this period, that’s a message worth communicating. Also, as several countries in the Middle East have taken some very impressive steps in recent months, like the peace deals with Israel, woman soccer league in KSA, the attitude of many that would formerly not consider working for you might change. But as this news isn’t widespread in the world, it might be worth emphasizing it when reaching out to candidates.