The State Of Hiring: 4 Insights To Plan Ahead In Unpredictable Times

We’re obviously in a tumultuous time with a lot of different changes. Still, even if your company isn’t in a rush at present to fill the next significant potential role, you can take advantage of the time to think about smart strategies for planning. Here are four insights we’re seeing at Roy Talman & Associates to ensure your business is always moving forward in the face of the unpredictable.

#1: People are still hiring, even if interviews are not face-to-face.

We have a long way to go to make up for the gap in lost jobs, but we have candidates with interviews continually going on. There are, as you might expect, very few face-to-face interviews – not zero, but some. There is a natural apprehension to a close, in-person interview. Even if both parties are wearing masks and sitting more than six feet apart.

Clients looking to hire are switching to multiple interviews using different tools. Of course, there is the good old phone for technical conversations and Zoom, Facetime, Microsoft Teams and Google Hangouts for non-technical conversations as well as enabling an individual to share their screen for more seamless communication. For example, one person could be coding and another could be discussing it.

One of our clients used to do interviews in which they would bring a candidate in to meet with a room of multiple people. We’re not seeing that type of interview structure right now, such as the candidate talking to three people at once.

#2: Employees are more productive working from home

While not that many companies are hiring in this recessionary period, many of our clients at Roy Talman & Associates have been hiring. And for quite some time, the majority of their people have been working remotely.

The question has come up on occasion, “What do you do where the person being hired has been working from home now for two months?” If it’s anything like the trend we’ve been seeing, many people aren’t missing a beat in working from home and may even be better for it. In some cases, a person who is visiting an elderly relative periodically may be very concerned about going into the office and creating an environment where she might bring something home or to her elderly relative, which could have severe consequences.

Generally speaking, people are finding that they can do the majority of their work – and their best work – from home. I ran into a colleague recently and asked how he was doing with the present challenges, to which he replied, “I’m actually much busier than I used to be. The number of meetings that I’ve attended is way up because it’s so much easier to set it up.”

If we think back to many years ago, pre-laptop computer, one of the key reasons people went into the office was that that’s where the computers were. That’s how you got access to work and got work done. Anything that resembled Zoom as we know it was of poor quality in which you could not understand the person and the whole experience was less than satisfactory. Thankfully, just in time, the technology has come a very long way.

It’s not without its hiccups, of course, such as if you have spotty Wi-Fi in your house and can’t do certain things. Right now, the problem with Zoom is that people can’t talk at the same time, but that’s the next step where the system will be able to handle it smoothly, from faces to images. There are current limitations as far as how many different screens can be seen on a phone, tablet or desktop. But that type of problem is solvable. We suspect that the crew from Zoom that is writing and designing software is at the forefront of it.

Yet, many providers have enabled us to view up to 300 megabits per second downloads, so that everybody in the house can watch high definition videos and the quality of Zoom videos or similar will be exceptional. So the technology, even as there’s room for improvement in it, is allowing companies to see that these once temporary options may not be temporary at all. And that has a direct impact on our next point.


Talman Advantage #3: The Preparation For The Interview You Deserve

You can’t go into an interview armed with only a resume to represent you. Roy Talman & Associates gets you ready for the experience with a far more in-depth level of preparation, including an evaluation of your skills in light of what today’s marketplace demands.

Through testing on certain subjects and measuring your scores against what our clients expect, you’ll be able to head into the interview knowing so much more. You’ve come too far to settle for anything less. So make sure you talk to Talman first.


#3: Tech companies may reshape the office landscape dramatically

What some – not all, but some – businesses are realizing in the wake of this forced move to remote communication is that perhaps a downtown office is a luxury rather than a necessity. Plenty of people might say, “I’m happy with what I can do from home and I don’t need to go back or I can come in one day or two per week.” This could bring new questions for firms in the way of management’s flexibility in order to retain talent.

We might see a tremendous shift on this, especially as we see a company like Facebook saying to its staff, “You know what? You don’t have to come into our office in Silicon Valley. You can settle in other areas, in fact. You can have that bigger house and backyard you’ve always wanted while you work for us. As long as you’re comfortable with the trade-off that we won’t give you your Silicon Valley salary, where the cost of living is dramatically higher, if you’re living in another part of the country.”

Twitter has already said that it will allow its employees to work from home permanently. Google may be next, with the search engine giant telling its staff that they can work from home for the rest of the year.

Think about the implications of companies like that and others shifting away from office space in or near a downtown area. Downtown office space could collapse in value and desirability. Add to the fact that not everybody may be able to return to the space at once. For example, as of this writing, only up to 25% of the people in a space are allowed, to account for proper social distancing.

What the last several months have shown us is what the new economy is going to look like. Before, if a manager wanted to know what Danny or Susie or Bob on their team was producing, they’d have to see Danny, Susie or Bob sitting in their seats at the office. Now that they can’t see these people in their seats, they have to come up with different metrics that will tell them how productive a person is.

#4: Financial trading companies are prospering

At least in the short-term, financial trading is doing very well as a sector. The volume is up and volatility is up. The vast majority have been prospering and will likely continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

Now, to what degree are these firms interested in hiring? That’s a different issue. If firms find they can make money without necessarily adding people, they’ll do so. The business is very computerized and thus very efficient. We’ll continue to watch this sector for the degree that it accelerates hiring in the months to come. As a firm with deep relationships with so many in the financial trading space, we’ll keep you abreast of increased shifts in any particular direction the hiring winds blow.

There’s no doubt about it. In a “perfect storm” of so many events impacting the state of hiring, you’re searching for any consistency you can count on. There’s a place you want to be as the markets of Chicago and New York move into new phases and workers slowly return. As that happens, you may be thinking about that key role or roles you know have to be assumed by only the very best of the best.At that moment, you need the perspective of a true partner in recruitment that can better plan alongside you. A firm which, for over 30 years, has fostered deep relationships with those who are not only actively looking but also highly talented individuals we’ve helped to place in their position. Now more than ever, this is no time to go with the unproven or unknown. Talk to Talman First.