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Remote, Skills-based Hiring: How Covid-19 Changed Recruitment Process

How the hiring process has changed In India amid the pandemic (Shutterstock/Representational image)

How the hiring process has changed In India amid the pandemic (Shutterstock/Representational image)

Most of the hiring process have shifted online due to the pandemic situation and the adoption of technology happened very fast. Skills needed and style of working has also changed after the COVID-19

COVID-19 has not only led to lay-offs and salary cuts but has also changed the way companies hire employees, and the skills firms need in their recruits.

Most of the hiring processes have shifted in the online mode. Sashi Kumar, head of sales, Indeed India told news18.com that the technology-enabled hiring has led to hiring from anywhere across the world, increasing remote and foreign jobs.

One in every two employers in India hired virtually during the pandemic, said Kumar. Remote jobs have grown by 966 per cent between April 2020 and April 2021, as per Indeed. It has also seen a 22 per cent jump in freelance jobs in January 2021 as compared to January 2019.

Kumar said, going forward, “recruiters will focus more on the role and skills-based hiring, irrespective of geographical boundaries, and that the future of work is hybrid."


Earlier, only in emergency cases would employees be allowed to work from home, says Sanjay Shetty, Head Strategic Account Management at Randstad India. Offices have moved from traditional clocking hours to more outcome-based. “Now it more about getting your work done, whether you take 9 hours or 12 hours. It has become productivity-driven. It has become a more mature, outcome-driven equation between employees and organisations," he added.

Tech-based jobs are the future

Hiring is not only being adopted via digital platforms but also for technology-enabled roles. Experts believe that Covid-19 has accelerating demand in emerging tech solutions such as edtech, health-tech, and fintech sectors.

These sectors continue to experience a significant digital overhaul. Professionals who can pivot to digital-based operations smoothly will be particularly sought after and hence are expected to gain popularity in the job market. Meanwhile, roles in human resources, and sales and business development still rely on the same core skills and will require additional digital tools to boost performance.

“Clearly, digital and technology-based jobs are in high demand. Machine learning, artificial intelligence, information security are among the top career choices now," says Shetty. Apart from the IT companies, the e-commerce industry has also seen a huge boom, he adds.

Due to the rise of the IT/technology industry, there are many offers on the table for job seekers. Hence, they are getting more options and are able to select which company they want to work with. “The dropout level of candidates has increased. It has become a completely candidate-driven market," says Shetty.

Pawan Goyal, Chief Business Officer, Naukri.com says that the increased focus towards digitilisation by organisations has put the spotlight on the IT industry, which recorded the highest growth in hiring in May’21 versus May’19. “Hiring for tech roles has also seen an uptick in non-IT sectors as well. Industries like FMCG, education/teaching, animation/gaming, retail and insurance have seen an upward demand for tech professionals," says Goyal.

Internal hiring process on the rise

According to LinkedIn’s Future of Talent report, about 9 in 10 companies in India are looking to fill open roles internally in the post-Covid era. The reason being companies wanting to gain an insider’s perspective or a sense of progress. The report also states that when hiring internally, the top three skills that companies are looking for are good communication, problem-solving skills, and time management.

Career trends of 2021

This year, some of the top career choices as per LinkedIn include freelance content creators, social media and digital marketing roles, artificial intelligence, specialized engineering roles, education roles such as academic advisor, admissions officer, curriculum developer, etc.

The creative, tech, sales, and recruitment fields accounted for almost 55 per cent of all the freelance jobs posted on Indeed. “Freelance Writer was the most in-demand job role in this segment, followed by Freelance Designer, Recruiter, Developer, and Digital Marketer. Business Development Executive and PhP Developer were among the top ten freelance job titles," concluded Sashi Kumar.

The IT-Software, Insurance, and Pharma/Biotech were less impacted during Covid compared to auto, hospitality, BFSI and retail. The medical/healthcare sector, which was down by 55 per cent in Apr’20 recovered by 90 per cent in May’20, due to the intense pressure on the industry from the pandemic, says Goyal.

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first published:July 01, 2021, 16:47 IST