July 13, 2021

What ‘Return to the Office’ Means for Recruiters

Paula Santonocito Headshot
Paula Santonocito
SENIOR MANAGER, RESEARCHER & WRITER
July 13, 2021

In a recent blog post, Appcast Enterprise Account Executive Jessica Benjamin explored her return to the office. No doubt many people can relate to the points she makes.

The transition to a new routine and different work environment will require personal adjustments for a lot of folks. On the heels of more than a year of challenges, any discomfort and uncertainty are apt to be magnified as well.

Recruiters may or may not face personal struggles. But the return to the office will impact recruiters professionally.

How so, you ask?

Location, location, and location.

Job advertising

For more than a year, job ads have addressed the remote factor in one way or other. Even when a job was “remote for now,” with expectations for the employee to return to the office at some point, this information was included in a job ad. Under different circumstances, it would have seemed like employers were skirting the location issue, but candidates understood and accepted vague job location information.

Now though, as companies solidify “return to the office” plans, candidates want specifics about job location – and job ads should include this information.

For recruiters, this isn’t necessarily an easy issue to address. Whether a position is remote, hybrid, or on-site all the time could depend on the job, geographic region, and/or hiring manager’s preference. What’s more, location is subject to change. Can’t find a candidate for a position designated as on-site? The hiring manager may be open to remote or hybrid.

As for hybrid, what does this mean? It’s generally defined as a combination of on-site and remote. Yet, how this translates to your organization is open to interpretation, unless you define it. Three days per week in the office and two days remote? Include this information in the job ad.

Are these days predetermined, or are the remote days at the employee’s discretion? This may seem inconsequential … to a recruiter or hiring manager. To a candidate, it could be the difference between applying for a job or not.

For job seekers, location in this context is often top of mind right now.

Interview process

For more than a year, interviews for many jobs have been conducted remotely. Technology has allowed for face-to-face interaction, and people have found it to be a viable solution.

Still, there are hiring managers who prefer in-person interaction. Now, with fewer restrictions, these hiring managers are likely to want to return to in-person interviews.

Although this may sound like no big deal, scheduling timely in-person interviews in a hybrid work environment could prove challenging. The key word here is timely. In a highly competitive labor market, any delay has the potential to result in lost talent – not to mention wasted spend.

What can a recruiter do?

Encourage expediency. Tools that allow for face-to-face interviews exist – hiring managers have been using them and know they work.

These days, a hiring manager and candidate don’t have to share the same physical location.

Where work gets done

On the surface, “return to the office” may appear to only be a matter of where work takes place. However, location can have a lot of influence on processes and tasks.

Don’t underestimate how it may subtlety affect various aspects of your job, from small changes in how you start your workday to when your day ends, and what happens in between.

Being aware of changes, and making any necessary adjustments, will result in a smoother transition and more successful recruiting.

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